Apple joins rivals to create open standard for smart home devices

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Abode Iota is a security system by itself
Building your smart home is about to get a whole lot easier.
Photo: Abode

Apple is teaming up with Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance to create a new open and royalty-free standard for smart home devices.

Project “Connected Home over IP” aims to increase compatibility among smart home gadgets and make development easier for device manufacturers. It should also simplify smart technology for consumers.

Amazon’s new battery-powered Echo can go with you everywhere

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Echo-Input-Portable-Edition
You can't own one yet.
Photo: Amazon

Those who consider Amazon Alexa one of their closest friends can now take her almost anywhere with the new portable Echo speaker.

The confusingly named Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition has a built-in battery that lasts up to 11 hours in between charges. But you can’t buy one (yet) if you don’t live in India.

Amazon aims for Apple with 15 surprising new products

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EchoStudio
Amazon fired shots at the HomePod, AirPods, CarPlay and more today.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon is ready to push Alexa into every single corner of your life with a new wave of Echo products unveiled this morning.

Armed with 15 new products, Amazon is ready to challenge Apple like never before. The company even introduced some bold new products, like new smart glasses and a smart ring — wearables that give you 24/7 access to Alexa wherever you go. While Apple’s iPhone 11 keynote featured zero mentions of Siri, Amazon’s yearly product keynote put Alexa’s might on full display.

Siri gets smarter, but still can’t keep up with Google Assistant

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Scorsese Siri
Director Martin Scorsese can count on Siri. Even more so than in the past.
Photo: Apple

Siri doesn’t have all the answers, but Apple’s digital assistant continues to get smarter.

Loup Ventures fires 800 questions at the leading digital assistants for its twice-a-year IQ Test to measure the practical use of voice as a means of computing input on smartphones. They are all improving, but not at the same rate.

Amazon’s next Echo could challenge HomePod on audio quality

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I sent the HomePod back, so I will keep using the single photo I took until somebody stops me.
An Amazon Echo for audiophiles? Yes please!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Amazon’s Echo is annihilating Apple’s HomePod when it comes to smart speaker sales. But Jeff Bezos’ retail giant clearly knows a great idea when it sees one.

According to a new report, Amazon is developing a new Echo device that will measure up more favorably to Apple’s audiophile HomePod.

Amazon thinks it can beat AirPods on audio quality

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AirPods 2. AirPods S, more like.
The wearables market is about to heat up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s AirPods are about to get some fresh competition from Amazon.

The online retail giant is reportedly planning to release its own set of wireless earbuds that will be powered by its digital assistant Alexa and possibly better audio quality.