Simple Android app lets AirPods activate Google Assistant

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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

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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

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Bose
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.

Google Assistant expands its reach on iOS

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Google Assistant
Look out, Siri!
Photo: Google

Armani is latest designer brand to take on Apple Watch

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Armani Connected Watch
One of Armani's upcoming Connected watches.
Photo: Emporio Armani

Emorio Armani is the latest designer fashion brand that fancies its chances against the Apple Watch.

The Italian company unveiled its first smartwatch collection, powered by Google’s Android Wear platform, at Milan Fashion Week over the weekend — but neglected to mention any prices.

Siri tweak lets you type your queries in iOS 11

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Type to Siri on iOS 11
Tired of talking to Siri? In iOS 11, you can tap out your requests silently.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Using Siri in public places can be a drag. Either it’s too noisy for Apple’s AI assistant to understand your query, or it’s too quiet and it’s embarrassing (or even risky) to ask Siri for help.

Luckily, iOS 11 brings a Siri upgrade that changes all that: The new Type to Siri feature lets you silently send all your questions and commands. This feature comes disabled by default, but enabling it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.

iOS 11 wish list: Features we’d love to see

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iPhone 7
Here's what to expect from the next version of iOS
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With WWDC 2017 right around the corner, it’s that time of the year when Apple can fix all the annoyances of iOS 10 and unveil something truly revolutionary for the next generation of iPhones and iPads.

Apple is expected to show off all the major features of iOS 11 at the WWDC in a couple of weeks. Surprisingly, the rumor mill has been quiet on what to expect, but that hasn’t stopped a flurry of speculation. We’ve got some ideas of our own too that we really want to see come to iOS 11.

This is what we want in Apple’s next big update: