Amazon unveils $120 Fire TV Cube streaming media player with Alexa

Pricier than a standard Fire TV or Echo smart speaker, Amazon’s new Fire TV Cube basically brings the two together with hands-free Alexa voice support.

Style-focused Amazon Echo Look goes mainstream, opening US sales at $200

You no longer need an invitation to be able to buy the Amazon Echo Look hands-free camera and “style assistant with Alexa” in the US.

Bixby 2.0 is on track to launch with the Galaxy Note 9 this year, and expand to many IoT products soon

You can add Bixby 2.0 to the so far short list of rumored Galaxy Note 9 upgrades, with Samsung’s digital assistant finally slated to receive a bunch of essential improvements in just a few months.

Side-mounted LG G7 ThinQ button will reportedly be used for quick Google Assistant access

Drawing inspiration from Samsung’s last couple of flagship phone designs, the fast-approaching LG G7 ThinQ will let you press a side-mounted button to launch Google Assistant.

Google splits search and AI operations as ex-division chief joins Apple to reboot Siri

Apple is looking to step up its AI efforts with the help of Google’s former machine learning and search division head, while the search giant is splitting the two operations and promoting a couple of veteran employees.

Google’s own in-house ‘smart display’ could come soon to take on Amazon’s Echo Show

After setting up the Smart Display software platform, under which Lenovo, JBL and LG products have been unveiled already, Google might also be thinking of releasing its very own Amazon Echo Show rival.

Google Assistant in Hindi is rolling out to Android phones running Marshmallow and above

It’s now easy and natural to get things done for native Hindi speakers on Android phones running Marshmallow, Nougat or Oreo without using their hands, thanks to Google Assistant.

Google Assistant can basically do anything in TV ads starring John Legend, Sia and Kevin Durant

To prove how serious an Alexa and Siri competitor it’s already become, Google Assistant has booked several A-list celebrities to highlight its strengths.

Samsung confirms Bixby smart speaker for H2 2018, no new foldable smartphone ETA

Samsung has confirmed yet again it’s working on both a Bixby-assisted smart speaker and foldable smartphone, but only one of the two is firmly slated for a 2018 launch.

Wireless Sony Xperia Ear Duo headset starts at $280 with Dual Listening support

The Sony Xperia Ear Duo is truly a one-of-a-kind wireless headset, supporting both Google Assistant and Siri while welcoming outside noise instead of trying to cancel it.

Google Assistant goes truly global, with multilingual support, Routines and deeper OEM integrations

Google is making an early MWC 2018 start, unveiling a whole bunch of Assistant upgrades, including new languages, Routines, and a dedicated Assistant Mobile OEM program.

Alexa loses her voice only to find a new one in star-studded Amazon Super Bowl ad

Amazon appears to have subtly revealed in a Super Bowl commercial starring an army of celebrities that Alexa is getting a new, warmer, more natural voice.

LG WK9 Google Assistant touch screen speaker makes mysterious CES 2018 debut

Whether you choose to call it a Google Assistant touch screen speaker or smart display, the CES 2018-showcased LG WK9 is yet another major Amazon Echo Show threat.

Apple patent foreshadows whispering Siri capabilities for privacy protection

Siri could soon gain the ability to recognize whispers and whisper back in response to privacy-concerned users, according to a 2016 Apple patent filing.

Samsung reportedly wants its Bixby smart speaker to launch in H1 2018 at around $200

Reportedly put on hold a little while back, Samsung’s (not so) secret Bixby smart speaker project is advancing, eyeing for a launch in 2018’s first half.

Google Assistant can now speak to you in a male voice dubbed ‘Voice II’

Those concerned with AI gender equality should be happy to hear Google Assistant speaking in both female and male voices now.

Nvidia Shield TV scores long-promised Google Assistant support, other Android TVs next

Google Assistant is adding Android TV set-top boxes and smart TVs to a list of voice-enhanced devices including phones, watches, speakers and headphones.

Amazon wants to put Alexa on a pair of normal-looking smart glasses next, rumor has it

Amazon’s consumer hardware ambitions could expand from tablets and smart speakers to smart glasses soon, all powered by the Alexa voice assistant.
Samsung Bixby

You can (partially) disable the Galaxy S8 and Note 8’s Bixby key now with no workarounds

Samsung is probably never going to allow official Bixby button remapping, but at least you no longer need tricks to limit accidental AI activations.

Microsoft and Amazon forge unlikely alliance to bring Cortana and Alexa skills together

Starting later this year, Amazon Echo users will be able to talk to Cortana through Alexa, with Microsoft’s voice assistant also supporting its arch-rival.
Samsung Bixby overview

Samsung finally expands Bixby voice support in 200+ countries globally… for English speakers

As long as you can speak fluent English (or Korean), you can now communicate with Bixby on the Galaxy S8 across more than 200 countries worldwide.

Facebook’s rumored hardware plans take a new turn with credible ‘video chat device’ speculation

Forget modular phones and trend-following smart speakers. Facebook may want to carve out a new niche for a dedicated video chat product of some sort.

Facebook’s first smart speaker could go for the Echo Show’s jugular with massive 15-inch screen

“Instead” of voice recognition functionality, Facebook’s rookie smart speaker effort is tipped to focus on a gargantuan 15-inch display.

The Rock teams up with Siri to ‘dominate the day’ in epic new commercial (Full video)

With Cortana, Google Assistant and Alexa rising fast, Siri stays in the limelight starring alongside The Rock in this “crazy fun commercial.”

Lenovo’s bold new AI-powered concepts include a virtual assistant, SmartVest and AR headset

Lenovo seems to think it can build a more interactive smart speaker than the Amazon Echo someday, as well as a “context aware virtual assistant.”