Facebook reportedly building ‘Moneypenny,’ a personal assistant for Messenger with a twist

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 14, 2015

Facebook is working on a personal digital assistant of its own, designed specifically for use with its popular Messenger mobile software.

Referred to internally as “Moneypenny” after Miss Moneypenny, a secretary to M in the James Bond films, it will reportedly allow Facebook Messenger users to perform tasks like checking the weather, buying products and more.

According to a report by The Information, hidden behind the paywall, one crucial difference will set apart the James Bond-inspired digital assistant from the likes of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Google Now, Amazon’s Echo and others: it will be human-powered. Read More

 

Apple publishes list of supported Siri voice commands for controlling HomeKit appliances

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2015

Apple has refreshed a support article detailing setting up and using HomeKit-enabled accessories with a list of supported Siri voice commands to control your HomeKit hardware locally or remotely, through your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

After pairing a HomeKit-enabled accessory to an iOS device, you can use Siri commands to turn your home appliance on or off, adjust its settings and more, using just your voice. Read More

 

This accessory is a Home button for your car

By iDB Deals on Jun 11, 2015

This cool accessory puts the power of your iPhone’s voice command system at your fingertips, for whenever it is out of reach. It can be yours for $23, that’s a savings of 42% off the list price. Read More

 

Siri to get much more intelligent in iOS 9

By Cody Lee on Jun 8, 2015

Finishing up with OS X El Capitan, Apple’s Craig Federighi moves on to talk about Siri. Apple has been working on a number of improvements to the digital assistant, which has been criticized over the years for lagging behind the efforts of Google and others.

In line with run-up event rumors, Siri is getting more intelligent in iOS 9 thanks to ‘Proactive,’ which makes your device more contextually aware. This allows Siri to respond to queries more intelligently based on your location, the time of day and other things. Read More

 

SoundHound has created a voice search app that will knock your socks off

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 5, 2015

Apple’s introduction of Siri back in 2011 was a watershed moment for voice-activated personal digital assistants. Today, a myriad of Siri-like services exist such as Google Now on Android devices and Microsoft’s cross-platform Cortana, which will be hitting iOS soon following Windows 10 debut on July 29.

But many if not all of the existing services, Siri included, could be put to shame by Hound.

Hound is a forthcoming digital assistant which promises a groundbreaking smartphone experience, created by SoundHound, the maker of namesake mobile music and audio recognition service. Read More

 

Hands-on with HomeKit: the Caséta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Kit from Lutron

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 4, 2015

A couple of hours ago, I got my first real hands-on experience with HomeKit—the connected smart home framework that Apple announced at WWDC 2014. A year later, and some of the very first HomeKit enabled products are now landing on store shelves.

The folks over at Lutron were nice enough to send us the Caséta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Kit ($229.95 on Amazon). This kit comes with a Smart Bridge, two remote controls and two plug-in lamp dimmers. Although the kit in and of itself is interesting, our main interest at iDownloadBlog is with its HomeKit support. With that in mind, this post consists of an unboxing and overview of Lutron’s kit and a walkthrough of the HomeKit configuration, including Siri control.

Want to see how HomeKit works in the real world? Then watch our full video walkthrough for more details. Read More

 

New report details Siri API, Apple’s Google Now, ‘Browse Around Me’ in Maps and more iOS 9 stuff

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2015

Apple is reportedly reading a Siri Application Programming Interface (API), according to a new report. Called Breadcrumbs, it should let developers enhance iPhone and iPad applications by implementing Siri intelligence in a limited fashion. Another new initiative seeks to create a Google Now experience for iOS devices.

In addition, the Cupertino firm is reportedly adding augmented reality features to Apple Maps, including one dubbed Browse Around Me.

The way it’s supposed to work, you’d point your iPhone’s camera toward a particular business or an area and Maps would put up relevant information such as a virtual view of menu items or daily specials, 9to5Mac said Wednesday. Read More

 

Cortana is coming to iOS with Windows 10 Phone Companion app, Microsoft confirms

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2015

Microsoft Cortana, the software giant’s Siri-like personal digital assistant available on Windows Phone and Windows 10 mobile and desktop platforms, will expand later this year to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, as well as Android smartphones and tablets.

The company officially confirmed the news in a blog post this morning, basically corroborating an earlier March report by Reuters which claimed Cortana would hit non-Microsoft mobile platforms this fall. Read More

 

How to replace Siri sound effects with Jarvis sound effects

By Jeff Benjamin on May 16, 2015

Ever since Siri’s been out, I’ve seen people comment about how great it would be to replace Siri’s voice with J.A.R.V.I.S. from Marvel’s Iron Man series.

Apparently, that desire hasn’t waned, as there’s a fairly large thread on Reddit discussing a method for replacing Siri’s stock sound effects with custom Jarvis effects pulled right from the movies.

I’ve tried this method out, and honestly, it sounds a little bit low budget. Nonetheless, I know some of you will enjoy this, and just the fact that you can learn where the Siri sound effects are, and how to replace them properly, makes this tutorial worth checking out.

Read More

 

Hey Siri, will you please let me talk back to you?

By Sébastien Page on May 13, 2015

Siri has come a long way since it was first introduced along the iPhone 4s and iOS 5 back in 2011. The assistant has gotten smarter, wittier, and all around more helpful, at least on the iPhone, because in my experience,  it’s a completely different animal on Apple Watch.

To be fair, I’m not so much complaining about actual voice dictation on Apple Watch. Besides a few missteps that were most likely due to my strong French accent, dictation has been very reliable on Apple Watch. What hasn’t though, is to getting Siri to activate, whether it is hands-free or by using the Digital Crown. And when I do get it to work, not being able to interact with Siri with interactive voice commands is also a source of frustration. Allow me to explain. Read More

 

Applebot, a web crawler for Siri and Spotlight, unmasked in a support document

By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2015

An official support document updated last evening has confirmed that Apple is using a web crawler service called Applebot to index the web for content used by its Siri personal digital assistant on iOS devices and built-in Spotlight search on both iOS and OS X.

An Apple-operated engine, Applebot is described as “the web crawler for Apple” which gathers useful content for products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions. The document doesn’t state how long AppleBot has been operational in production. Read More

 

How to complete various actions hands-free on Apple Watch

By Jeff Benjamin on May 4, 2015

You may have noticed that while using Siri, the Apple Watch interface presents on screen buttons that you have to tap with your finger to confirm commands. While this is doable in a lot of circumstances, it takes away from the hands-free element that’s necessary in many situations.

At times, it’s simply impossible to physically tap a button on the Apple Watch to confirm a command, and that’s where using the Hey Siri hands-free assistant to its full potential can come in handy. In fact, it’s totally possible to send text messages, establish calendar events, set reminders, and more without touching your Apple Watch.

Yes, despite what the Apple Watch interface may lead you to think, you can use Siri completely hands-free in quite a few scenarios. Watch our hands-on video for the details. Read More

 

How to use Siri on Apple Watch

By Jeff Benjamin on May 2, 2015

Like the iPhone and iPad, Siri can help you find information and get things done on Apple Watch. Unlike the iPhone and iPad versions, there is no voice feedback present. Instead, Siri communicates via haptic feedback and text on the Apple Watch screen. It works, but it does take a bit of adjustment, even if you’re familiar with how to use Siri on the iPhone or iPad. Read More

 

Chinese court says Apple isn’t guilty of Siri patent infringement, overturns previous ruling

By Jake Smith on Apr 24, 2015

“Siri, how does it feel to be a winner?”

A Chinese appeals court has put an end to a three year patent battle over Apple’s Siri voice recognition found on its iOS line. AFP reports that Apple has won an appeal in China over the patents, overturning an earlier decision that put Apple in the guilty chair. Read More

 

How to control Spotify with Siri

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 14, 2015

As most of you guys know, I’m a huge Spotify fan. I’ve been using the service ever since it appeared on US shores, and it’s by far the best music streaming service in my opinion.

One thing that I’ve always missed about Spotify when compared to the stock Music app, is the ability to control my tunes via Siri. With the stock Music app, you can use Siri to play any song in your library, or play a music station using iTunes Radio. Spotify? Not so much.

That all changed a few days ago when developer Zaid Elkurdi released Assistant+. With a little finagling, you can get Assistant+ to interface with Spotify on a limited basis. But with Zaid’s new add-on called SpotifySiriControls, you can do a whole lot more. Read More

 

Assistant+ lets Siri trigger Activator events

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 14, 2015

If you’re a big fan of Siri, or even if you’re a bit down on the virtual assistant, listen up. Assistant+ can significantly enhance Siri and its capabilities by allowing it to interface directly with Activator.

Activator, the jailbreak tweak that allows you to assign a variety of actions to assorted gestures, is incredibly deep on its own. But when given the ability to invoke the many Activator events with Siri, things really get interesting.

Imagine activating a car mode by saying “Siri engage car mode”. All of the sudden, your Bluetooth connection comes on, Wi-Fi goes off, the volume is boosted, and Spotify is launched. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the things that you can do with Assistant+. Read More

 

Siri website gets prettier and more helpful

By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2015

Apple on Wednesday launched a revamped Siri website with a slew of changes, including an all-new design and several other improvements. Atop the new page is a video of Siri in action, followed by a comprehensive page of information on the digital assistant’s features.

Users can now sort Siri’s abilities into categories, such as ‘Staying in Touch, Getting organized, Sports, and Entertainment. There are also dedicated sections for how to get directions and how to find answers to commonly-asked questions, all by talking to your device. Read More

 

Siri can’t wait for Apple Watch

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 22, 2015

Jokers as they are, Apple engineers have included Siri in the company’s meticulous preparations for April’s arrival of the Apple Watch, if the responses the voice assistant is giving to Watch related queries are anything to go by.

As first spotted Sunday by French enthusiast blog iGen.fr, asking Siri about the Watch’s release date or simple stuff like what she’s doing yields some funny responses and amusing remarks concerning the highly anticipated wearable gizmo. Read More

 

New in iOS 8.3: placing phone calls through speakerphone via ‘Hey Siri’ command

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 22, 2015

Users who upgrade their iPhone to iOS 8.3 when it’s released next month will be finally able to tell Siri to make a phone call through the device’s speakerphone when the ‘Hey Siri’ option is enabled, reports 9to5Mac.

You can say, for example, ‘Hey Siri, call my Mom on speaker’ and the call will be automatically transferred to the iPhone’s speaker, like it should have always been, may I add.

Again, provided the ‘Allow Hey Siri’ option is enabled in Settings > General > Siri and the phone is plugged into power. Read More

 

Apple rumored to unveil slimmer Apple TV with App Store and Siri in June

By Jake Smith on Mar 20, 2015

John Paczowski of BuzzFeed reports Apple plans to show the rumored, redesigned, Apple TV this June at the World Wide Developers Conference, notably featuring an App Store and Siri. Read More

 
Page 112345...