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, 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


Microsoft bringing Cortana personal assistant to iOS this fall

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2015

Microsoft has been hard at work developing an iOS and Android version of its Siri-like personal assistant, Cortana, which could hit the iPhone and iPad as a standalone application sometime in the fall 2014 timeframe, Reuters reported Friday.

The software giant currently provides Cortana on Windows phones and is set to launch it on desktop with the arrival of Windows 10 this fall.

Windows 10 integrates Cortana so users can perform queries and get various answers just by asking. Read More


Hey Siri will allow you to interact with Apple Watch hands-free

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 9, 2015

We’ve always known that Apple Watch will have Siri integration, but some new developments were revealed at Today’s Apple Watch event. While on stage, Kevin Lynch demonstrated Hey Siri functionality, which allows you to invoke Siri by simply raising your wrist and using only your voice.  Read More


Siri learns eight new languages in iOS 8.3 beta 2

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 23, 2015

Apple today seeded new iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 betas to its registered developers and included in the former are more than half a dozen new Siri languages, 9to5Mac said.

When iOS 8.3 is released for public consumption this March, owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices will be permitted to converse with the voice assistant in Danish, Dutch, English for India, Russian, Swedish, Thai and Turkish. Read More


Can you tell the difference between Siri’s voice in iOS 8.1.1 and iOS 8.3?

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2015

Improved Siri voice is reportedly among the under-the-hood improvements in Apple’s upcoming iOS 8.3 software update. Though a better-sounding Siri may not always be apparent to an untrained ear, Apple should be credited for consistently improving the voice assistant’s speech synthesis capabilities.

Quick comparison of today’s more natural-sounding Siri versus the original Siri from 2011 gives you a good indication of Apple’s advances in this area.

And now with iOS 8.3 in tow, Apple’s bound to boost Siri’s speech synthesis further. Listen to the new and improved Siri voice in iOS 8.3 relative to iOS 8.1.1 and let us know what you think. Read More


New video shows off a Siri RSS feed reader called Sireader after Redditor posts $1000 bounty

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 14, 2015

Developer Philip Tennen showed off a new in-progress jailbreak tweak called Sireader that allows Siri to read RSS feeds. The tweak, which is in the early stages of development as a result of a $1,000 bounty on Reddit, looks extremely promising for those of us that peruse RSS on a daily basis. Imagine driving in the car and having Siri read the latest stories from your favorite news feed. If Tennen’s jailbreak tweak sees the light of day, this will be a future reality for jailbreakers. Read More


Siri to soon speak Polish, Czech and Slovak

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2015

iOS 8 has added more than two dozen new languages to Siri, but Apple isn’t standing still. As first noted by Czech blog LetemSvetemApplem [Google Translate], the voice activated personal assistant feature for the iPhone and iPad could soon start parsing queries in Polish, Czech and Slovak.

The publication has made the conclusion after uncovering a series of text strings within the ‘Localizable.strings’ file in iOS 8.1.2.

For those wondering, the file contains translated content for Siri responses concerning stuff like restaurants, sports information and more. Read More


Many early HomeKit devices require Apple TV for remote Siri features

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2015

Folks looking to take advantage of the onslaught of HomeKit products being introduced at CES this year will need to make sure they have an Apple TV. The Verge is reporting that many of the just-announced HomeKit accessories require the set-top box for select features.

More specifically, the outlet says that new smart home devices from iHome, GridConnect, Chamberlain, Elgato and others require users to have a third-gen Apple TV (running software 7.0 or later) on their network in order to take advantage of Siri remote control capabilities. Read More


QuickSiri: invoke Siri with a specific phrase

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 5, 2015

Do you find yourself using the same Siri commands over and over? I know I do. I always use Siri to tell me the time, and I always use Siri to set alarms. My Siri usage is very limited, so a jailbreak tweak that lets you instantly invoke Siri with a canned command seems right up my alley. Enter QuickSiri, a brand new Cydia release that makes it ridiculously easy to get a fast response from Siri via a canned inquiry. Read More


CES 2015: HomeKit-compatible Switch controls your home with Siri

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 5, 2015

Debuting at CES 2015 as the world’s first HomeKit-certified products on the market, a smart power switch from an accessory maker called iDevices makes it easy to turn on anything in your home using your voice, no hub required.

Marketed as the Switch, this smart power switch uses voice capabilities of Siri to help manage your home from wherever you are. Read More


How to use Siri’s song recognition feature with Activator

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 5, 2015

Siri’s built-in Shazam song recognition feature is a handy way to quickly identify songs that are playing around you. What’s this song, Siri? is a new Activator add-on that takes this song recognition feature, and makes it directly accessible by means of an Activator gesture. Read More


New Microsoft ad says iPhone 6 Plus only makes Siri bigger, not smarter

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

Friday, Windows giant Microsoft published a new Apple-bashing ad on its YouTube channel.

The 30-second television commercial shows off the latest version of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant, running on the Lumia 830 and interacting with a bunch of built-in applications.

Cortana amusingly brags to Siri about being able to perform functions Apple’s personal assistant can’t, like alert users to leave early for an appointment using traffic alerts, remind them of things based on who calls or texts and more. Read More


Amazon launches futuristic connected speaker with Siri-like assistant

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 6, 2014

I’m not really sure what to think about Amazon’s crazy connected speaker with built-in personal digital assistant. What I do know is that the Echo could be a close approximation of what a next-generation Apple TV with built-in Siri might be like. Taking another swing at hardware, the Echo is well designed: it sports both sexy looks and the smarts.

It’s also got a few cool tricks up its sleeve to dazzle unsuspecting users. In a nutshell, the Echo will talk to you, play music, read your news headlines, check the weather, find facts online — and also sell you things — for $199. Read More


UntetheredHeySiri: Use Hey Siri without needing a power connection

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 30, 2014

And the good times keep rolling. A new jailbreak tweak has popped up on the Cydia Store from well-known developer Hamza Sood. The tweak, entitled UntetheredHeySiri, lets you use Siri hands-free without needing to be connected to power.

It’s an obvious want for those of us who jailbreak, and Sood quickly addressed the issue. In fact, it’s the way that he implemented the tweak that impresses me most. Head inside and watch our hands-on video to see what I mean. Read More


Video walkthroughs offer detailed look at CarPlay on Pioneer’s $700 AVH-4000NEX receiver

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2014

Though we’ve seen our fair share of CarPlay demos in months past, we still can’t get enough of learning about the intricacies of Apple’s in-car iPhone entertainment system. You may have head that Pioneer recently released a firmware update bringing CarPlay functionality to five of its 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers, so people don’t have to buy a brand new car just to enjoy CarPlay.

As noted by TUAW, Josh Carr of technology repair firm Fix Denver put Pioneer’s new software through its paces and created several videos showing off different aspects of CarPlay, including Phone functionality, Apple Maps and various other built-in apps including Spotify, which recently updated its iPhone and iPad app with CarPlay support .

Interested? Jump past the break for more. Read More


How to use “Hey Siri” without being connected to power

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 8, 2014

“Hey Siri” is a new feature in iOS 8 that makes it possible to invoke Siri using only your voice. It’s nice for those moments when your hands are full or when your iPhone is across the room.

The only downside to “Hey Siri” is that your iPhone must be connected to a power source in order to use it. This restriction was placed there to save your iPhone’s battery life.

But, there is a way to use Hey Siri without being connected to a power source. It’s not as handy as using it while connected to power, but it’s a nice workaround for those situations where you need hands-free control. Read More