Turn Your Phone Into a Universal Remote and Control Multiple Smart Home Devices: $19.95

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

We have a deal on Hombli, a smart IR remote control that turns your iPhone or Android device into a universal remote for multiple smarthome devices. The Hombli acts as a hub, and you control it with a companion app. With it, you can access over 80,000 devices from popular brands including Samsung, Sony, and Philips, and you can use hands-free voice commands using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This device is $19.95 through our deal.

2019 Voice Report Shows Siri, Google Assistant Tied

· Andrew Orr · News

Microsoft‘s recent 2019 Voice Report shows that usage of Google Assistant and Siri are tied at 36%, while 41% of survey respondents are concerned about privacy.

Google Assistant Can Read Your Kids a Bedtime Story

· Andrew Orr · Link

If you have Google Assistant and the latest version of Google Play Books on your iOS device, it can now read your kids a bedtime story.

Ahead of National Tell a Story Day taking place on Saturday, youngsters now have more ways to hear a bedtime tale. As of today, the feature will be available on iOS and Android phones in English in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and India.

Sounds like a great feature. When I asked Siri to read me a bedtime story, she said: “Next you’ll be asking me for a glass of milk. And a dark matter cookie.” Damnit Siri, that doesn’t even make sense.

Google Duplex Rolling Out to Google Assistant on iOS

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google Duplex is a feature that lets the Google Assistant make reservations on your behalf. The company is starting to roll out the feature to iPhones and other non-Pixel phones.

The support site for Duplex lists the iPhone as being part of this rollout, with Android phones simply requiring Android 5.0 or higher to use the automated calling service. iOS users simply need to have the Google Assistant installed to get started.

Apple's Maybe Free TV Shows Plan, Google and Apple's AI Battle - TMO Daily Observations 2018-10-11

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on how Apple will promote its streaming TV content and follow up on yesterday’s subscription TV overload discussion. They also look at competition in the artificial intelligence space with Google’s new Call Screen feature.

Twitter Insanity, Apple's AI Showdown, FBI Exaggeration, Apple's HQ Hunt - ACM 463

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Twitter has lost its corporate mind, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet argue in this episode of ACM. They also weigh the importance of WWDC 2018 in terms of Siri, and discuss whether or not Apple has to announce significant improvements to remain competitive in AI. Then there’s the revelation that the FBI exaggerated the number of locked iPhones it couldn’t get into, and they squeeze in a fourth topic, too: Apple’s hunt for a new campus, and how it contrasts with Amazon.

The Voice Assistant War: Alexa and Google Assistant Versus Siri

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, Google Home smart speakers

We’re still in the early stages of voice assistant technology so we can’t declare a winner yet, regardless of which you prefer. Based on what we’re seeing, however, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are putting Apple’s Siri in a serious catch up position.

Here's Why I'm Tired of Saying 'Hey Siri'

· Jeff Gamet · Editorial

HomePod with Siri

Saying “Hey Siri” is an awkward way to invoke Apple’s voice assistant platform. It’s time to drop the “Hey” and make talking to Siri feel more natural, like Amazon’s Alexa.

The Alexa Assistant, OK Google, and Lots More in one Full-Featured Speaker

· Jeff Butts · Cool Stuff Found

Say hello to the first standalone device to give you the Alexa assistant, OK Google, and plenty more. The folks at Indiegogo have more than funded the Clarity Speaker. Still, you can preorder yours until the end of April 2017. One great thing about Clarity is you get a portable Bluetooth and Wi-FI speaker with a seven-inch fully-featured touchscreen. Additionally, Clarity includes a built-in Alexa assistant and “OK Google” functionality. It’s also a fully functional Android tablet, running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Clarity Speaker is extremely portable, weighing less than two pounds. The device is powered by a quad-core processor. Clarity includes two 5-watt speakers and a 2MP camera. Internally, you’ll have access to 16GB of memory. You can expand storage with a  micro SD card. The speaker is available for preorder at US $149 until April 30, 2017. The regular retail price is $199, and the device begins shipping in June.

The Alexa Assistant, OK Google, and Lots More in one Full-Featured Speaker