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Spotify app now works with Siri voice assistant on Apple Watch

We haven’t heard that much about Spotify’s European anti-competition complaint against Apple for a while, despite rumblings last year about a potential investigation. However, there have been some moves by Apple to open up its ecosystem in ways that address some of the complaints that Spotify had.

One concerns access to its Siri voice assistant, which was opened up last autumn with ‘SiriKit’ as part of the iOS 13 software. Spotify has already taken advantage on some Apple devices, and yesterday that extended to its Apple Watch app too. Small steps, but encouraging ones for these bitter rivals.

In separate Spotify news, it looks like we’ll soon be seeing the launch of its ‘Follow Feed’ feature in Spotify’s mobile app. First spotted in late February, it’s an in-app news feed of “new releases from artists you follow and more”.

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Google Assistant tops VC firm’s voice-assistant ‘IQ’ test

Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the smartest smart-speaker of them all? This is no fairytale: it’s a study by venture-capital firm Loup Ventures of the relative ‘IQs’ of the main voice assistants: Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.

And as it turns out, that’s the order its study ranks the assistants in, based on asking them the same 800 questions. The assistants were rated on whether they understood the questions first of all, and then on whether they delivered a “correct response”.

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Apple HomePod keeps Siri voice commands for Apple Music

Business Insider has chosen its words carefully in an article about Apple’s new smart speaker: ‘Spotify won’t work with Siri on Apple’s HomePod’.

It’s sparked by a message published by Apple for app developers about the SiriKit tools for HomePod: “With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction. And with SiriKit, users can access iOS apps for Messaging, Lists, and Notes.”

Which is to say that these are the only categories of apps that will be able to use the HomePod speaker’s voice-control features. That doesn’t mean that the device won’t be able to play music from non-Apple streaming services (like Spotify) – their iOS apps will be able to use it as an external speaker by using Apple’s AirPlay feature.

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Report claims 35.6m Americans will use smart speakers in 2017

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo speaker and its Alexa assistant have been getting plenty of music-industry people excited about its potential to provide new ways to discover and listen to music.

With the launch of Google Home (with its Google Assistant tool); with Sonos pivoting its business to focus more on voice controls; and with rumours that Apple and Spotify are getting ready to enter the market, there’s plenty of activity here.

But how popular are these smart, voice-enabled speakers already? Research firm eMarketer is putting out a report today that puts some numbers to the trend, albeit focused purely on the US.

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Siri won’t answer chart questions without Apple Music

We’re finding it hard to get outraged about the fact that Apple’s Siri software won’t tell you who’s in the charts unless you’re an Apple Music subscriber – but it’s an interesting glimpse at the company’s marketing strategy.

Former Pandora CTO Tom Conrad discovered the issue, tweeting a screenshot of the response to his question about what the most popular song in the US is today.