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

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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.

Microsoft attacks MacBook in latest Surface Pro 4 ad

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Does Surface Pro 4 have more to offer than MacBook?
Does Surface Pro 4 have more to offer than MacBook?
Photo: Microsoft

The iPad Pro has taken a ton of fire recently from Microsoft, but the company’s latest ad shifts targets to attack the MacBook.

The company busts out the old-school disses in the ad, which calls the MacBook “square” during an annoying song that brags about the Surface Pro 4’s detachable keyboard, pen and touchscreen. And it runs Windows!

Listen to Microsoft’s horrible jingle:

Microphone technology is Siri’s next big hurdle

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Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Siri needs better microphones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple, Amazon and Google are all in a battle to create the next great breakthrough with microphones in order to make their digital assistants more powerful.

While machine learning and artificial intelligence are getting all the hype lately, few industry analysts say microphone technology will play just as key a role in taking Siri and Alexa to a new level.

Apple joins government task force to kill robocalls

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Tune in live Wednesday, September 7 for Apple's iPhone 7 keynote.
Apple is teaming up with top tech companies to end the scourge of robocalls.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

The scourge of robocalls may be coming to an end, thanks to a new task force comprised of over 30 top tech companies, including Apple.

The U.S. government has enlisted the help of Apple, AT&T, Alphabet, Verizon, Comcast and others to crack down on unsolicited, automated, prerecorded phone calls that have become the most frequent complaint the U.S. Federal Communications Commission receives from citizens.