Apple is reportedly in the midst of manufacturing a Siri-powered device to compete with Amazon's Echo and Google Home, according to Bloomberg. The device has long been rumored.

Why it matters: Despite its success with mobile devices and laptops, Apple has been criticized for Siri's stalled improvement, especially while competitors Google and Amazon developed and launched their own digital assistants and home devices.

Timing: Apple could unveil the device as soon as its annual developer conference next week in Silicon Valley, though it won't be ready to ship the device until later in June, according to Bloomberg.

Different approach: Apple's device will reportedly offer virtual surround sound technology and be deeply integrated with the company's other hardware and software, including HomeKit-compatible devices and Apple Music.

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30 mins ago - Sports

Pac-12 football players threaten coronavirus opt-out

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A group of Pac-12 football players have threatened to opt out of the season unless the conference addresses systemic inequities and concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: College football players have never had more leverage than they do right now, as the sport tries to stage a season amid the pandemic. And their willingness to use it shows we've entered a new age in college sports.

Betting on inflation is paying off big for investors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The specter of rising inflation is helping power assets like gold, silver and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to strong returns with record demand this year.

The big picture: Investors continue to pack in even as inflation metrics like the consumer price index (CPI) and personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index have remained anchored.

Scoop: Top CEOs urge Congress to help small businesses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With a new coronavirus relief measure stalled in Congress, CEOs of some of the world's biggest companies have banded together to send a message to Washington: Get money to small businesses now!

Why it matters: "By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon," warns the letter, organized by Howard Schultz and signed by more than 100 CEOs.