Trending: Testing Microsoft’s Project xCloud: New streaming service feels like a magic trick

Apple just made its biggest acquisition since it bought Beats for $3 billion in 2014. The tech giant is now the proud owner of Shazam, the music and video recognition app, after paying a reported $400 million to buy the company.

But the acquisition is about much more than recognizing songs. Andru Edwards, co-host of our Geared Up podcast, says Apple could use Shazam’s underlying tech to build a whole new category of voice and audio interactions, like creating “audio hyperlinks.”

Smart speakers and virtual assistants are already pushing in a new era of voice interaction. With Shazam, Apple has the opportunity to master that space and bring in new ways of connecting audio content and information, Andru says. Hear more from him and GeekWire Editor Todd Bishop on this episode of Geared Up.

Andru has first-hand experience with our second story this week: The launch of Always Connected PCs, small, battery-efficient devices that mirror the features of a smartphone but come in a laptop-esque package.

Andru says the devices’ strengths are their long battery life and constant internet connection via LTE, but he and Todd are less impressed by their hybrid hardware. Will they create a popular new form factor, or just be muddled between phones and laptops?

Also in the news this week: Alexa’s newest feature, which turns any Echo device into a musical alarm clock, and Google launches the Google Home Max smart speaker for hardcore music lovers.

Listen to this episode or watch the behind-the-scenes podcast above, and subscribe to Geared Up in Apple PodcastsGoogle Play or your favorite podcast app.

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