In a first for the app, Amazon Alexa has topped Apple's U.S. App Store charts, backing claims that the Echo Dot speaker was the top-selling item on Amazon.com during the holidays.
The HomePod -- now due in 2018 -- will mark Apple's first real attempt at making Siri an "ambient" voice assistant. Arguably, though, the company needs to push a lot harder if it wants people to choose Siri over alternatives from Amazon and Google.
While Apple's HomePod couldn't reach store shelves before the end of 2017, Google's competing Home Max speaker has arrived right on time, with orders now being accepted at Best Buy and shipping in time for Christmas.
The first batch of Google Home Mini hardware distributed at assorted release events had a serious flaw that caused the device to listen in on every noise generated in a house -- and has since been pinned down as a hardware problem with a key feature now temporarily disabled after a firmware update.
In addition to its budget-priced $49 Google Home Mini, the search giant also introduced a push to the premium end of the speaker market, unveiling the $399 Google Home Max with speakers 20 times more powerful than the regular Home.
Google on Wednesday unveiled a smaller, more affordable version of its Home speaker and assistant, dubbed the Google Home Mini, set to launch in stores on Oct. 19 for $49.
Thought it pulled a product page within a matter of minutes, Walmart on Tuesday briefly offered preorders for the Home Mini, a new smartspeaker expected to be officially revealed in a Wednesday Google announcement.
Roughly a third of people in the U.S. are interested in Apple's Siri-based HomePod, though they're more likely to buy an Amazon Echo in practice, survey results suggested on Wednesday.
Google has revealed a number of updates it will be rolling out to the Google Home connected speaker, with major additions including the device's ability to put responses to queries on a nearby display, such as the user's iPhone, as well as being able to place phone calls from the device itself.