Fortnite, Textor, and other awesome apps of the week


Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend, everyone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Fortnite, arguably the most anticipated iOS game of 2018, is just one of our selections for “Awesome Apps of the Week.”

In addition, we’ve got Google’s AI assistant newly landed on iPad, a neat update to one of the most popular third-party keyboards around, and a great basic text-editing app for iOS. Check out our picks below.

Google Assistant lands on iPad


Google Assistant now runs on iPad, including side-by-side with Google Calendar.
Google Assistant now runs on iPad, including side-by-side with Google Calendar.
Image: Google

Anyone wanting to try out Google’s rival to Siri can now do so on their iPad: A version of the Google Assistant optimized for iOS tablets just debuted.

With the press of a button, the application will answer questions and retrieve information from the internet, but that’s just the start.

Over half a billion devices now ‘actively’ use Siri


Siri usage is climbing rapidly.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Siri is now “actively” used on more than half a billion devices, Apple has revealed. The virtual assistant, which will be used to control HomePod, has been attracting users at a rapid rate despite falling behind its competitors in features and accuracy.

This smoke detector can also run Siri and be an AirPlay 2 speaker


smoke detector
That's one versatile alarm.
Photo: First Alert

CES 2018 bug Want a smoke detector that can double as a premium HomeKit-enabled smart speaker? Of course you do, and smoke detector company First Alert is here to help.

Debuting at CES 2018, First Alert’s Onelink Safe & Sound smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is an in-ceiling device that could save your life. But it also can be utilized as an entertainment system, with support for Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant AI voice assistants.

The iOS apps that dominated our screens in 2017


Best apps 1
This was a great year for the App Store.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Simple Android app lets AirPods activate Google Assistant


AirPods in ear
AirPods now work even better on Android.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirPods can be paired with any smartphone, just like other Bluetooth headphones. But you don’t get full functionality on third-party platforms. On Android, however, they just became a lot more useful.

You can now use AirPods to activate the Google Assistant — thanks to one simple app.

Google Pixel Buds bring wireless audio — and instant translation


Google Pixel Buds
Pixel Buds bring Google's AI smarts to your ears.
Photo: Google

The most impressive feature of Google’s new Pixel Buds might not be their audio quality. As demonstrated during the Pixel 2 event today, they work as a real-time translation tool when combined with one of Google’s new phones.

“With Pixel Buds, I can use real-time Google Translate to have a natural conversation in 40 languages,” Google hardware product manager Juston Payne said during the event. “We’re letting you connect with the world around you in a more natural way, by rethinking how a headphone should work, connecting it to cloud-based machine learning and giving you access with the touch of a finger.”

Bose takes on AirPods and Beats by baking in Google


Bose's Quietcomfort 35 II wireless headphones are the start of a partnership with Google.
Photo: Bose

Apple’s AirPods and Beats headphones are getting some fresh competition from one of the biggest audio companies in the game. And they’re getting a little help from Apple’s rival, Google.

Bose unveiled two new products today. One is its first ever foray into the world of truly wireless earbuds. The other is a pair of brand new noise-canceling headphones that are also designed to work with Google Assistant.