Assistant Unrestrictor: use Voice Control when Siri is unavailable

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 2, 2014

I don’t use Siri nearly as much as I used to, so maybe I’m in the minority when I state that I rarely have problems with Siri not working; I simply don’t use it enough to encounter any problems. But for those of you who use Siri day in and day out, you’re more likely to experience the issues that Assistant Unrestrictor—a new jailbreak tweak available on Cydia’s BigBoss repo—tries to solve.

Assistant Unrestrictor is a tweak that forces the old-school Voice Control to come into play in the instances where Siri is unavailable. For example, when Siri is down due to the lack of a network connection, Voice Control can step in and handle some of the light load. Obviously, Voice Control is nowhere near as robust as Siri, but for light duty, it’s adequate in a pinch. Have a look at our full video walkthrough inside to see how it works. Read More

 

Siri may soon sort through your photos, new Apple invention reveals

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 26, 2013

With the ever-improving capabilities of smartphone cameras and so many great moments to capture on the go and share with your Instagram followers, browsing the hundreds – often times even thousands – of photographs in your iOS Camera Roll just to find that great shot of your significant other you’ve taken some time last year is starting to increasingly feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Sure, you can import iPhoto or Aperture albums or create your own ones right on your device. And yes, Apple’s improved the photo management capabilities of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices by introducing new features in iOS 7, such as the ability to automatically group your photographs based on time taken and location.

A new patent now reveals that Apple could tap Siri to let you sort through your photos – and even tag them – just by using your voice… Read More

 

Report finds that Siri’s accuracy continues to improve under iOS 7

By Cody Lee on Dec 10, 2013

Gene Munster—yes the iTV guy—is out with a new report today looking at the state of Siri’s ability to accurately answer and respond to queries. The Piper Jaffray analyst regularly assesses the accuracy of Apple’s digital assistant.

In his latest look, Munster found that Siri has continued to improve with the release of iOS 7, particularly in its ability to properly interpret questions being asked and its overall performance when accessed in noisier situations…

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If Siri drove a car…

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2013

Forget Apple’s iOS in the Car initiative, or Siri Eyes Free, or even big name car makers rolling out support for iOS mirroring and other hands-free features that tap Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices – here comes the ultimate Siri-driven feature (yeah, pun intended).

Introducing Steeri, the world’s first driverless car app.

Put together by the Smart Department sketch comedy group, the video humorously depicts what Siri-powered driving might be like. The video is right after the jump so have a look and join us in comments… Read More

 

Apple patents smart iDevice dock with always-listening Siri capability

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2013

An interesting Apple patent application has surfaced in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database on Thursday. Titled ‘Smart dock for activating a voice recognition mode of a portable electronic device,’ the filing basically describes a smart dock of sorts for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices with a unique feature giving Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant a permanent place in your home, with a cool always-on functionality.

Unlike Motorola’s Moto X handset with on-device Google Now feature always in the listening mode and responding to the ‘OK Google’ phrase, Apple’s patent relies on a hardware dock providing the listening functionality, with users being able to set a custom audio prompt that will trigger Siri… Read More

 

Honda details Siri Eyes Free integration for 2013-2014 Accord and Acura models

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2013

Along with many fellow car vendors, Honda back in January 2013 promised to roll out certain Accord and Acura models with integrated support for Apple’s Eyes Free.

In a blog post today, the Japanese car maker announced that Siri Eyes Free integration is available on the 2013-2014 Honda Accord and 2013 Acura RDX and ILX vehicles as a dealer-installed accessory.

As you know, Siri Eyes Free is a voice-activated system which allows drivers to interact with Siri on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad using their voice, without ever taking their hands off the steering wheel. It also helps minimize distractions by keeping an iOS device’s screen from lighting up.

With Siri Eyes Free, you can send, receive and read messages, set reminders and alarms, check the weather, stock quotes, sports scores, showtimes and other info and even use turn-by-turn navigation, all through the power of Siri’s spoken commands… Read More

 

GM announces Siri ‘Eyes Free’ coming to 2014 Camaro, Malibu and more

By Cody Lee on Oct 15, 2013

General Motors has issued a press release this week, announcing that Siri ‘Eyes Free’ mode will be coming to several new vehicles in 2014, including the Chevy Camaro, Volt, Malibu, SS, Cruze and Equinox.

The feature, which in GM models works via the Chevrolet MyLink service, connects to compatible iPhones to give users one-touch, in-car access to Siri, allowing them to perform various tasks hands-free… Read More

 

Meet voice actress Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 4, 2013

The mystique of Siri, Apple’s “personal assistant” for iOS, has been the mysterious female voice. Able to speak directions to your favorite pizza parlor as well as carry on witty banter with celebrities, finding the voice behind your iPhone has become the holy grail for love-struck geeks everywhere. Now comes a middle-aged Atlanta mom who claims she’s the original voice behind Siri, providing a peak behind the world of talking machines.

Susan Bennett, a mom from Sandy Springs, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, never wanted the spotlight. Her voice has been used to give life to machines ranging from the an ATM to a voice announcing directions inside the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport. Now she is speaking out about her role as the most famous unknown voice heard by millions of people… Read More

 

Apple’s ever-growing cash horde pegged at one-tenth of all US corporate dollars

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 2, 2013

Some people collects rocks, other people collect stamps. Apple, however, likes cash. Turns out the iPhone maker, all by itself, controls ten percent of all corporate cash in the United States.

Just how much is that? New data shows Apple’s bank account of $147 billion represents ten percent of the $1.48 trillion held by non-banking U.S. companies.

Here’s another factoid to make you even more uneasy about that measly savings account of yours: all together, Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Pfizer – not exactly nickel and dime operations – account for another fifteen percent of all U.S. corporate cash… Read More

 

Apple Maps and Siri woes again make headlines

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2013

Just when you thought the dust has settled over Apple’s digital personal assistant, Siri, and the company’s Google Maps replacement software in iOS, latest reports once again pan the two services over gross inaccuracies.

Worse, these stories paint Apple Maps and Siri in a not-so-favorable light – and very publicly, too.

The first report comes from Alaska and warns about people looking for directions to the Fairbanks International Airport, only to be instructed to drive onto an airport taxiway, which is located directly across the runway where airplanes take off and land…. Read More

 

Apple found to be using Multipath TCP networking in iOS 7

By Cody Lee on Sep 24, 2013

It’s been discovered that Apple is using a new networking protocol called Multipath TCP in iOS 7. The technology allows devices like the iPhone and iPad to switch between both cellular and Wi-Fi for data transfer.

The find is credited to Olivier Bonaventure, a computer science professor at the IP Networking Lab in Belgium, who says this is the first large-scale commercial deployment of Multipath TCP and it has huge implications… Read More

 

New in iOS 7: use Siri to access app settings

By Cody Lee on Sep 23, 2013

Apple has not only made Siri more intelligent and capable in iOS 7, but it’s also stopped referring to it as being in ‘beta.’ We’ve noted a number of the digital assistant’s improvements over the past few months, but here’s a cool little trick that was just pointed out to us… Read More

 

Apple patent describes location-based speech recognition

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 19, 2013

Now that Apple is pushing a number of differing iPhones to a wider range of countries, it might be wise if Siri understood languages spoken outside of North America and Europe. To help fine-tune the regional differences in language, Apple has filed for a patent on integrating geolocation with speech recognition.

The filing, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last Thursday, seeks to use location clues to enhance Siri, as well as speech to text services available with the newly-introduced iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c… Read More

 

Siri pans Google Glass

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2013

Once again, Apple has tweaked its digital personal assistant Siri to give the “right” answers when asked about a competitor’s product.

This time around, Apple has re-calibrated her to give amusing responses to the “Okay Glass” prompt Google Glass owners use to issue commands to their Android-driven eyewear.

Though playful, Siri’s responses disparage Google Glass, with one response calling Google’s head-worn accessory “half empty” and telling users they’ve “got the wrong assistant”. We have all the responses and a nice video right after the break… Read More