CLOSE

YouTube is a popular platform for users of all ages. Videos on the site range from family-friendly to significantly racy. There are some steps you can take, though, to keep your kids away from questionable content.
USA TODAY

Did you succumb to Cyber Monday deals and buy a smart speaker? If so, keep talking.

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, the most discounted and heavily promoted products we saw were smart speakers from Google and Amazon. We suspect the rivals sold hundreds of thousands of these products. 

If you’ve got a Google Home or Mini, it can now do more. Google Home rolled out new features so that you can ask two things at once. “OK Google, what’s the weather?” and throw in, “And play music from Sesame Street on YouTube.” We tried it, and it works. (This week showed us that you really want to be careful with kid choices on YouTube–more on that in a minute.)

Google also updated Google Assistant, Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa that’s available within Google Home and as a free-standing app for Apple and Android devices. 

You can now use your voice to find local service pros, similar to how we use apps like Yelp. Say, “OK Google, find me a plumber,” and the Assistant will pop up three suggested names from the Google My Business index. The results are the three most relevant local names in Google searches. Google will be adding results from HomeAdvisor as well. 

Speaking of business, Amazon, which is on a bold mission to get multiple Echo speakers into every room of the house, announced plans for Alexa for Business, hoping to bring Alexa to office desks and conference rooms.

In a press release, Amazon said Alexa could do be used for mundane things like reordering supplies, managing calendars and of course, making phone calls. 

“Today, people spend too much of their days on tedious tasks at work–dialing into meetings, managing their calendars, or searching for information,” Amazon said. So why not just say it instead of typing it?

In Amazon’s dreams, companies would buy multiple Echo speakers and set them up on desks, conference rooms, lobbies and other general areas and work with existing enterprise software like RingCentral, Concur and Salesforce to have corporate voicemail read back, to check the status of deals set to close and get flight information. 

If developers jump in, Amazon…