BetaNews: Amazon launches Alexa Skill Blueprints. “As Apple’s HomePod fails due to a still-disappointing Siri, Google and Amazon’s offerings remain the cream of the crop. Which of those two you prefer is a matter of personal preference, although I prefer Alexa having tried both. Today, Alexa is getting a unique new feature that sets it apart from Google even more. Called ‘Alexa Skill Blueprints,’ you can easily create custom Skills without any programming experience.”
Mashable: Amazon Alexa spouted conspiracy theory when asked about chemtrails. “Ask Alexa about chemtrails, and she’ll tell you it’s a government conspiracy. Seriously.” This has since been fixed, but GOOD GRIEF.
BBC News: ‘Siri, will talking ever top typing?’. “We’re growing more used to chatting to our computers, phones and smart speakers through voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Assistant. And blind and partially sighted people have been using text-to-speech converters for decades. Some think voice could soon take over from typing and clicking as the main way to interact online. But what are the challenges of moving to ‘the spoken web’?”
TechHive: Google Assistant rolls out Routines. “Google has begun rolling out Routines, a new feature of Google Assistant that allows users to string together a number of actions with a single phrase. There are six routines in the initial roll out: ‘Good morning,’ ‘Bedtime,’ Leaving home,’ ‘I’m, home,’ Commuting to work,’ and Commuting home.’ “
IFTTT Blog: “Hey Cortana,” welcome to IFTTT. “Today, we are thrilled to announce that Microsoft’s Cortana is now on IFTTT and to welcome new communities of voice users to the flexibility of Applets. Available as a mobile app, Windows 10 app, and speaker — Cortana is ready to help wherever you go.”
Search Engine Land: What 3,000 voice search queries tell us about the ‘Voice Search Revolution’. “Do you think voice search is the next ‘big thing’ digital marketers need to watch for? Contributor Bryson Meunier isn’t so sure and feels there are limited marketing opportunities, based on his research.”
Recode: Expect to talk to your devices a lot more in the future. “If what we have seen in the first couple of days of CES is any indicator of what is in store for us in 2018, we can expect to be talking a lot. Most of the time, probably more like shouting commands right, left and center to devices scattered around our house, in the office and the car.”