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 […]

Microsoft Cortana is losing music and smart home features (in shift to productivity aid)

Cortana started off looking like Microsoft’s answer to Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. These days it’s looking… a lot less useful. Microsoft has announced a few new scheduling and task management features for voice and keyboard users… but the company has also revealed that it’s pulling the plug on a whole bunch of other features. […]

Microsoft is killing its standalone Cortana apps for Android & iOS (in some regions, at least)

Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Cortana apps for Android and iOS according to supports pages on the Microsoft Australia, Canada, and UK websites. It’s possible the app will live on in the US and other markets, but I’m not holding my breath. Does this mean Microsoft is giving up on supporting the smartphone […]

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 […]

Report: Google’s Nest WiFi mesh routers will double as smart speakers

Google is holding an event October 15th where the company will officially launch the much-leaked Pixel 4 line of smartphones. But the company could also use the event to introduce other new products… like an update to its Google WiFi line of mesh networking routers. According to a report from 9to5Google, the next version of […]

Jibo’s robot-shaped smart speaker becomes even more useless as servers are shut off

Smart speakers powered by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are so common today that it’s easy to forget that the original Amazon Echo was introduced less than five years ago. At the time voice assistants were, at best, things we used on our phones. But Amazon wasn’t the first company to announce plans for a […]

Microsoft’s new Cortana strategy: Embrace, extend, and if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

Voice assistants were everywhere at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, where hundreds of new products featuring Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant technology made their debut. You know what you didn’t hear much about? Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant. There’s only a single smart speaker that ever shipped with Cortana baked in (and it’s currently selling for […]

Non-Cortana voice assistants could become first-class citizens on Windows 10

Windows 10 ships with Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant software baked in. There’s not even a separate search icon in the taskbar — currently you can choose between a Cortana/Search box or a Cortana circle icon. But a recent Windows 10 preview build offers a new look: separate search and Cortana icons. Folks who have dug […]

Amazon launches Echo Wall Clock, Echo Auto, Alexa-enabled microwave, and other voice-enabled gadgets

In case you missed the memo, Amazon launched a lot of new Alexa-enabled devices today. In addition to new Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Input, and Echo Sub, and Echo Link devices, the company also introduced a bunch of accessories that let you interact with Alexa in new ways and new places. For example, […]