Is Siri still steps behind Google’s virtual assistants? [Friday Night Fights]


Which virtual assistant gets your vote?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has taken big strides to make Siri even greater in recent years, like bringing it to Apple TV and macOS, and opening it up to third-party developers. In that time, Apple’s virtual assistant has also gotten more accurate and more reliable.

Friday Night Fights bug But some might say third-party alternatives — particularly those from Google — are still a step ahead, with greater features and more flexibility. So, is Apple doing enough to make Siri just as stellar as Google Now and the new Google Assistant?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we go head-to-head over virtual assistants.

Ultimate Ears speakers’ get voice upgrade that lets you ‘say it to play it’


With the UE Boom 2, Ultimate Ears makes a great speaker even better.
A firmware update lets you bark song requests at your Boom 2 speaker. But you'll have to push a button first.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A firmware update to Ultimate Ears’ Bluetooth speakers lets you use simple voice commands to make song requests.

After you install the over-the-air update, just tap the Bluetooth button on the top of your paired Boom 2 or Megaboom speaker, then say something like, “Play ‘Iron Man’ by Black Sabbath.” Soon the track will play as if by magic.

Apple to finally step up its AI game by opening Siri up to devs


Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Siri won't be restricted anymore.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

We’re all stoked for our first previews of iOS 10 and macOS from WWDC, but according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans, it’s going to be Siri that steals the show.

The virtual assistant is expected to make the leap to the Mac for the first time, and could also open up to third-party apps and services — allowing users to check in for flights, book Uber rides, and do more using only their voice.

Cola is the smart messaging platform that makes life easier

Cola is getting even smarter with help from third parties.
Cola is getting even smarter with help from third parties.
Photo: Cola

We could all use a personal assistant who’s there to make life that little bit easier, and thanks to Cola, the world’s first smart messaging OS, we can all have one.

Cola is designed to take care of all the small but important things you have to do throughout your day, like arranging meetings and managing to-do lists. And for the first time, it’s opening up to third-party services to become even more powerful.