Apple Wants to Patent a Voice Assistant That Knows When to Whisper Back

Sometimes it feels like we’re inching closer to a future like the movie Her, where humans spend their time wandering around, constantly chatting to their own personal AI assistants. Today, services like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are getting better at responding to some types of requests, but because they can misunderstand questions and aren’t cognisant of their surroundings, they’re often super awkward to use in public spaces around other people. But a patent filed by Apple and made public today suggests Siri may someday detect when you’re whispering at it, and in turn know when to whisper back. Read More >>

consumer tech
Tile is the Worst Tech Stocking Stuffer

I lose things. Lots and lots of things—my keys (in the couch), my jackets (inside taxis). Once I left my MacBook behind in a Subway restaurant during the Occupy Wall Street protests. I was lucky; the next morning I found it sitting there untouched underneath a chair as the staff served breakfast. I’ll admit it: When it comes to keeping track of my stuff, I could use some help. But dearest friends, family, and coworkers, whatever you’re thinking, do not buy me a Tile. Read More >>

The New Animal Crossing Stinks

Moderately motion sick while stuck on a coach to my parents' last weekend, I downloaded the pick-me-up I was certain my brain required: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. And crossed the animals did, over a shaky mobile connection and onto my iPhone as the bus lurched into stop-and-go traffic. Read More >>

Here Is Snapchat’s ‘Disruptive’ New Redesign

Snapchat, the photo-sharing app the olds can’t seem to figure out, is getting a facelift this week in a do-or-die attempt to win over new users. Snap, the social app’s parent company, said this redesign was coming earlier this month. And today we get see their vision of an “easier to use” Snapchat. Read More >>

Can We Talk About Kickstarter’s New Squishy, Podgy Blob?

Kickstarter revealed the Amorphous Blob responsible for eating its old logo eight days ago. Eight! And hardly anybody has noticed. Read More >>

Wet, Warm, Glorious: I Tried the Atomising Shower That Wooed Tim Cook

Instead of a normal shower, imagine standing up every morning inside of a storm cloud: The shower curtain bucking and bellowing in the wind; the air, hot and humid as a heavy mist envelopes you, washing away soapy suds. That’s what it’s like to use a Nebia, the shower system that’s won over the biggest names in tech without a single “smart” feature. No sensors, no Bluetooth, no Wi-Fi, but it feels goddamn glorious. Read More >>

Snapchat Is Redesigning Its App Because It Knows It’s Too Hard to Use

To make Snapchat more useable for olds, Snap is planning a “disruptive” redesign that could piss off the young. Read More >>

It Sounds Like Snap’s Spectacles Blunder Was Even Bigger Than We Thought

“Excess” camera sunglasses have cost Snapchat’s parent company Snap $39.9 million in the last three months. The news is not a great look for Snap, which—according to the Information—had “hundreds of thousands” Spectacles piling up in warehouses as of last month. We knew about the inventory; now we get to hear about the cancelled orders for more. Read More >>

Tim Cook Says If You Can Afford Nice Coffee You Can Buy a £1,000 Phone

The iPhone X costs more than any phone Apple has ever sold, at £1,000 a pop. But Apple expects people will buy truckloads of them anyways, according to the company’s earnings release today, and CEO Tim Cook seems to believe you can afford one, too, because if you break a monthly payment plan down, it’s “less than a coffee a day at one of those expensive coffee places.” Read More >>

iPhone X Thieves Reportedly Rob £300,000 Worth of Phones From UPS Truck Before Launch Day

Today, Apple lifted the veil off its long-awaited, very expensive new iPhone. But yesterday, three reportedly “husky” dudes made off with as many as 313 iPhone X devices. The phones were apparently sitting inside a UPS truck outside of a San Francisco Apple store when they were stolen earlier this afternoon. Read More >>

Snap’s Latest Hardware is a Dancing Hot Dog Costume

Last year, Snapchat became a “camera company,” changed its name to Snap, and unveiled its first piece of hardware: camera sunglasses called Spectacles. Today, Snap is evolving yet again. That AR dancing hot dog, the star of its last earnings call, is now officially an $80 (£60) halloween costume available on Amazon. Read More >>

Sonos Finally Squished Alexa Into a Speaker, But Maybe Just Buy a Dot

Sonos wouldn’t like it, but you could call its new smart speaker an “Echo.” A high-end, very nice-sounding, but flawed Amazon Echo—the kind someone who just got a promotion might buy themselves, because unlike the £50 Dot or new £100 Echo, this speaker will set you back £200. Read More >>

smart speakers
The Sonos Smart Speaker is Finally Here

At long last, Sonos is ready for small talk. The wireless speaker company—whose gloss has dulled as Amazon, Google, and soon Apple, have released increasingly decent “smart” speakers over the last couple of years—is finally releasing a speaker with built-in voice commands. It’s called the Sonos One and it comes with Amazon’s Alexa assistant built in. In 2018, Sonos says it will support Google’s Assistant, too. Read More >>

Snapchat CEO on Company Earnings: The Dancing Hot Dog Was Loved by All

Despite sounding pretty screwed during its second-ever investor call on Thursday, Snapchat had a teeny nugget of good news to share. “Our dancing hot dog is likely the world’s very first augmented reality superstar,” said billionaire Snap CEO Evan Spiegel on a webcast with investors. The dancing dog has been seen more than 1.5 billion times inside the app, Spiegel said, which is fun news indeed! Read More >>

The iPod Shuffle Review (2017)

Apple is doing away with the iPod Shuffle, a gadget I’d eradicated from my mind until yesterday. And now I’m suddenly awash with emotion for a little white stick I hadn’t considered once in this decade. I’m going to miss the hell out of it. Damn you Apple, quit playing shuffle with my heart. Read More >>