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

 

New Microsoft ads for Windows 10 focus on things Macs can’t do

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 29, 2016

Microsoft this weekend published four new commercials for its Windows 10 operating system that showcase things “Macs can’t do”. The ads feature Kristie and Jess, AKA The Bug Chicks, the two women who are apparently trying to change the way kids think about bugs.

The two characters, one of whom is a Mac fan jealous of Windows 10 features, explore competitive advantages of Microsoft’s operating system like the built-in Cortana personal assistant, support for inking and drawing on notebooks with built-in touchscreens, the ability to log in to Windows 10 with one’s face and more.

As each Windows 10 feature is highlighted, the other woman responds with a variation of the “I don’t have a touchscreen on my Mac, I’m jealous of that” theme. Read More

 

Report: Siri for Mac coming this fall via OS X 10.12 software update

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2016

This fall, Mac owners will at long last be able to converse with Siri as the voice-activated personal assistant makes its way into OS X 10.12, the next major release of Apple’s mobile operating system that powers Mac desktops and notebooks.

According to 9to5Mac’s reliable Mark Gurman, “Apple currently plans to use its next major release of the Mac operating system this fall to continue to expand Siri across its product lines.”

The news will no doubt make Mac owners happy. Siri, which debuted in 2011, is currently available across the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple Watch and the new Apple TV. It makes a lot of sense to bring Siri to the Mac given that processing power and battery life on desktop is much better than on mobile devices. Read More

 

Elgato Eve Energy review: a HomeKit-enabled wireless sensor & switch

By Andrew O'Hara on Feb 23, 2016

Apple’s HomeKit has had a bit of a rocky start. The home automation platform that was meant to tie all of your smart home devices together was plagued by delays from Apple, as well as manufacturers. Devices started to hit the market in the middle of last year, and this year at CES, we saw many new options that are slowly starting to trickle out. Today, we are going to take a look at one of those devices, Eve Energy from Elgato. It is a simple solutions for those who want to start or grow their smart home, without breaking the bank. Read More

 

Apple TV universal search gains support for Watch ABC and 3 additional Disney channels

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 23, 2016

A newly updated Apple support document has indicated that owners of the fourth-generation Apple TV have just gained the ability to search videos across four new content sources, Watch ABC and three major Disney properties: Disney Channel, Disney Jr and Disney X.D.

Users who have one of these channel apps installed on their device can now take advantage of Siri and tvOS’s universal search to have shows like “Modern Family” surfaced in their search results. Read More

 

How to select Siri voices for VoiceOver, Speak Screen and Speak Selection features

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2016

I’m not hearing impaired but that doesn’t prevent me from taking advantage of certain VoiceOver features on my iPhone. For instance, I sometimes use Speak Selection to get iOS to read a book to me as I’m surfing the web, or doing something else.

Being a non-native English speaker, I also rely on that feature to have my iPhone read aloud words and phrases whenever I’m unsure about their correct pronunciation, which is a lot of help—especially with the adjustable pitch and speaking rate.

Starting with iOS 8, a number of options for the Siri voices you can use for the VoiceOver, Speak Screen and Speak Selection features have become available. This tutorial explains how to choose a voice for Speak Screen and Speak Selection and adjust voices for VoiceOver. Read More

 

Apple’s all-new Remote app for Apple TV 4 will do Siri, gestures and work in games

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 15, 2016

Apple is working on a brand new Remote app for the fourth-generation Apple TV that will be a full replacement for the functions provided by the included Siri Remote, said Eddy Cue, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, who was joined on The Talk Show podcast with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber by Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering.

The upcoming software will be a new app, not an update to the existing Remote application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad which in December 2015 gained keyboard and basic navigation support for the new Apple TV. Read More

 

This tweak displays Siri suggestions in all iOS Spotlight interfaces

By Anthony Bouchard on Feb 5, 2016

Starting in iOS 9, Apple introduced Siri Suggestions in the updated Spotlight interface, which is accessed to the left of the first Home screen page.

Interestingly, despite the new Spotlight interface, Apple kept the original Spotlight interface that you can access by pulling down from the top of the screen, and as you might imagine, it doesn’t have all the new bells and whistles the new Spotlight interface does.

A new jailbreak tweak called NearbyNews is now available in Cydia’s BigBoss repository for $0.99 that will let you bring these features to the original Spotlight interface in iOS 9. Read More

 

Siri making random outbursts? Here’s the fix

By Anthony Bouchard on Jan 28, 2016

It’s happened many times to me before, and I can relate to those that it happens to – you’re trying to be quiet in the middle of class or in the middle of a meeting for work, and all of a sudden you hear a random noise and then Siri starts blabbering.

Siri says “I didn’t quite get that,” or “Sorry, I missed that.”

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to solve this problem once and for all. Read More