Samsung Electronics said its Bixby voice assistant for smartphones will start speaking English but only in two countries: South Korea and the U.S. The South Korean tech giant said starting Wednesday, users of the Galaxy S8 smartphones can speak in American English to their phones to turn on the flashlight, take a selfie or make the phone search for say, pictures from a summer vacation, and create an album. Samsung did not say why it could not make Bixby in English available to users outside South Korea or the U.S. or when it will become available in other languages in other countries. It also comes about one month before Samsung is widely expected to announce its latest iteration of the Galaxy Note smartphone after the discontinuation of its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone last year.
A judge will decide if a lawsuit can proceed against a gay dating app after over 1,000 sex-hungry men accosted a New York man at home and work after an ex-boyfriend posted fake profiles. Grindr asked a Manhattan federal court judge Wednesday to toss out Matthew Herrick's claims. The company says the Communications Decency Act protects it from liability and Herrick should sue his ex-lover instead. Herrick sued Grindr, saying he couldn't stop a steady stream of unwelcome visitors despite roughly 100 complaints reporting the damage from dozens of fake profiles made in his name.
Google is trying to turn its search engine into an employment engine. Beginning Tuesday, job hunters will be able to go to Google and see help-wanted listings that its search engine collects across the internet. The results will aim to streamline such listings by eliminating duplicate jobs posted on different sites. This detailed jobs information is a departure from the way Google's main search engine has traditionally shown only bare-bones links to various help-wanted sites.
Apple unveiled new hardware, including a Siri-powered speaker, and previewed upcoming iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch features as the company's Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off Monday. With an upcoming software update for iPhones and iPads, Siri will learn your habits based on what articles you might be reading, for instance. Apple is trying to make augmented reality a reality with new tools for iPhones and iPads. Apple also unveiled the high-end iMac Pro coming in December starting at about $5,000.
Two years after Amazon introduced its sleeper hit Echo device, and a year after Google Home, Apple now has the voice-activated HomePod, a high-end music speaker priced at $349 that will be powered by Siri. Apple also unveiled a new augmented reality developer kit that would help Apple app developers integrate this technology that overlays digital images on the physical world, made popular by Pokemon Go. The availability of AR technology on hundreds of millions of Apple's mobile devices has the potential to help make iOS "the largest AR platform in the world overnight," CEO Tim Cook said. The biggest pitch was left for the very last, when CEO Tim Cook announced the 7-inch, $349 HomePod, which ships in December.
The Cupertino, Calif., company announced Monday at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose the HomePod, a home speaker with Apple's digital assistant Siri built into it. Similar to Amazon's Echo and Google's Home -- voice-activated, internet-connected speakers that play music, answer questions and provide information such as the news, weather, sports updates and metric conversions -- the HomePod listens and responds to voice commands. And while its competition has had a head start -- the Amazon Echo launched in 2014 for Amazon Prime members and the Google Home was released last year -- experts in voice and visual search said instead of being late to the party, Apple could raise the bar like it did for digital music players when it launched the iPod, or smartphones, as it did with the iPhone. "It's a great dance they're doing," Levine said, because as powerful as Apple's technology may be, Amazon remains the market leader and has a built-in market in Amazon Prime subscribers.
The HomePod speaker unveiled at a conference for software programmers Monday is similar to devices that rivals Amazon and Google have already been selling, though Apple says it's giving more emphasis to sound quality, not just smarts. It comes as Apple is poised to unveil a Siri-powered internet-connected speaker to rival Amazon's Echo and Google Home. The free software update for mobile devices, iOS 11, is expected in September when Apple typically releases new iPhones. Later Monday, it's expected to announce an internet-connected smart speaker to compete with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home.
Apple will compete with Google Home and Amazon Echo later this year with a new speaker called HomePod. Apple says its looking to "reinvent" the way we listen to music in the home. "It's the biggest brains ever in a speaker," said Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller. The HomePod speaker will sell for $349, twice as much as the Amazon Echo.