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Google launches new Assistant developer tools

At its I/O conference, Google today announced a slew of new tools for developers who want to build experiences for the company’s Assistant platform. These range from the ability to build games for smart displays, like the Google Home Hub and the launch of App Actions for taking users from an Assistant answer to their native apps, to a new Local Home SDK that allows developers to run their smart home code locally on Google Home Speakers and Nest Displays. This Local Home SDK may actually be the most important…

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Amazons Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February

Amazons Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure is up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced back in February, which had then represented a 3x increase from September. The new 15,000 figure was first reported via third-party analysis from Voicebot, and Amazon has now confirmed to TechCrunch that the number is accurate. According to Voicebot, which only analyzed skills in the U.S., the milestone was reached for the…

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How Google could fire up its smart home play

When it was unveiled at last years I/O, Home felt like little more than Googles attempt to cash in on the Echos success. And the intervening year hasnt done a lot to dispel that notion. The company announced a handful of additions to Home and Assistant at this years event to try to pull even with Amazons lead, but the whole Google Home offering still feels ambling and aimless. That Google thought it had a slam dunk with Assistant on the mobile side hasnt helped much, either. Since launching on…

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Google Home has stopped answering to that annoying Burger King ad

The internet barely had time to be annoyed for that new 15 second Burger King ad before Google shut the whole thing down. A little over two hours after the fast food giant took the wraps off of a TV spot designed to trigger smart assistants across the country, the functionality no longer works. Weve reached out to Google for confirmation of the action, which was likely just a quick fix on the server side designed to block a specific waveform, perhaps leveraging similar functionality to block out its own…

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