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ITy Bytes 15 May | Gadget Guy Australia – GadgetGuy

ITy Bytes 15 May includes

  • Sonos gets vocal with Google Assistant;
  • Amazon Alexa gets Apple Music;
  • Telstra TV box now ISP agnostic;
  • Telstra loyalty program;
  • Bitdefender finds more security flaws in Intel x86
    processors;
  • Samsung launches Apple TV for select 2018 and 2019
    Smart TVs;

ITy Bytes 15 May

Sonos gets vocal with Google Assistant

Everyone loves Sonos speakers but for a very, very long time
it has been stuck with Amazon Alexa voice assistant which we know in Australia
has a very, very low take-up. The software update is said to allow concurrent
use of the two voice assistants. It won’t be in Australia until July.

We know for sure that it will support Sonos One and Beam and
we presume older Sonos products without far-field mics can be controlled via a
Google Assistant speaker. From what we can tell it should perform the full
range of Google Assistant speaker tasks including smart home commands and manage
tasks and plans. We are not sure if it supports a mixed brand multi-room speaker
environment.

This also means a mixed streaming/casting environment with
Apple Airplay 2 and Chromecast (not Amazon Fire TV) and access to its the 70+ music
streaming sources that are missing from current voice assistants.

ITy Bytes 15 May

Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO, said,

“We value freedom of choice, empowering listeners to choose what they want to listen to and how they want to control it. Adding voice, now with the Google Assistant, has made that control even easier.”

This move will ensure Sonos is at the top of the voice
assistant heap offering the widest range of streaming sources and pretty damned
good speakers.

Amazon Alexa gets Apple Music

Apple
Music subscribers can now access Apple Music’s 50 million songs on Amazon Alexa
enabled speakers.

You need
an Apple Music subscription and install the skill from the Amazon Skills store.
We are not sure it supports your custom Apple Music playlists (as it does not
with Spotify) but it does support Apple Music Editors suggested playlists.

ITy Bytes 15 May

Telstra 4K TV box now ISP agnostic

Telstra no longer locks its TV streaming box to its BigPond
broadband. If you are a Telstra customer (pay for a Telstra service), you can
buy the Roku based streaming box for $216 outright and use another ISP. This
gives you access to catchup TV like iView, 7Plus, TenPlay, SBS on Demand, and 9
Now.

It also has paid subscription services like Foxtel Now,
Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, various sports channels like Kayo and more.

Telstra TV now
supports up to 4K content and includes a DBT Tuner, Dolby 7.1 support, Wi-Fi AC
dual band or Ethernet, and connects to the TV via HDMI 2.0. It is Google
Assistant compatible.

Most modern 4K TVs have a range of the above ‘clients’ so
you may not need one, but it can add smart features to an older TV.

It delivers all services (apart from free-to-air TV) via the
internet so ideally, you will have NBN50 or better for 4K streaming and 60-minutes
of 4K content can consume up to 90GB. So, it is really only viable with an
unlimited NBN plan.

GadgetGuy is reviewing one now.

ITy Bytes 15 May

Telstra loyalty program – is that an oxymoron?

Telstra Plus
is a loyalty program that earns points for what you spend with Telstra. The problem
is that its points are infinitesimal – a $45 Google Home mini speaker needs
14,000 points or $1,400 spend – that is a reward of .321428571%. There are
bonus points for joining before 30 June. The rewards store is not yet open.


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