At my last newspaper, I gave tours of the press. Whenever someone asked a tough question, I’d try to find the answer for them. What I wouldn’t do is apologize and forget about it. Yet that’s exactly what our digital assistants – Alexa, Cortana, et al. – do. When our virtual assistants don’t know an […]
You want to find an app or create a folder. Do you do it yourself or summon Siri? If you’re like me, you probably try to accomplish your goal sans Siri. That’s a stunning fall from grace for the once-extolled digital assistant. When Siri was born eight years ago, she was smart. Now, she’s entered […]
With all her shortcomings, it’s come in vogue to inveigh against Siri. But how short has she really come? I was curious why the bodiless voice that seduced us at launch no longer satisfies expectations. So I put Siri to the test and assembled a list of skills one could reasonably expect by now. Alas, here’s a […]
Every Sunday the greeters at my church hand out bulletins. They typically run out. In this digital age, when nearly everyone has a screen in their pocket, why are we still using paper bulletins, guidebooks, programs, menus, et cetera? The problem isn’t putting the information online. It’s getting newcomers and short-term visitors to the right digital […]
Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]
I bought Amazon’s Echo soon after it launched in late 2014. Since then, the device has received dozens of new features – and a few competitors, like the Google Home and Apple’s HomePod. With three tech giants now offering their own monochromic, tubular robots, which company is giving me the most free new stuff post-purchase? […]
CNN may have the most advanced drone program of any news outlet in the U.S. The network’s senior director of aerial imagery and reporting, Greg Agvent, recently visited Las Vegas. Here are six things you probably didn’t know about how CNN uses drones to cover news: 1. CNN typically flies DJI drones The standard drone […]
My grandparents recently received an Amazon Echo Show. My family hoped the device would let them easily video chat with their children and grandchildren. We quickly learned, however, that Echos can’t make calls (video, audio, or messages) without a cell phone. And my grandparents don’t own a cell phone. They have a tablet, which allowed us […]
Since Amazon’s Echo Spot was released in December, the smart speaker has already seen a few software updates. While Amazon can update Alexa’s brains remotely and frequently, improving the actual hardware of the device means building a second-generation product. Here’s a look at five ways Amazon could improve on the Spot’s hardware in the future. […]
Whether you know it or not, you probably love Google’s Quick Answers.They’re the boxes that provide specific info above other results when you press enter or click “Google Search.” The feature has been saving us time since 2014 by providing answers up-front. But what if Google could save us a second more? Google could implement […]
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