Video showdown: Siri on iPhone 7 Plus vs. Google Assistant on Pixel XL

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2016

Siri continues to receive criticism over at times unreliable performance although Apple’s been advancing its personal digital assistant by leaps and bounds since its debut in October 2011.

Google, on the other hand, is regularly praised for its powerful knowledge graph and accuracy.

You probably know that the search company’s exciting new feature, Assistant, recently made its debut on the new Pixel smartphones.

With that in mind, YouTuber Marques Brownlee took it upon himself to pit the Pixel’s Assistant against the iPhone’s Siri in a cool side-by-side video comparison.

Let the battle of the smartphone voice assistants begin! Read More


How to remove the Siri icon shortcut from your Mac’s Menu Bar & Dock

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 10, 2016

Starting with macOS Sierra, you can now access the Siri voice assistant right from your desktop without having to use one of your mobile Apple devices. But of course, by default, Apple clutters up both your Menu Bar and Dock with shortcuts for Siri.

If you followed our recent tutorials for setting up a Siri keyboard shortcut or enabling “Hey Siri” on your Mac, then you don’t really need those clickable shortcuts anymore, so here’s a quick tutorial for removing the redundant shortcuts. Read More


Apple to unify its separate cloud services teams to improve Siri, Maps, iTunes, iCloud & more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 6, 2016

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is reporting today that Apple is in the process of unifying its separate cloud services team in an effort to foster tighter collaboration between them, better compete with Google and Amazon in the cloud space and improve Siri, Maps, iTunes, iCloud and other services.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s boss of Internet Software and Services, will oversee the effort to move cloud service engineering teams to a single campus as Apple continues shifting its cloud to its own infrastructure. Read More


Skype for iOS updated with Siri, Phone, Contacts and Lock screen integrations

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2016

Microsoft today announced availability of freshly updated Skype for iOS apps. Bumped to version 6.25, both Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad now include SiriKit support that lets them integrate with Siri so you can call people and send messages using just your voice. The apps also take advantage of CallKit, which allows VoIP Skype calls to behave like normal cellular calls with fullscreen contact images on the Lock screen and integration with Phone’s Recents and Favorites on iSO 10 devices. Read More


Project “Invisible Hand” would let users fully control Apple devices via Siri within 3 years

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2016

Bloomberg today published an article that shed more light on Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo-like Siri hardware, which has purportedly exited the research and development lab and is now in prototype testing. As part of the report, Bloomberg alleges that Apple has another secretive project in the works that would improve Siri on iPhones and iPads.

Code-named Invisible Hand, the project would give us the ability to fully control our Apple devices through “a Siri command system within three years”. Read More


Bloomberg: Apple’s Echo-like Siri appliance is now in prototype testing

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2016

Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo-like Siri hardware has exited the company’s research and development lab and is now in prototype testing, Bloomberg reported Friday. The project started more than two years ago, but Apple is now “pressing ahead” with the development of its unnamed Siri-driven smart home appliance after Amazon’s Echo proved a surprise hit, even to Apple engineers working on the project. Read More


How to enable “Hey Siri” on Mac

By Timothy Reavis on Sep 22, 2016

Five years after its introduction in 2011, Siri finally made its debut on Mac with the release of macOS Sierra. Featuring much of the functionality that Siri contains on iOS, such as being able to check the weather forecast or set a reminder, Siri for macOS also has some exclusive abilities, such as handling documents in the file system and being able to pin results to Notification Center.

One feature that macOS’s Siri didn’t port from its mobile counterpart, however, is the ability to activate Apple’s digital assistant hands-free with the “Hey Siri” command. Fortunately, there’s a viable workaround available that enables users to invoke Siri in macOS with their voice to give commands from across the room. Read More


How to invoke Siri with a keyboard shortcut on Mac

By Sébastien Page on Sep 20, 2016

Your favorite assistant has finally made its way to the Mac, starting with the macOS Sierra software update that was recently released.

If you have used Siri on your iPhone or iPad before, then you’ll probably feel right at home with the assistant on your Mac since it works in a similar way. However, unlike your iPhone, you don’t have the ability to invoke Siri on your Mac by saying “Hey, Siri.” Instead, you will have to click on the Siri icon in the Menu Bar, or in the Dock.

Another way to invoke Siri is by using a keyboard shortcut. Admittedly, this is my preferred way of activating the assistant as it feels faster and more efficient than reaching for the mouse or trackpad and clicking on the Siri icon. Read More


Using the all-new Reminders app on Apple Watch

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 15, 2016

One of the new features that ships with watchOS 3 is a standalone Reminders app, and as you’ll soon learn, it can be just as functional as the iPhone app.

The introduction of an official Reminders app on the Apple Watch is great because this little app on your wrist will help you get through all your errands throughout the day and keep track of your busy life.

The app is used with Siri since there is no keyboard to input text on the Apple Watch like there is on your iPhone. With that being said, using the Reminders app may feel a little awkward at first, but it should become a second nature to you in no time at all. Read More


Here are some apps to try out third-party Siri support in iOS 10

By Cody Lee on Sep 14, 2016

In addition to a new App Store for iMessages, the just-released iOS 10 update brings third-party app support to Siri. This means you can now instruct the digital assistant to do things like “show Dallas Cowboys tweets in Twitter” and “send money using Venmo.”

This obviously only works with apps that have been updated for iOS 10, and thus far only a handful of well-known titles have confirmed they’ve done so. But to help you get acquainted with the new feature, we’ve created a list of 10 apps that support Siri commands. Read More


WhatsApp rolls out its iOS 10 update with Phone/Siri support & more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 14, 2016

WhatsApp is one of the showcase apps for CallKit, Apple’s new framework allowing VoIP calls to integrate with iOS 10’s Phone app and behave like cellular calls. Today, WhatsApp has rolled out its anticipated update which enables integration with Phone and Siri on iOS 10 while bringing out half a dozen other features and improvements like forwarding multiple chats at once, a new iOS 10 widget that lets you go to a recent WhatsApp chat or see which chats have unread messages, and more. Read More


Has Apple Watch Series 2 gained a second mic to improve Siri reception?

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 9, 2016

In case you missed this little yet important detail in an avalanche of web reports about the Apple Watch Series 2, Apple’s second-generation wearable packs in a few handful improvements, among which is what appears to be a second microphone opening. As the original Apple Watch had a single tiny microphone hole, it couldn’t suppress background noise.

In turn, the “Hey Siri” function on the original watch behaves somewhat erratically, struggling to recognize the command in noisy environments.

Wait, does that mean that the Apple Watch Series 2 should respond to the “Hey Siri” hot phrase more reliably than before? It’s complicated… Read More


“Hey Siri, call Sébastien on Skype”

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2016

Apple’s made a rare move of publishing multiple blog posts to whet our appetite for Siri’s upcoming third-party integration on iOS 10. We already detailed how Siri will work with popular messaging/payments apps and allow you to search photos inside third-party apps like Pinterest, just by using your voice.

Now, we take a closer look at how Apple’s personal digital assistant can interact with VoIP apps like Skype, Vonage and others. Read More


Apple previews photo-search capabilities coming to iOS 10 via Siri app integration

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2016

iOS 10 marks the first time Apple has allowed other people’s apps to integrate with Siri. The following app categories are permitted to take advantage of the new SiriKit in iOS 10: ride hailing, messaging, photo search, mobile payments, VoIP and workout apps.

The company already detailed Siri integration in popular messaging and payments apps and now a new blog post shows you how Siri can find photos inside apps like Pinterest, Vogue and more. Read More


App Store Review Guidelines updated with details on subscriptions, SiriKit and iMessage

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2016

In addition to beefing up App Store quality control by removing poorly maintained apps and those with 50+ characters in their name starting September 7, Apple also updated the official App Store Review Guidelines with details on app subscriptions, SiriKit and downloadable iMessage content. “As you plan and develop your apps for the upcoming releases of iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS and tvOS, make sure to read these updated guidelines,” writes Apple. Read More


Apple shares examples of Siri’s third-party app integration on iOS 10

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2016

Following first hands-on demonstrations of Siri’s app integration that select developers gave to The Wall Street Journal’s Nathan Olivarez-Giles last week, Apple on Thursday published an article of its own to share more details regarding Siri integrations for payments, messaging apps and more.

As a quick backgrounder, Siri on iOS 10 will work with your apps thanks to Apple’s new SiriKit framework which was designed to help developers integrate Siri functionality into their own apps. Read More


First hands-on demo of Siri’s app integration doesn’t disappoint

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 31, 2016

Capabilities of SiriKit, a new iOS 10 framework that lets third-party apps work with Siri, were on full display in the first hands-on demonstration given to Nathan Olivarez-Giles of the Wall Street Journal. In addition to extending Siri’s support for messaging, photo search and phone calls to more apps, SiriKit also adds support for new services, including ride booking and personal payments.

Nathan was pretty impressed with the usefulness of Siri’s app integration on iOS 10, calling it a “long-overdue” enhancement that will make Apple’s personal digital assistant “more useful in everyday life” than it’s ever been. Read More


“Hey Siri, see you on the seventh!”

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

Siri giving witty responses ahead of major Apple events has become something of a tradition for Apple and part of the festivities by its eager fans. The just-announced September 7 iPhone 7 press conference is no exception. Thanks to a silent backend update, Siri now serves up a variety of amusing responses when asked about the iPhone 7 event.

Best thing you check them out for yourself. Read More


A fascinating look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning work at Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2016

Respected journalist Steven Levy has scored another nice exclusive with a new write-up over at Backchannel, a Wired Media Group property, giving us a rare inside look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning work at Apple.

The article contains a lot of gems, with company executives Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller and Siri leads Tom Gruber and Alex Acero providing a bunch of previously unknown facts about Apple’s AI efforts, including this one: machine learning has enabled Apple to cut Siri’s error rate by a factor or two. Read More


Siri to pronounce Barbra Streisand’s name correctly with “next update on September 30”

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

Will iOS 10 hit on September 30? We don’t know, but that’s what well-known singer, actress, songwriter and filmmaker Barbra Streisand seems to have alluded in an interview with NPR, saying she picked up the phone and called Tim Cook after becoming frustrated with how Siri pronounced her name.

The CEO of Apple reportedly promised a fix for Siri to pronounce the actress’s name correctly with the next update on September 30. Read More

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