This week Benjamin and Zac discuss iTunes coming to the Windows Store, Amazon Prime for Apple TV rumored for WWDC, the latest iPad Pro rumors, Apple buying a sleep tracking company, the Amazon Echo Show and Siri Speaker rumors, Apple’s new iPhone photography videos, and the Mother’s Day Activity Challenge for Apple Watch. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.
Last week Recode reported that Amazon and Apple were actively discussing plans to bring Prime Video to Apple TV later this year, and now Buzzfeed is reporting that yes, really, it’s happening and the deal is now official. Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV is expected to be introduced on stage at WWDC next month and launch later this summer, according to the report.
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Included in Bloomberg’s coverage of the new Amazon Echo Show is a mention of the rumored Siri Speaker as well as Apple Music. Bloomberg reports that Siri Speaker has been tested in Apple employee homes for several months, echoing earlier reporting from last fall, while adding that it’s unknown if Siri Speaker will feature a display.
What makes that better than an iPad or any other tablet? Amazon hopes the answer is its Alexa voice assistant. While I’m curious about a voice-activated, always-present voice assistant that anyone can access in the home, the original Amazon Echo has more appeal to me. If Siri Speaker is something we see next month at WWDC (before Echo Show ships!), I’m hoping it’s more Amazon Echo and less Echo Show…
Amazon has officially announced its latest addition to the Echo family, the $229 Amazon Echo Show. Adding to its popular range of home virtual assistant devices, the Show combines the usual Amazon Alexa voice commands with a 7 inch touchscreen, displaying relevant visual content like weather reports and music lyrics in response to your voice queries.
It also features a camera to enable FaceTime-like video calls between friends and family. The Echo Show is up for pre-order now, available in white or black models, and is shipping to customers from June 28.
Amazon Prime members wanting to watch their included movies and TV shows on an Apple TV have so far had to rely on clunky workarounds, like AirPlaying the content from another Apple device. All that appears set to change as it’s reported that the Amazon Video app will be coming to Apple TV by the fall …
KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has published an industry report today claiming that Apple will likely announce a Siri Speaker product (branding unknown, Kuo calls it ‘Apple’s first home AI product’) at WWDC in June. The device will compete with the Amazon Echo and go on sale in the second half of the year.
Kuo says Apple’s product will feature ‘excellent’ sound with seven tweeters and a subwoofer, and will be positioned as a more premium product than the Echo … with a higher price tag to match.
Taking to Twitter, leaker Sonny Dickson has shared more alleged details on the rumored upcoming Siri speaker. Introducing some new concepts not previously shared, Dickson believes that the speaker could see its debut at this year’s WWDC.
The high-performance far-field microphones found in Amazon Echo products may soon find their way to other hardware companies as Amazon has announced that the technology will be available to those who want to integrate into the Alexa Experience.
Building on the app’s ability to order using your voice, Alexa will act as your assistant while shopping the Amazon app, allowing you to search and reorder items, track your orders, and more. But it will also include most of the other functionality Alexa has to offer.
Earlier this week, Amazon’s Web Services suffered from a significant outage, bringing down a number of online services and plaguing Apple’s own iCloud platform. While not much was known about what caused the lengthy outage at the time, Amazon has published a new blog post detailing what exactly went wrong, pinpointing it on a human error.
There’s no shortage of options for virtual meetings these days, from Apple’s own FaceTime through Skype, WebEx, Facebook, WhatsApp and many others. But Amazon believes that there’s room for one more, aiming Chime specifically at businesses looking for an easier and more manageable way to host video meetings.
Meetings start on time because they’re easy to join – meetings call you and you can join with a single tap. Lengthy pins are a thing of the past. A visual roster shows who has joined the meeting and who is running late, and allows anyone to mute background noise. Amazon Chime offers rich apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac, and your chats are always synchronized across your devices. You can switch seamlessly between devices anytime, even in the middle of a meeting …
As it continues to focus on the evolution of the Apple TV, Apple has reportedly hired the former Amazon Fire TV head, Timothy D. Twerdahl. According to Bloomberg, the former Amazon executive will head up the Apple TV business, freeing up other executives to spearhead different efforts.