After downloading the new app update, users will be able to press the Bluetooth button and ask either Siri or Google Now to play a song according to Ultimate Ears.
In addition to songs, users will also be able to ask Siri and Google Now (with the “OK, Google” command) for anything they can do on their iOS or Android devices, such as getting restaurant suggestions and directions.
We haven’t tried the new voice assistant integration ourselves yet, but early reports indicate there are some quirks. It’s not surprising considering Siri and Google Now are not native to UE’s Bluetooth speakers the way Alexa is a core component on the Amazon Tap; Apple and Google’s voice assistants are only routed to the Bluetooth speakers from their respective mobile devices.
Still, it’s nice users won’t have to fiddle around with their smartphones to select songs and control playback, but the push-to-talk functionality is still not as intuitive as the hands-free voice commands — a key feature of the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.
As I mentioned in Mashable’s Tap review, the push-to-talk feature is “counterintuitive and goes against the hands-free voice commands that make the Echo such a magical device from the future.”
Portable bluetooth speakers with hands-free voice assistant commands are coming, though. Invoxia’s recently released Triby is the first third-party portable Bluetooth speaker with hands-free Alexa built right in. Battery life isn’t great, but at least it works.
BONUS: Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Tap? Which is right for you?
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