If you’ve been jealous of the Amazon Echo, a speaker that listens to the voice commands of its owners, JBL portable speaker owners will now get to experience the same to some extent. The JBL Xtreme, Pulse 2, Charge 3, and Flip 3 speakers will now have Google Now voice integration so you can control things like music, voice calls, and even find out the weather, without having to use your smartphone or tablet. Now if only it can read us back stuff, we’d be all set.

But having Google Now voice integration is a pretty good first step for these JBL portable speakers. You have to install the firmware update through the JBL Connect App. After you’ve updated, you’ll be able to activate it by pressing the “Multifunction Button” or the Play/Pause button on your device. That’s it. After you’ve pressed and activated it, you can now ask the speaker to go to the next song or to call someone for you or to ask for the weather report.

Of course we’d eventually want it to do more things for us, like maybe read out loud our email messages or tell us our schedule for the next few weeks, but for now, it’s more about how you can control the music that’s playing on your JBL speakers. You can ask it to play a specific song or to skip to the next track just by giving the specific commands which you’ll learn as you go along.

All upcoming JBL portable speakers will have Google Now (and Siri, for our friends over on the other side) baked into it. This new feature will be available for the current speakers by this month, so always check your JBL Connect App if the update is already there.



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