Amazon's Echo Show lets users tap the screen to access Alexa

Engadget

Amazon is making it easier for those with hearing and speech impairments to utilize Alexa. Starting today, the Echo Show will have an option to toggle on a new feature called "Tap to Alexa," which will let users tap the device's screen to access the digital assistant. The feature includes shortcuts to common Alexa items like weather, timers, news and traffic, and users can also type out Alexa commands. Additionally, while Amazon launched its Alexa captioning feature in the US a few months ago, it's now releasing that feature to users in the UK, Germany, Japan, India, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. To activate Tap to Alexa, head over to the Echo Show's device settings, select the accessibility settings and switch the feature on.


Google Assistant coming to LG ThinQ TVs in 7 countries

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South Korean tech Major LG Electronics has announced that Google Assistant is coming to its 2018 line-up of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled ThinQ TVs in seven new countries. The company's ThinQ TVs came with integrated Google's digital assistant when they were introduced in the US and added support for Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa's commands soon after. "Google Assistant will be available in Canada, Australia and the UK, with support coming to South Korea, Spain, France and Germany by the end of the year," The Verge reported late on Friday. "The built-in ThinQ AI, which runs on LG's own'WebOS' can be used for TV-specific commands, such as'search for the soundtrack of this movie', while Google Assistant and Alexa can be used as a smart home hub," it said. The company was also planning on bringing Amazon Alexa support to Australia and Canada in the future.


What Happens Next: Microsoft Is Ending Cortana Support For Android & iOS

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Microsoft is devising a new roadmap for Cortana by integrating it with various applications. Earlier in 2019, Satya Nadela, CEO of Microsoft, said that the firm no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to other prominent virtual assistants Alexa and Google Now. The company is rather working towards revamping the way Cortana is being leveraged across the world. In an announcement on Friday, Microsoft notified users of several countries that they are pulling out Cortana support from Android and iOS platforms. Come 31 January 2020, Cortana will disappear from India, UK, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Germany, and China.


McDonald's Claims First 'Voice Apply' Process

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"Alexa, help me find a job at McDonald's." That's how interested job seekers can start an application with the global fast-food company, McDonald's recently announced. Claiming it to be the world's first voice-initiated job application process, the company has launched McDonald's Apply Thru, which works on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The app is currently available in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom and is expected to roll out to other countries in the coming months. Once Alexa or Google Assistant responds, users are asked to provide basic information, such as their name, contact information, job area of interest and location. Potential applicants then receive a text message with a link to the McDonald's careers site to continue their application process.


Follow your favorite local sports teams with Apple's latest TV update

Engadget

Its venerable phone line wasn't the only newly minted product Apple showed off at the iPhone 8 event on Tuesday. Eddie Cue announced onstage that the company will expand availability of its TV app to seven new countries by the end of the year and will be adding local news and sports programming as well. The TV app will be available in Australia and Canada next month, the spread to Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and the UK by the end of the year. US sports fans (that is, those that live in the country), will be able to track their favorite teams and have Apple TV push an on-screen notification whenever a game starts. By the end of the year, Apple also announced that users will be able to ask Siri directly to switch to a game.