Connect with us

Tech

Amazon, Apple and Google unite to form smart home partnership – Metro.co.uk

Published

on


Tech’s biggest names have joined together for a new partnership (Google)

Technology giants Amazon, Apple and Google have put aside their rivalries to form a partnership over the ‘smart home’ revolution.

The idea is to improve compatibility between devices like thermostats, speakers and security cameras.

The firms, along with the Zigbee Alliance, have created Project Connected Home over IP, which they say will help make smart home products more compatible with a wider range of operating systems and speakers – making them easier for consumers to set-up and use.

The Zigbee Alliance includes firms such as Ikea and Samsung SmartThings, which also manufacturer smart home devices.

Amazon and Google, through their respective voice assistants Alexa and the Google Assistant and the smart speakers in which they are housed, hold the majority of market share in smart home products.

However, not all smart home devices – which can include connected lightbulbs, entertainment systems and kitchen appliances – are compatible with every virtual assistant or platform.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Announcing the partnership via its new website, the companies said the aim is to ‘simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers’.

The group said it wants to develop a connectivity standard – with security a fundamental feature – which all their respective smart home products would use.

It said it hopes a shared approach will resolve current issues around compatibility in the market.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX (9466757a) MODEL RELEASED Woman using tablet with smart home control functions at home VARIOUS

Current smart home setups can be conflicting and confusing (Rex Features)

The group said: ‘The project aims to improve the consumer experience of trying to use smart home products that aren’t compatible with each other.

‘We believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and others.

‘If the working group succeeds with this goal, customers can be confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to set up and control it with their preferred system.’

The group said it hopes to publish its first draft specifications on the issue by the end of next year.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Amazon brings Netflix to Echo Show, reveals new Alexa features – MobileSyrup

Published

on


During the company’s fall hardware event, Amazon revealed several new Alexa features for all of its Echo hardware and more.

One of the more low-key, yet still important announcement was the fact that Amazon is bringing Netflix to the Echo Show. While most people probably don’t watch movies on smart display, official YouTube and Netflix apps were sorely missed when Amazon announced the product, so it’s nice to see at least one of them finally make it to the platform.

Alexa does group calls

Group calls are also coming to Echo devices, allowing you and your whole family to jump on a call together from the comfort of your living room. You can even set up the feature from Alexa to work with the command “Alexa, call my family,” to start a group chat.

Zoom comes to Echo Show

Popular video chat app Zoom is coming to the Echo Show, which should help some people make group calls. A few people I know that keep an Echo Show 5 on their desk will likely be happy with this new feature.

Care Hub

This feature is designed to help the elderly or someone who can’t be left alone at all times. You set it up in the Alexa app, and then can say “Alexa, call for help” to get quick access to a preset emergency contact.

The other part of this feature is kind of creepy. The Echo device then looks for motion, and if it doesn’t detect movement at a pre-set time, it sends an alert to the emergency context so they can call to check-in.

“Alexa, delete everything I’ve ever said”

This command deletes all the voice data that Amazon has gathered from you in an easy way. Amazon also mentioned that in the future, users will be able to set Alexa to never record their conversations in the app.

If you want to dive deeper into the new privacy settings, you can read Amazon’s blog dedicated to the update here.

New sound detectors

Amazon is taking its ‘Guard’ platform to the next level with new sound-based routines. That means Alexa can now listen for things like a dog barking or a baby crying and adjust smart lights automatically.

These seem very simple, but if Amazon rolls out enough sound triggers, people will be able to set up a lot of automatic routines that could streamline their smart home setup considerably.

You can learn more about Alexa’s new features here.

Source: Amazon 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Apple acquires Scout FM app that transforms the podcast experience with smart stations – 9to5Mac

Published

on


Apple recently acquired the startup Scout FM, according to a Bloomberg report. The company offers an app that creates smart stations for podcast listeners, bringing a similar experience to radio stations.

An Apple spokesman confirmed the acquisition, but no further details were provided. The report mentions that Apple bought Scout FM earlier this year to enhance its own podcast platform amid growing competition from Spotify.

As we covered once here on 9to5Mac, Scout FM brings a different approach to the podcast experience. Instead of offering individual podcasts, the app creates smart podcast stations based on different topics, such as sports or technology.

Scout FM uses artificial intelligence to identify user preferences and suggest new relevant content. Prior to being removed from the App Store, the app was available for Apple devices and it was also compatible with CarPlay and Amazon Alexa.

Apple has been investing in its Podcasts platform with new features and the production of original shows, as Spotify has been increasingly growing with similar efforts. The company didn’t say how Scout FM will be incorporated into its Podcasts app, but we’ll probably see some new related features beginning next year.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

[embedded content]

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Epic, Spotify and other Apple critics form coalition to take on App Store rules – CNET

Published

on



Angela Lang/CNET

More than a dozen app makers and other companies have joined together to form the Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit group that’s taking aim at Apple and its App Store rules. Among the founding members are Spotify, Epic Games and Match Group, all of which have been vocal critics of the fees Apple charges developers. 

“As enforcers, regulators, and legislators around the world investigate Apple for its anti-competitive behavior, The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs at Spotify, in a release on Thursday.

The coalition comes as Apple is locked in a public battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games. Fortnite was kicked off both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in August after Epic attempted to bypass the 30% fee Apple and Google charge developers. Epic countered by filing lawsuits against both companies. Apple earlier this month raised the stakes further by requesting monetary damages if it convinces a judge that it was within its rights to kick Fortnite off its more than 1.5 billion active iPhones and iPads.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment on the coalition. On Thursday, the company published several pages on its website highlighting the benefits of the App Store for users and developers. Apple says the pages provide context for its broader work to support its app store, which now counts more than 28 million developers worldwide, and 1.5 billion devices across 175 countries.

The App Store helps developers “from start to finish — to build, test, market, and distribute your products and grow your business,” says Apple’s site.

The Coalition for App Fairness also released a set of 10 App Store Principles that is says will help “protect the app economy” and ensure that the “benefits of digital technologies are shared by everyone.”

Here is the full list of coalition’s founding members: Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Protonmail, SkyDemon, Spotify and Tile.


Now playing:
Watch this:

Epic v. Apple kicks off in court

9:28

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending