Analysts see uphill climb for Apple HomePod as Amazon and Google rule smart speaker market

2017 was the first year that smart speakers became extremely popular as Christmas and Chanukah gifts. Amazon, who created the category in 2015 with the Amazon Echo, has a huge lead in market share over Google and its Google Home series. This past holiday shopping season saw both Amazon and Google fight over market share by cutting the price on their low-end smart speaker. Combined, both firms have a large lead in smart speaker market share.

During the holidays, the Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini were both priced at $29. Both were about $50 prior to the sale. Amazon’s cost to produce …


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

Google has had a busy 2017 and artificial intelligence (AI) has been the keyword for the company this year.
With the Google Assistant at the core of two new Pixel phones and a huge push for the smart home with the Google Home, AI is now at the very core of Google products for the year. The big benefits of AI came to fruition in the Pixel 2’s excellent camera that takes computationally-enhanced photos that rival the best out there, but apps like Google Photos and many others including search are better because of AI.
So what will Google be up …

Samsung users: do you use Google Chrome or the stock Samsung Browser?

For a long, long time, most Android users have been used to taking a certain set of steps when setting up their brand-new device, no matter its brand. Among these steps is setting Google Chrome as a default browser for your phone and overriding whatever proprietary app the manufacturer tried to force upon them. Many phone makers have now given up on making their own Internet browsers, but Samsung is one that just doesn’t give up.

But here comes the plot twist — the Samsung Internet Browser has actually become good through the years. It’s fast, it supports extensions, …

Prisma surpasses 50 million downloads in the Google Play Store, do you still use it?

Prisma has just joined the esteemed group of Android apps that have been downloaded more than 50 million times. Initially launched on the iOS platform, Prisma made its debut in the Google Play Store back in July 2016.

In less than one year and a half, Prisma exceeded the 50 million downloads mark, an impressive achievement coming from such a small company. Even though it’s one of the most popular Android apps, we can’t help but wonder how many of you are still using Prisma to turn your photos into awesome artworks.

One of the reasons Prisma became an instant …

HQ Trivia game for Android goes live in the Google Play Store, play to win real money

Popular mobile game HQ Trivia has finally made its debut on the Android platform after a short beta testing period. Although the game shows as “unreleased” in the Google Play Store, it appears that everyone can download and play it.

HQ Trivia has quickly become a phenomenon after being released on the iOS since it’s one of the few mobile games that allows players to win real money. If you make it to the end of the game and you collect at least $20, you can actually transfer the money to your Paypal account.

But how exactly does HQ Trivia work? Well, it’s …

So long, Pixel C: the hybrid tablet is gone from the Google Store

The Google Pixel C was a quirky little tablet with a cool magnetically-attached keyboard, introduced way back in December of 2015. It didn’t enjoy much popularity — despite being marketed as a productivity machine, it ran pretty much vanilla Android and it was pricey, starting at $499 with the keyboard being a separate $149 buy. Still, it had its fandom.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time for the Pixel C’s price to drop and the stars to align themselves in the right way so you could pull the trigger and buy one, that moment is quickly fleeting. The Google Pixel C has been silently …

Google has developed AI voice that sounds indistinguishable from the voice of a real human

Google has pioneered a brand new text-to-speech system that it calls Tacotron 2 and it works with stunning accuracy, delivering voice narrations that are indistinguishable from the voice of a real human. This is not an exaggeration: Tacotron 2 is the second generation of the technology and it consists of two deep neural networks, one that converts the text into a special spectogram (like the one you see in the picture above), and the second one, the WaveNet, that reads this chart and interprets it into a real voice.
The system is currently …

Google Pixel 2 shows the largest bump in activations during the Christmas holiday weekend

Despite recent reports revealing multiple issues with the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL (mostly with the screen and speaker), the two handsets enjoyed a surprisingly strong Christmas weekend and showed more growth in activations than the Apple iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The percentage increase is computed by subtracting the number of activations from the Christmas holiday weekend compared to the average number from the prior three weekends. A phone is considered to be activated once it starts opening and using apps.

At the top of the list is the Google Pixel 2, which …

Google Pixel 2 beats out the Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in activations this past holiday weekend

Despite recent reports revealing multiple issues with the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL (mostly with the screen and speaker), the two handsets enjoyed a surprisingly strong Christmas weekend and tallied more activations than the Apple iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. According to fresh data from  analytics company Localytics, the Pixel 2 accounted for a leading 38.61% of smartphone activations last weekend.

The Google Pixel 2 XL was second, with 31.41% of last weekend’s hook-ups. With 28.72%, the Apple iPhone X was in third place followed by the Apple iPhone 8 (17.7%) …

Google is thinking about opening stores in India to sell the Pixel 2, Google Home and more

India is the second largest smartphone market in the world. Despite a per capita income that is considered to be very low, Google has been encouraged by the strong response to the Pixel 2 handsets at pop-up stores that the company put up in the country. These temporary stores allowed Google to show off the Pixel 2 and allowed the company to answer any questions from Indian consumers related to the phone.

Two top tier malls in India say that they have received requests to open Google stores in their locations. One executive whose mall hosted one of the pop-ups, says that Google has learned …