Mark Gurman shares more details about upcoming WWDC announcements, new iPhones, and more

By Sébastien Page on Jun 4, 2016

While in between two jobs, reporter Mark Gurman appeared on the latest episode of The Jay & Farhad Show podcast, where he shared more details about what we might see at WWDC this year, including new iOS features and design tweaks. Gurman also revealed more information about this year and next year’s iPhone models.

While most of Gurman details were already known or rumored for a while, he did also offer information about features we hadn’t heard of until now. Read More

 

Thank you, Siri: mobile voice assistant usage is rising at a rapid clip

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 2, 2016

After perusing a massive 238-slide deck that is Mary Meeker’s new 2016 Internet Trends Report this morning, a slide has captured my attention that summarizes the trend toward voice searches and digital assistants. It says that in five years time at least half of all searches will be either through images or speech, which is fascinating.

What I find even more remarkable is the fact that Siri alone handled more than one billion requests per week through speech as of June 2015. Read More

 

What to do when Siri doesn’t pronounce your name right

By Anthony Bouchard on Jun 1, 2016

Siri is an amazing piece of software and Apple has tried so hard to make it capable of pronouncing everyone’s names right, but there are just too many names in the world for Siri to be perfect and pronouncing all of them.

On the other hand, if you’re sick of Siri not being able to pronounce your name correctly, there is a way to train her so she will pronounce it right going forward.

We’ll show you how this is done in this quick tutorial. Read More

 

How to type in your questions to Siri instead of using voice commands

By Sébastien Page on May 31, 2016

In a recent post I wrote about ten things I would like Siri for Mac to be able to do for me, I noted that I would like to be able to type in my requests instead of voicing them, because there are times when speaking to it isn’t appropriate (i.e. if you’re at the library), or even socially acceptable quite yet. I can already type basic queries into Spotlight on Mac, so why not bake Siri into Spotlight to supercharge both features?

There is already a workaround to type in your questions to Siri on iOS, and even though it’s not perfect, it’s sometimes handy to be able to write exactly what you mean and leave no room for misunderstanding. It doesn’t come without its fair share of limitations though, but it’s still pretty handy. Read More

 

How Apple’s advanced self-learning technologies could make Siri a lot smarter

By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2016

The assistant wars are in full swing, with Google Assistant and Viv entering the fray and existing players such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Hound and Google’s Now all stepping up fight for consumers’ hearts and minds.

Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo competitor, which VentureBeat believes is a next-gen Apple TV, could blow all the assistants out of the water when it comes to deciphering complex natural language queries.

And powering it—VocalIQ, a sophisticate technology Apple acquired back in October 2015. Tech Insider provided an in-depth overview of how VocalIQ could make Siri a lot smarter than it is today.  Read More

 

Apple’s Amazon Echo rival could detect users via built-in camera and facial recognition

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2016

Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo rival, which we learned yesterday could actually be an upgraded Apple TV, will have a built-in camera and use facial recognition to detect users as they enter the room, said the people briefed on Apple’s plans who spoke to CNET on condition of anonymity.

Upon recognizing a user, the device would pull up their preferences, such as the music and lighting they like, the sources said. Read More

 

10 Siri for Mac features I hope to see in OS X 10.12

By Sébastien Page on May 27, 2016

Siri is one of these features that feels like a broken promise. Not only it hasn’t evolved that much over the years, but it’s also not that much more reliable than it was when it was first introduced back in 2011.

If the rumor mill is any indication of what’s to come, it appears that Siri might make its way to the Mac, and maybe get even smarter with the introduction of an SDK for developers.

So I sat down and started thinking about what specifically I would want Siri to be able to do on my Mac, beyond the smart assistant’s existing capabilities. This is my wish-list.  Read More

 

Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo competitor may be new Apple TV

By Cody Lee on May 26, 2016

Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo competitor may come in the form of a new set-top box, reports VentureBeat. Citing a source familiar with the matter, the outlet says the iPhone maker is working on a new Apple TV with an improved version of Siri.

“They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything,” the source told VentureBeat. Earlier this week, The Information reported that Apple is building a new device with a speaker and always-on microphone to rival products from Amazon and Google. Read More

 

Apple developing Siri SDK and device to compete against Amazon Echo

By Cody Lee on May 24, 2016

Apple has big plans to step up its game in the field of intelligent assistants, reports The Information. Citing sources familiar with the plans, the outlet claims the company is preparing to introduce a Siri SDK for third party app developers at WWDC next month.

Additionally, the report says that Apple is also working on an Amazon Echo-like device with a speaker and always-on microphone that people can use to do things like turn on music, get news headlines or set a timer. Google unveiled a similar device last week. Read More

 

Siri for Mac icon leaks ahead of WWDC

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016

9to5Mac claimed back in January that Siri would be finally coming to the Mac via the forthcoming OS X 10.12 software update this fall. Today, MacRumors published a genuine looking image that purportedly shows a colorful Siri icon sitting in OS X’s Dock, adding fuel to the Siri for Mac rumors.

Another screenshot appears to show a Siri icon sitting in the Mac’s menu bar at the top. The publication says that these screenshots were sent to them by a source “who has provided us with reliable information about Apple’s software plans in the past”. Read More

 

‘Hey Siri’ not working? Try these steps

By Anthony Bouchard on May 17, 2016

Hey Siri is an invaluable feature of Apple’s iOS devices that lets you invoke Siri without having to press any buttons.

Using nothing more than the device’s microphone, you can mutter the words “Hey Siri” from a distance, and Siri will instantly launch and wait for your command.

But what should you do if it’s not working as you’d expect it to? In this troubleshooting guide, we’ll go over a few things that could help you figure that out. Read More

 

Yet another member of original Siri team leaves Apple

By Cody Lee on May 11, 2016

Yet another member of the original Siri team, Darren Haas, has left Apple. The Information reports that Haas, one of the last remaining team members that came over to Apple in the Siri acquisition, has left the company for General Electric. He’ll join Steve D’Aurora, another Siri team member who also left Apple for GE a few weeks ago. Read More

 

Apple airs new iPhone 6s ad, ‘Thank You Speech,’ highlighting tetherless Siri mode

By Christian Zibreg on May 9, 2016

Apple on Monday aired a new television commercial for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, titled ‘Thank You Speech’ and starring “How I Met Your Mother” star Patrick Neil Harris (he had a cameo on Apple’s recent ‘Onions’ ad).

The 30-second clip shows off a tetherless Siri feature that users can optionally enable on their iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus in order to converse with the personal digital assistant using the ‘Hey Siri’ keyword even when their device is not connected to power. Read More

 

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