Here’s what people are mainly using their smart speakers for

Smart speakers such as Amazon's Echo, Google's Home (and, soon, Apple's alleged standalone Siri device) allow users to get answers in the more comfortable settings of their homes.

As these things are always listening, there's no need to press a button or pull a phone out of your pocket. But what exactly are people using Amazon Echo and other smart speakers for?

A ComScore study, charted by Statista, says the most common use case is asking basic questions with 60 percent of US smart speaker owners using their device for simple requests, followed by weather queries (57 percent), playing music (54 percent), setting timers/alarms (41 percent), creating reminders/to-dos (39 percent) and more.

In what's bound to be disappointing to Amazon, the study found that very few users of smart speakers use them to order goods or services online, with just 8 percent of US smart speaker owners using their device to order food/services and 11 percent ordering products online.

According to a May research conducted by digital agency Stone Temple, providing answers to basic questions actually is not Alexa’s strong suit.

Amazon's digital assistant powering the Echo family of devices was able to answer just 20.7 percent of the 5,000 questions asked as part of the experiment.

Siri performed similar to Alexa.

Amazon said today that Echo owners and iOS customers who use the mobile Alexa app or the Amazon shopping app can now enable integration with iCloud Calendar.

Speaking of which, the comScore study found that less than one-third of smart speaker owners in the US (27 percent) use their device to find what's on their calendar for the day or add new appointments to the calendar hands-free.

A watershed moment in App Store’s history: China displaces U.S. as #1 app market by revenue

Some quite interesting data points in a new report from app marketing firm App Annie suggest that China has now overtaken the United States as Apple's top market for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch apps, with a fifteen percent higher App Store revenue than the U.S. in the September quarter.

Chinese users spent more than five times the amount they spent just two years prior in the App Store.

Apple’s upcoming World Trade Center store to open next Tuesday

Apple is set to open a new brick-and-mortar outlet at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, a $4 billion train transit station in Lower Manhattan, in less than a week, on Tuesday, August 16, at 12pm ET. The firm announced that its tenth store in New York City, located at 185 Greenwich Street, is located in the lower level section of the Oculus Transportation Hub.

Apple Store promo: sign up for Apple Pay and get $5/£5 iTunes gift card

Apple is running a new promotion in its retail stores in the United States and United Kingdom, treating anyone who'd sign up for Apple Pay this week to a free $5/£5 iTunes gift card, according to MacRumors which first caught wind of this news.

Free money is always appreciated, more so given that iTunes credit can be used for any purchase made in an Apple Store, whether purchasing an accessory, an Apple product or an iTunes/Apple Store gift card.

For the first time since 2012, Apple sells more phones in US than Android

Wednesday, TechCrunch relayed a new survey by market research firm Kantar Worldpanel which underscores a small victory in Apple's global rivalry with Android as the company overtook Android vendors in terms of units shipped in the United States during the last three months of 2014.

Driven by the introduction of its larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple took a 47.7 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market. Android grabbed a 47.6 percent share and Windows Phone accounted for just 3.8 percent of smartphone sales.

US/UK Online Apple Store now accepting PayPal

For the first time since its inception, the Online Apple Store is now accepting PayPal as a payment method in both the United States and United Kingdom, Re/code said Friday.

The change is newsworthy in light of PayPal's reluctance to join Apple's mobile payment solution, Apple Pay, and refusal to update its app with Touch ID authentication.

Three switches on its UK 4G LTE network, expands roaming to US

Three, one of UK's top wireless companies, yesterday began turning on its new fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in select locations. The carrier claims to run the UK’s fastest-growing 3G network which covers more than 97 percent of the country's population.

In addition to Three's first LTE sightings in the UK, the company is also extending its Feel At Home roaming service to the United States, starting today. The U.S. joins other countries where Feel At Home has been available, including Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden.

The service allows Three's UK-based Feel At Home customers to use their voice minutes, text messages and cellular data for no charge while traveling outside the UK and roaming the aforementioned countries...

Apple’s gift card-only Black Friday deals now live in North America, cash discounts in Europe

Following Apple's Black Friday deals that went live yesterday on the Australian web store, the company this morning refreshed its United States and Canadian outlets with 2013 Black Friday promotion.

Just as we suspected, this year the iPhone maker has rather disappointedly opted not to offer actual discounts on products and instead is luring shoppers with Apple Store Gift Cards, redeemable against purchases solely at a later date.

Apple has never offered deep Black Friday discounts and this year's gift card-only promotion will no doubt disappoint bargain hunters who'll be better served shopping elsewhere (iDownloadBlog has you covered with a comprehensive roundup of Black Friday deals)...

NBC’s Sports Live Extra iOS app to stream all English Premier League matches in US

If you live in the United States and are a fan of the English Premier League, good news as 148Apps reports that NBC's Sports Live Extra app for the iPhone and iPad will be streaming all of the matches, right as they happen in real-time. The English Premier League is the single largest sports league in the entire world so you don't need me to tell you why this is newsworthy. Streaming matches will be free to subscribers of one of the eligible cable providers. Full details are right after the break...

Apple could face hurdles applying for iWatch trademark in US and UK

Apple's iWatch trademark filing world tour could hit major roadblocks in the United Kingdom and over in Apple's home turf of the United States, it has been discovered.

According to two separate reports, a small California firm has taken steps to trademark 'iWatch' in the United States.

And over in the United Kingdom, a network services firm owns a Community trademark on 'iWatch', basically a trademark that applies across the European Community, which includes Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, France,, Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

As a result, Apple is likely going to have to either pay these companies to buy the trademark or face a legal battle should it in fact decide to launch a rumored wristwatch product...