Microsoft is pulling the plug on Cortana for Android, iOS, and the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker

Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant software isn’t exactly dead, but it’s not exactly living its best life either. Earlier this year Microsoft announced that it was killing off some key features including support for third-party Cortana skills and support for using Cortana to control music playback and smart home devices. Now Microsoft has confirmed that all […]

Lilbits: PineTab Linux tablet coming in August, Jibo’s afterlife, and more

Pine64 began taking pre-orders for their PineTab 10.1 inch Linux tablet in June, and now the company says it expects to begin shipping the tablet to customers in mid-August. Microsoft’s Surface Duo dual-screen smartphone continues its march toward launch, this time with an appearance at the Bluetooth SIG website. And if you happened to take […]

Royole Mirage is a smart speaker wrapped in a flexible AMOLED touchscreen display

A year after introducing the first (and somewhat underwhelming) smartphone with a foldable display, Royole is showing off a product that makes use of flexible AMOLED display technology in a different way. The Royole Mirage is a cylinder-shaped smart speaker with 360-degree audio… and a 360-degree touchscreen that wraps around the devices. The 7.8 inch, […]

The only Cortana-powered smart speaker seems to be on the fritz

Apple has Siri. Amazon has Alexa. Google has Assistant. Samsung has… Bixby, I guess. And Microsoft has Cortana. But Microsoft’s voice assistant never really took off the same way as its competition, despite coming pre-loaded on millions of Windows PCs. Recently Microsoft announced it was killing its standalone Cortana apps for smartphones. And now it […]

Amazon launches battery-powered Echo Input portable speaker (in India)

Amazon’s Echo line of smart speakers and smart displays has exploded in recent years… but one thing the company hasn’t offered is a portable, battery-powered Echo. Now the company has one of those too. The new Amazon Echo Input is a compact, 360-degree speaker with up to 10 hours of battery life while playing music, […]

Streaming updates: Spotify free comes to Alexa speakers, Sling TV works with Nest Hub

Just a few days after Amazon announced that its free, ad-supported music streaming services was now available on devices other than Echo smart speakers, rival Spotify has announced that its ad-supported music streams are now available on Echo speakers… along with just about anything else that supports the Alexa voice service, including Amazon Fire TV products. It’s […]

[Updated – replacement hardware on the way] Google bricks some Google Home devices with software updates (and inadvertently highlights conflict between auto updates and short user warranties)

One of the key selling points of Chromebooks, Chromecasts, and Google Home and Nest devices is that they receive automatic updates delivered straight from Google’s servers. The devices download and install the latest bug fixes, features, and security patches automatically on smart home devices and media streamers — although you’ll need to reboot your Chromebook occasionally […]

Researchers expose Amazon, Google smart speaker vulnerability that could let malicious apps spy on you

The smart speaker space has exploded over the past few years, as Amazon, Google, Apple, and others have continued to crank out internet-connected, voice activated speakers that you can control by talking to them. But some folks have been wary of putting devices with always-listening microphones in their homes, and reports have indicated that there’s […]