Siri creators to introduce new AI assistant ‘Viv’ next week

By Cody Lee on May 4, 2016

The creators of Siri are preparing to introduce a new AI assistant on Monday, reports The Washington Post. It’s called ‘Viv,’ and it’s far more advanced than Siri, capable of handling complex tasks like purchasing movie tickets or ordering pizza, without the need to switch between apps or other human interaction.

Unlike most virtual assistants today, which can understand precise queries and issue scripted responses, Viv can imitate “the spontaneity and knowledge base of a human assistant.” So with this technology, and third-party app integration from the likes of Uber and Grubhub, Viv is expected to impress next week. Read More

 

Apple promotes recycling with a new television commercial featuring Siri and robot Liam

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 22, 2016

In addition to a nicely done environment-focused video posted yesterday, in which Apple boasts how its data centers run on 100 percent renewable energy, the Cupertino firm this morning released another Earth Day focused television ad on its YouTube channel, this one promoting recycling.

Featuring Siri and Apple’s recycling robot Liam, the 25-second video has Siri conversing with the robot, asking him what he’s doing for Earth Day. Read More

 

Insiders blame iCloud technical issues on ‘open conflict’ between Siri and cloud teams at Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2016

A report Thursday published by the former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin’s outlet, The Information, paints a gloomy picture for Apple’s efforts to move its cloud services 100 percent in-house. That process has been slowed by “political infighting” as the company’s iCloud and Siri engineering teams are now “in open conflict”.

The infighting is so bad, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, that at least one key employee has already departed, “with more expected soon,” reads the full report behind a paywall. Read More

 

Stunning iOS 10 concept imagines dark mode, customizable Control Center, Siri in apps and more

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2016

MacStories founder and editor Federico Viticci has joined forces with user interface designer Sam Beckett on giving us their take on some of the features that Apple may or may not implement in iOS 10, the next major revision of the mobile operating system powering the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The stunning renderings and an accompanying video imagine many features that Apple fans have been craving for, such as a brand new dark mode for iOS 10, an updated Control Center which lets you move around and customize the icons, an official Siri app for implementing voice-activated features in third-party apps and more. Read More

 

WWDC 2016 will run from June 13 through June 17, Siri has it on good authority

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 18, 2016

Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac has discovered that asking Siri about Apple’s summer developers conference has now started to produce a more concrete answer than before. Whereas asking Siri about the WWDC 2016 schedule would yield a “WWDC is not yet announced” response just earlier in the day, a backend change has updated that answer with the June 13-17 date.

“The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held June 13 through June 17 in San Francisco. Can’t wait!,” reads Siri’s response. Read More

 

Apple TV’s Siri can now tune you in to live broadcasts in supported apps

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2016

Apple has enhanced the tvOS operating system via a silent backend update that now permits users to ask Siri to tune in to live broadcasts in supported apps such as Disney XD, ESPN and CBS, the latter having gained integration with the Apple TV’s universal search feature yesterday.

MacRumors has caught wind of this useful new feature addition on a splash screen that customers see after upgrading their 4th-generation Apple TV to the new tvOS software. Read More

 

“Hey Siri, is Jon Snow dead?”

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 13, 2016

Ahead of the upcoming April 24 premiere of the sixth season of HBO’s popular “Game of Thrones” television show, Siri engineers seem to have updated her database to answer some of the most burning questions asked by fans, the most lingering one being “Is Jon Snow dead?”

Conveniently, Apple’s made sure that the personal digital assistant is spoiler-free so you won’t get anything out of her pertaining to whether or not the show’s most popular character has perished at the hands of the Night’s Watch. Read More

 

Apple releases new Apple TV ad starring Lakers player Kobe Bryant and actor Michael B. Jordan

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 10, 2016

Apple on Sunday released a brand new commercial for the fourth-generation Apple TV, titled ‘Father Time’ and available on YouTube.

The 60-second ad features LA Laker’s star Kobe Bryant and actor Michael B. Jordan and focuses on using tvOS’s Siri features in conjunction with the Siri Remote to “make it easier than ever to find and enjoy whatever you’re looking for.”

The two men are sitting on the couch in a trailer and Jordan picks up his Siri Remote to ask the personal digital assistant to open the official NBA app.

Then, they start arguing over… Well, just watch the ad. Read More

 

Apple shares new ‘Behind the Scenes’ video for Cookie Monster ad

By Cody Lee on Apr 7, 2016

Apple on Thursday shared a new video on its YouTube channel called “Timer – Behind the Scenes.” As the name suggests, the clip offers a humorous behind-the-scenes look at the making of the iPhone 6s ad it released last month, starring the popular Sesame Street character Cookie Monster. Read More

 

Siri co-founder to demo Viv, ‘the global brain’ that provides an intelligent interface to everything

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2016

Dag Kittlaus, a brilliant artificial intelligence engineer who helped create an advanced personal digital assistant that Apple bought and marketed as Siri, is about to show his brand new artificial intelligence product to the world at TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY 2016 conference later this week.

Kittalus, who co-founded Siri and was the CEO of the startup, has since moved on and co-founded another startup with Siri veterans Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, called Viv Labs, with the goal of radically simplifying the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything. Read More

 

Siri trick that let you activate Night Shift while Low Power Mode is enabled no longer works

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 6, 2016

The iOS 9.3 software update includes Night Shift mode that helps users get a good night’s sleep by reducing the amount of blue light emitted from a backlight of their iOS device.

Night Shift is unavailable when an iPhone is in Low Power Mode and a workaround that let you ask Siri to activate Night Shift in this mode no longer works.

As first reported on by 9to5Mac’s Jeff Benjamin, asking Siri to enable Night Shift while the device is in Low Power Mode now yields a warning message. Read More

 

Server-side patch fixes vulnerability that allowed access to Contacts and Photos on iPhone 6s

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 6, 2016

An iOS vulnerability that permitted nefarious people to gain access to Contacts and Photos data has been fixed swiftly without the need for a software update. A server-side fix has patched a security hole in Siri which allowed the personal digital assistant to use email links in tweets to gain access to contacts and photos on a locked iPhone 6s running iOS 9.3.1. Apple has confirmed to The Washington Post that it’s fixed the flaw on its servers. Read More

 

Easy to fix iOS bug bypasses Lock screen on iPhone 6s, giving access to Contacts and Photos

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2016

First spotted by Jose Rodriguez, who last September found a similar flaw in iOS, and highlighted by The Daily Dot, Apple’s mobile operating system contains a vulnerability that lets others access your Contacts and Photos using Siri on the Lock screen of your iPhone 6s, bypassing your passcode.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this which involves revoking Siri access to Twitter and Photos and disabling Lock screen access to the personal digital assistant. Apple has not commented on the bug, which will likely be squashed in an upcoming software update. Read More

 

Siri is now a baseball savant

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2016

Siri is now a baseball savant: Apple’s personal digital assistant’s been refreshed in the cloud with official data on thousands of Major League Baseball players and historic baseball statistics. “Siri also knows the history and stats of 27 other pro, minor and international leagues,” writes CNET.

The update is likely the result of Apple’s new tie-up with the Major League Baseball which provides every team with iPad Pros while permitting sports announcers to finally call tablets “iPads”. Read More

 

Siri stars in the new Apple TV ad, ‘The Kiss’

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2016

Apple’s just aired a brand new television commercial to promote its fourth-generation Apple TV, and it’s all about voice capabilities that are built into the new set-top box and activated by pressing a dedicated button on the Siri Remote that ships with the device.

The 60-second ad, titled ‘The Kiss’ and starring Alison Brie and Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), is really amusing and well worth watching, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Read More

 

tvOS 9.2 is here: Dictation, folders, Live Photos, wireless keyboards, iCloud Photo Library & more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 21, 2016

tvOS 9.2, a new update for the operating system which powers the fourth-generation Apple TV, is now available for public consumption. The new firmware, released alongside iOS 9.3, OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 and watchOS 2.2, is a very interesting update for the cool new features it brings to the table.

tvOS 9.2 enables several features missing from the initial tvOS release, including long-awaited support for wireless keyboards, dictation, Siri support for App Store searches, app folders on the Home screen, a revamped app switcher, Siri Remote improvements, support for Live Photos and iCloud Photo Library and more. Read More

 

How to enable Siri on your Apple TV if you live in an unsupported country

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2016

With a dedicated Siri button on your Siri Remote, searching movies and TV shows on your fourth-generation Apple TV is simple and fun. With Siri, you can control what you’re playing, search Apple Music, launch apps and check the scores, stocks and weather using just your voice. Sadly, none of these features will be beneficial to you unless you live in a supported country.

That’s because Siri on the new Apple TV is currently available in eight countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. As it turns out, you can work around this restriction quite easily and start using Siri on your Apple TV like a boss, even if you’re located in an unsupported country. Read More

 

Hound voice assistant launches in the App Store, but how does it compare to Siri?

By Anthony Bouchard on Mar 1, 2016

There are numerous companies competing to be the top dog in voice assistant software, but the makers of sound-tagging service SoundHound have made another alternative called Hound that promises an excellent voice assistant experience. Many initial reports suggest it’s even more capable than the voice assistants you’re used to using already, such as Siri, Google Now, and Cortana.

So just how capable is Hound? In this piece, we’ll walk you through the new free-to-download Hound voice assistant for iOS and find out if it’s as good as everyone says. Read More

 

How to update Siri Remote firmware

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 1, 2016

Apple has built a hidden feature into the tvOS operating system which allows them, or the user, to update the firmware software of the Siri Remote separately of the Apple TV’s firmware.

Though a tvOS update may include a new firmware for the Siri Remote to fix bugs, improve reliability and add new features, occasionally performing a manual check for new remote firmwares still makes sense.

For instance, if you’re an Apple TV developer or a regular user who wants to troubleshoot their device. Or, maybe you’re just curious to try out the latest beta of tvOS and play with new features for the Siri Remote before they’re available to everyone.

In this post, you will learn how to see if there is an updated firmware available for your Siri Remote and, if one is available, how to install it. Read More

 

Get a taste of Siri on your Mac right now with this neat trick

By Timothy Reavis on Mar 1, 2016

Ever since Siri was announced in 2011, Apple users have been excited about the prospect of the digital assistant coming to OS X. More recently, rumors have indicated that a Mac version of Siri will ship with OS X 10.12 this fall. September is quite a long way off, but it’s possible to get a taste of Siri-like voice commands on your Mac right now, thanks to the accessibility features baked in OS X.

Read More