Amazon has the news cycle all to itself right now, with the announcement of its new Echo Show catching all the headlines. The updated Echo, this time sporting a touchscreen, has everyone wondering what Apple will do if and when it enters a home digital assistant market that continues to grow.
In its report on the new Echo Show, Bloomberg also mentions Apple’s unannounced, heavily rumored competitor, going on to say that Apple employees have been testing the device at their homes for a number of months.
This is not the first time such a claim has been made, and with Apple apparently keen to make a splash in a market that Amazon owns and Google is also working in, heavy user testing would make more than a little sense on Apple’s part.
With Amazon’s new release featuring a touchscreen for the first time, and Apple’s Phil Schiller having reportedly already claimed earlier this week that such a feature on digital assistant devices are a good idea, you would be forgiven for thinking Apple’s offering would include a screen as well. Not necessarily the case, according to Bloomberg.
Apple employees have been testing a device at home for several months, according to people familiar with the matter. While marketing chief Phil Schiller recently talked up the benefits of having a screen on a voice-activated device, it’s not clear whether the Apple version will in fact have one.
Staying on the subject of Amazon and Apple for a moment, Bloomberg also questioned the former on why Apple Music is not supported by the Echo out of the box – Prime Music and Spotify are – with Amazon’s Dave Limp saying that his firm would be up for the idea, but Apple less so.
The new Echo will stream music from Amazon’s own service, Spotify and Pandora, but not Apple Music. “We’d love to have Apple, but they’re not super big” on opening up Apple Music integration, Limp says.
Users who do want to use Apple Music regardless can do so, but they will need to use the Echo Show as a Bluetooth speaker and stream music to it from an iOS device, just like how it is done on regular Echo or Echo Dot. It’s a workaround, but it’s better than nothing!
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