HomePod smart speaker will totally rock (and control) your house

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Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s upcoming HomePod smart speaker will “reinvent the way we enjoy music in the home,” says Apple exec Phil Schiller, who offered a sneak peek at the product today.

Calling it a “breakthrough home speaker,” he outlined how the 7-inch wireless speaker will work seamlessly with Apple Music — and totally rock the house, while also giving you a way to control your house.

Will Siri ever be as good as the Google Assistant? [Friday Night Fights]

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The gap is getting wider.
The gap is getting wider.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Google brought its Google Assistant to iOS this week, finally giving iPhone fans a taste of the best virtual assistant on the planet. But those on Android are in for so much more, with major improvements on the way, including impressive Google Lens integration.

Friday Night Fights bugThe changes make it harder than ever for Siri to catch up. Despite the improvements Apple made with iOS 10, it still feels like Siri is well behind its rivals. Is that gap now too big, or can Apple catch up? Will Siri ever be as good as the Google Assistant?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we wage war over virtual assistants.

Amazon Echo Show brings video to smart-speaker party

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echotouchscreen
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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Ask Alexa to manage your appointments for you.
Ask Alexa to manage your appointments for you.
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.

Should Apple make a standalone Siri device? [Friday Night Fights]

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Would you buy a smart speaker powered by Siri?
Would you buy a smart speaker powered by Siri?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple might have popularized virtual assistants, but Siri has fallen behind in recent years as rivals like the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and even Microsoft Cortana pull ahead with greater capabilities and unique features.

Friday Night Fights bugOne area in which Siri is lacking is in standalone devices like smart speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. Isn’t it about time Apple caught up with a smart speaker of its own powered by Siri?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we throw punches over a Siri speaker.

Siri and Alexa battle it out to be voice of Marriott hotels

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It's not as easy as you might think.
"OK Siri, check into my room!"
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Siri apparently has a new war on its hands: battling with Amazon’s Alexa over who gets to be the voice-controlled platform of choice in Marriott hotels.

According to a new report, Marriott International is currently testing devices from both companies at its Aloft hotel in Boston.