Amazon Echo Show brings video to smart-speaker party

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Could this be Amazon's new Echo speaker?
Photo: AFTVnews

Update: Amazon unveiled its new touchscreen Echo Show device Tuesday. In addition to smart-speaker functionality, the Amazon Echo Show brings video calls, video flash briefings, YouTube, karaoke-style music lyrics, security camera integration and more. Available for preorder now, the device will ship June 28 for $229.99.

Amazon could debut its new touchscreen Echo smart speaker as early as today, claims a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The latest in a line of popular Amazon Echo voice-activated speakers, the new device is likely to add a 7-inch display and a built-in camera. It will function like the existing Echo, but with the addition of touchscreen-based features.

Apple’s new Siri speaker could be revealed at WWDC

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Apple answer to the Echo could arrive in June.
Apple answer to the Echo could arrive in June.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple could unveil its new smart speaker powered by Siri at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, according to new claims.

Earlier this week, we heard the company is currently in the process of finalizing the design of its first standalone Siri device, which is expected to take on the Amazon Echo. Now we have an idea what it might look like and when it could be revealed.

Siri speaker, iPhone 8 delay, Juuk’s new Apple Watch bands and more

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A Siri smart speaker will bring better audio (and a higher price tag) than the Amazon Echo, and we might get our first look next month.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, we take a look at how a Siri-powered smart speaker could bring better audio (and a higher price tag) than the Amazon Echo. It’s highly like such a device will be unveiled by Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Plus we’ve got how-tos: You’ll learn how to turn anything into a PDF on your iPhone or iPad, and how to use Apple Pencil to mark up those PDFs in the Mail app.

Also, check out Juuk Designs’ third collection of high-grade aluminum bands for Apple Watch. The new Ligero collection is now on view in our Watch Store.

Here are this week’s top stories.

Will Apple’s Siri smart speaker suck? Catch the discussion on The CultCast

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Would you want a Siri-powered smart speaker?
Would you want a Siri-powered smart speaker?
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This week on The CultCast: Apple’s secret Siri speaker is just around the corner — we’ll tell you everything (we think) we know about it. Plus: Why AirPods are the best product Apple’s made in years; and why Microsoft’s MacBook clone is actually great for Apple fans.

Finally, we’ll deconstruct and decode Tim Cook’s mysterious and quickly deleted accidental tweet, and you’ll be shocked at the truth!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off any hosting plan.

Apple places orders for its Amazon Echo rival

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Standalone Siri speaker could be shown at this year's WWDC.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly placed the first orders for its standalone Siri smart speaker, a device designed to rival the Amazon Echo.

Inventec, the Taiwan company that makes Apple’s popular AirPods, received the order, which was reported by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. No order numbers or production timeline have been revealed, although previous reports suggest Apple could unveil the device this June at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

Siri speaker might be an Echo for audiophiles

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The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A Siri smart speaker will bring better audio (and a higher price tag) than the Amazon Echo, and we might get our first look next month, according to a prominent analyst.

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo says it’s increasingly likely Apple will debut its high-end audio device at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, paving the way for Siri to move into a prominent place in your home.

Hey, Siri! Apple finalizing designs for new smart speaker

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The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
The Amazon Echo is one of the most innovative tech products in recent years.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is currently finalizing designs for its Amazon Echo competitor, claims renowned Apple tipster Sonny Dickson.

According to Dickson, the Echo rival is likely be “marketed as an Siri/AirPlay device,” representing the next step in Siri’s evolution. It is also set to involve some form of Beats technology, and will run an operating system based on iOS. Color us cautiously intrigued!

Forget replacing humans, Apple wants AI to improve our memory

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It's not as easy as you might think.
Siri may soon remember every detail of your life.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If Apple has its way in the field of artificial intelligence, robots and algorithms won’t just be used to replace you at work, they could help fix your brain too.

Apple executive and Siri co-creator, Tom Gruber, laid out a different vision for artificial intelligence today while speaking at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada. During his remarks, Gruber told the crowd how he thinks AI could become more helpful than harmful.