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Feature Request: Playing TV shows & movies on Apple TV using HomePod & Siri

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Since HomePod was released last month, a spotlight of sorts has been put on Siri – more specifically, Siri’s weaknesses. HomePod has stiff competition in the smart speaker space, with companies like Google and Amazon having their own, more advanced, voice assistants.

There are several ways in which the Google Assistant and Google Home outshine Siri, but one that has stood out to me since HomePod’s release is Google Home’s integration with Chromecast…

Essentially, if you have both a Google Home and a Chromecast dongle or Chromecast-enabled TV,  you can ask Google Home to play content on your TV. Google outlines the process in a support document here.

You can simply say, “Hey Google, play The West Wing on TV” and the show will start playing via Netflix or whatever streaming service you desire on your Chromecast-enabled TV. It’s a pretty seamless process that makes getting the content you want up and playing relatively quick.

As someone who owns both an Apple TV and HomePod, this is a feature I’d love for Apple to bring to Siri. Since HomePod’s release, I’ve become increasingly reliant on Siri for basic tasks, whether it be setting alarms, controlling the lights, or playing music. Adding Apple TV media control would make things even better. “Hey Siri, play The West Wing on the bedroom Apple TV.”

Of course, Apple TV already supports a feature somewhat like this using the Siri Remote, but you must have the Siri Remote in reach and long-press on the Siri button. Adding support for Apple TV control to Siri would make things much easier, allowing you to simply shout commands at HomePod.

Furthermore, Apple could almost certainly bring such a feature to Siri on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, as well as HomePod – allowing users to simply ask their nearest device to start playing their favorite TV show on movie, regardless of whether or not they owned a HomePod.

For Apple, one hindrance to rolling out such a feature is integration of all of the respective media applications. While the company has a basis for this with its TV app, it still hasn’t locked down the biggest streaming service of them all – Netflix. The lack of Netflix integration in the TV app is puzzling to me, especially when Netflix is supported for Google Home’s Chromecast control feature.

To me, this is another opportunity for Apple to flex its integration between devices. With features like Handoff, one of the top selling points of Apple products to many users is the ecosystem – yet a media control feature like this is seemingly an area where Google has a leg-up.

Would you take advantage of such a feature for HomePod and Apple TV? Let us know down in the comments!

Writer, DJ and coffee lover currently living in Chicago. Interests include getting random tattoos, eating ice cream and getting what I want. I also have wayyyy too many pairs of sneakers.

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Amazon Now Taking Pre-Orders For Microsoft’s Surface Go Tablet

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A couple of weeks ago Microsoft launched their latest Surface tablet in the form of the Surface Go. Shortly after the launch Microsoft started taking pre-orders for the device via the official Microsoft Store, but in case you prefer doing your shopping on Amazon for whatever reason, Amazon has also started to accept pre-orders for the tablet as well.

In terms of pricing, there is no difference from the Amazon listing and the Microsoft listing. This means that the model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will retail for $399, while the 8GB RAM and 128GB memory option will retail for slightly more expensive at $549. Some might wonder why shop through Amazon when you can buy it from Microsoft directly, but there are some advantages depending on where you live.

For example some reports have pointed out that over in Spain, Amazon Spain is giving a 25% discount on the higher-end model where instead of it being priced at 599 EUR, it is now priced at 449 EUR, so for our readers in Spain, you will be able to take advantage of this discount. However the downside is that the tablet will only begin shipping to you on the 28th of August for those living in Europe, versus the US where it is set for a release on the 2nd of August which is this coming Thursday.

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Mowgli Movie Will Now Release On Netflix In 2019

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Mowgli is a live-action Jungle Book adaptation that director Andy Serkis has been working on. Netflix has now purchased the rights to this movie and it will, therefore, be released on the online streaming network. The release date has been moved to 2019 as a result of this development which will now see this movie being released on Netflix first. This movie is different from Disney’s live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling classic which the studio released in 2016.

Rohan Chand stars in the lead role with Christian Bale playing Bagheera, Cate Blanchett playing Kaa, and Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role of Shere Khan. Andy Serkis himself will be playing Baloo.

This movie was actually supported to be released in 2016 as well but it has been delayed multiple times since then. The first trailer was released recently which mentioned October 19th, 2018 as the theatrical release date.

That was before Netflix had decided to acquire the rights to Mowgli. EW reports that with this acquisition, the release has been delayed yet again. Netflix is going to premiere Mowgli on its platform at some point next year.

Serkis has said that the decision to move the film to Netflix will help avoid a direct comparison with the Disney movie. The platform will also enable the director to have more creative freedom and explore darker themes, going so far as to explore the violence between animals.

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New iPad Pro Lineup Might Ditch The Headphone Jack

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Ever since Apple ditched the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on recent iPhone models there has been speculation that the company will do this for its other mobile devices as well. A new report has surfaced which claims that the upcoming iPad Pro lineup is not only going to be slightly smaller than its predecessor but will also ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The iPad Pro lineup due next year will reportedly see its dimensions being reduced a little for both the 10.5 inch and 12.9 inch models. The report also reiterates earlier rumors that the new iPad lineup is going to feature FaceID. A recent iOS 12 beta also revealed that there’s a big possibility that this biometric access control system might arrive with the next generation of Apple’s tablet.

The new iPad Pro models might be designed for vertical use as FaceID will reportedly not work when the tablet is in landscape mode. It may also adjust the positions of the Lightning connector and the smart connector for the keyboard for this purpose.

It is as yet unclear when Apple is going to unveil these new tablets. There have been a lot of reports and rumors about them in recent months and they will likely continue in the days to come.

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