Facebook is working on a Siri rival with a difference

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You know you're my favorite, Miss Moneypenny.
Photo: Eon Productions

Apple has Siri, Google has Google Now, Microsoft has Cortana, and soon Facebook may have the James Bond-inspired Moneypenny.

According to a new report, Facebook will introduce the assistant as part of its Facebook Messenger app, letting Facebook users set appointments, check the weather, or purchase products.

While that sounds relatively similar to the likes of Google Now and Siri, where Moneypenny will apparently differ is in the fact that it will connect users with real people to help with certain aspects of the research process.

Android M vs. iOS 9: A battle of the giants

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Fight! Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac
Fight! Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2Google I/O and WWDC have been and gone, and Google and Apple have laid out the plans for their next major platform updates — Android M and iOS 9.

Now that we’ve had a chance to let those announcements sink in, it’s time for Cult of Android and Cult of Mac to battle over which is best in another Friday Night Fight. Let us help you decide which one will reign supreme when they roll out to the public this fall.

Hit list: All the apps and services Apple tried to kill at WWDC 2015

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Tim Cook WWDC 2015
Apple's had some bold words for its competitors today.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Once again, Apple has shown its desire to be your go-to for everything you do in your life.

During its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this morning, the iPhone maker talked up software updates, services and new functionalities aimed at making several of its competitors’ offerings redundant.

Here are the things Apple’s trying to take out with new stuff at WWDC 2015.

Siri doesn’t like it when you confuse her with Google Now

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Just don't make the mistake of calling Siri by the wrong name! Photo: Apple

Siri’s the O.G. (Original Gangsta) personal assistant, and she doesn’t like it when you confuse her with upstart rivals from Google or Microsoft.

The revelation was discovered by Twitter user and tech writer Danny Sullivan, who found that spurring his Apple Watch into action by saying “OK, Google” garnered the sarcastic response, “Very funny. I mean, not funny ‘ha-ha,’ but funny.”

Microsoft’s Cortana could be coming to iOS and Android soon

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Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana has been pretty vocal about bashing rival services like Apple’s Siri. But she may soon get the chance to put her money where her mouth is.

That’s because, according to a new Reuters report, Cortana is about to bust out of the Windows Phone ghetto and make her way to both Android and iOS.

The version of Cortana set to arrive on non-Windows devices is reportedly a new, improved version, using research from an artificial intelligence project called “Einstein.” This same version will also be available on Windows 10 desktops this fall.

¿Qué? Siri destroys Cortana and Google Now on language accuracy

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Siri can help in far more languages than most of its rivals.
Photo: Apple

Three-and-a-half years after the debut of Siri, virtual assistants haven’t yet become a user interface element on par with, say, the mouse cursor — but that’s not through any lack of trying.

According to a new study carried out for Venture Beat, Siri not only defeats Microsoft rival Cortana and Google’s Google Now automated assistants in understanding English; it absolutely slays them when it comes to other languages.

¡Viva Siri!

7 things Steve Jobs would have hated about Apple today

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Steve Jobs started Apple in his image. But would he like everything about it in 2015? Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

A lot has changed at Apple in the years since Steve Jobs died. While much of it is good (record-breaking iPhone sales, work on the new Apple campus, the stock-split leading to new share price highs), it’s unavoidable that one or two (or, indeed, 7) things would slip through the cracks, which Apple’s notoriously perfectionist late CEO would have hated.

The recent publishing of a patent for an iOS stylus — an accessory Jobs was vocal about opposing — got us thinking about other aspects of Apple, circa 2015, that likely would have rubbed the company’s late CEO the wrong way.

Here’s what we came up with.

Google Now Comes To Desktop In Latest Chrome Alpha

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We’ve been waiting for Google to bring Google Now to the desktop via Chrome for over a year now, and today the feature finally appeared in a new alpha version of the browser, called Chrome Canary.

Now is baked into Chrome’s new notification center, and functions just like its Android counterpart, providing users with real-time weather updates, sports scores, and travel information. Not all of its Cards are available on the desktop yet, but we expect that to change by the time it is ready for its public release.