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

 

How to introduce Siri to your family and friends

By Lory Gil on Aug 1, 2013

Apple’s virtual personal assistant, Siri, can do a lot for anyone who wants to ask for her help. She can schedule appointments, tell you who’s winning the game, and get you tickets to the late show, among other things.

One of the useful things that Siri can do is remember your relationships. Once you’ve told Siri who your wife is, you can ask her to send her a message. We have a basic tutorial to help you teach Siri who your family is… Read More

 

Apple may be working to supplant Siri’s Nuance speech recognition with in-house tech

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 26, 2013

Although Apple’s Siri uses Nuance’s speech recognition technology, the digital assistant may be getting a new voice soon. Although Nuance continues to power Siri’s speech recognition, a number of former Nuance employees reportedly are now part of Apple’s in-house efforts to develop a new speech recognition technology to power Siri, reducing its technological dependency on third-parties.

For instance, a number of former employees of VoiceSignal Technologies, a speech software firmed acquired by Nuance, now appear in leading roles developing Siri as an in-house application for Apple, according to a Friday report… Read More

 

iPhone to become dashboard in 2014 iScooters

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 15, 2013

Apple for some time has expressed interest in designing products for high-end automobiles, creating Siri Eyes Free to act as a driver’s personal assistant. However, with the growing use of scooters – particularly ones electric-powered – the Apple handset is set to become the dashboard, serving up GPS information, speed and more. The iScooters should appear in 2014, one version from the maker of the tiny Smart Car and another from that wonderland of gadgets, Japan… Read More

 

Apple researching safe vehicle telematics with touchscreen and tactile features

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 9, 2013

Apple hopes a new patent granted today will make driving safer in cars equipped with a growing array of screens and devices.

The patent combines the touch screen technology found in iPhones and iPads with haptic feedback, allowing drivers to adjust dashboard controls while keeping their eyes on the road.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved Apple’s technology, entitled “Programmable tactile touch screen displays and man-machine interfaces for improved vehicle instrumentation and telematics.” The technology builds on an earlier patent granted to a Canadian inventor on human interaction with computers… Read More

 

Apple caught testing offline Dictation for iOS 7

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 6, 2013

Among the headline new Mac features set to debut when OS X Mavericks gets released this Fall is a little but important enhancement to Dictation.

Hawk-eyed readers will recall that Dictation was brought to the Mac as part of OS X Mountain Lion last summer. Based on Siri’s speech-to-text component, Dictation on the Mac requires a broadband Internet connection.

In Mavericks, Apple will let you optionally download a nearly 1GB package to power offline Dictation.

But Apple’s engineers aren’t stopping here and are reportedly privately testing offline Dictation for iOS 7. More details right after the break… Read More

 

Samsung lambasts Siri dictation in weirdest Galaxy S4 ad yet

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 5, 2013

I appreciate memorable, creative advertising as much as the next guy, but I just don’t get a new Galaxy S4 commercial Samsung is airing in Iceland.

Instead of focusing on the handset’s features or the usual iPhone bashing, this time around Samsung’s creative agency has gone over the top in depicting a guy trying to make a phone call on a real apple.

Realizing swiping across fruit makes no sense, the ad then switches to a happy scene where our hero operates a Galaxy S4. The not-so-subtle jab at Apple is plain weird, to put it mildly. I know ads are supposed to take into account the often vast cultural differences across markets, but I’m not sure Samsung did itself a favor with this particular commercial… Read More

 

Opel brings Siri Eyes Free to entry-level Adam

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2013

Apple’s Siri Eyes Free voice-guided in-car control isn’t just for the rich, as the European car maker Opel (owned by General Motors) has decided to offer the feature as a paid upgrade on its entry-level Adam. Costing €300, or approximately $400, buyers can outfit their Adam with Siri Eyes Free so they can send messages, make appointments and much more through Siri’s integration with the new IntelliLink system. I’ve included more information and a nice promo clip after the break… Read More

 

Siri gets new male and female voices in iOS 7 beta 2

By Cody Lee on Jun 24, 2013

Earlier today, Apple released the second beta of its next-generation mobile operating system, iOS 7, to developers. The update comes exactly two weeks after the original beta of iOS 7 was released, and brings with it a number of new features and improvements.

One of the more prominent changes we’ve seen has to do with Siri, Apple’s snarky digital assistant. Not only has it gotten smarter, but in beta 2 the virtual secretary received new voice templates. You can now choose from a male or female voice in several languages… Read More

 

Siri in iOS 7 getting better at pronouncing names

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2013

Not only is Siri getting a facelift and new features in iOS 7 as Apple continues to focus on improving her usability and the accuracy and reliability of the responses, she’s also getting smarter thanks to backend changes which don’t require a software update. For example, one of such server-side improvements is the ability to place phone calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to help save lives.

But there’s one aspect of Siri that has seen little changes since her inception: inaccurate pronunciation of certain names. But no more. Although not specifically addressed during the WWDC 2013 keynote, it’s been discovered that Siri can now initiate a learning process of sorts whenever it has trouble understanding your pronunciation of a person’s name… Read More

 

Feeling suicidal? Don’t do it, Siri can call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for you

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 18, 2013

Sometimes, one just feels like life isn’t worth living anymore. Maybe you’ve been trying too hard for too long or life hasn’t been treating you fairly?

Perhaps love of your life has suddenly dumped you? Or, it could be the economy. Whatever the reason, far too many people are having suicidal thoughts these days.

And who could blame them – we’re living in a time when the entire world is increasingly becoming a Prozac nation. When desperation sets in, suicide prevention centers step in to save lives. But those considering committing suicide are often way too depressed to even seek professional help on their own.

Apple feels their pain, too. In a recent server-side update, the company’s digital assistant has gained ability to help individuals in suicidal crisis reach out to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by automatically placing that potentially life-saving phone call for you… Read More

 

Apple makes Bing Siri’s default search engine

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2013

“The enemy of my enemy, is my friend.” That proverb seems fitting for the new Bing partnership Apple announced today, which sees Microsoft’s lackluster search engine tapped as the default search engine for the snarky digital assistant Siri.

The entire audience went silent during the keynote this morning, as Apple’s SVP of Internet software and services Eddy Cue announced that new in iOS 7, Siri will be able to respond to queries with integrated Bing web search results… Read More

 

Siri gets a makeover, new features and improvements in iOS 7

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2013

Apple’s system-wide overhaul in iOS 7 brings a new look to everyone’s favorite snarky digital assistant. Siri gets a complete makeover in the update with a new UI, new animations, and more realistic-sounding voice samples—now available in both male and female voices.

In addition to the redesign, Siri also gets a handful of new features and other improvements. Phil Schiller says that it’s smarter, with faster responses, in-app Bing search results and links to Twitter, and deeper vehicle integration for automakers to take advantage of… Read More

 

Apple’s Siri Eyes Free mode coming to 2014 BMWs

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 7, 2013

The German maker of luxurious cars BMW back in March added four new apps to its BMW Apps platform: Amazon’s Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn app.

As one of Apple’s early launch partners, BMW previously featured Siri’s Eyes Free mode on select vehicles. The latest update to BMW’s iDrive platform expands Eyes Free support with new Siri features, including Bluetooth access to on-device music.

And finally, the car maker has announced that the new iDrive 4.2 firmware doesn’t just bring Siri on its 2014 model cars, it also enables S Voice, Samsung’s own voice thing found on newer Galaxy devices… Read More

 

Google updates iOS Search app, rolls out nutritional information in search results

By Christian Zibreg on May 31, 2013

I really, really wish Apple doubled down on Siri. When the intelligent personal assistant debuted as an iPhone 4S-exclusive back in October 2011, Siri was likened to a seismic shift that would vastly improve our interactions with the devices in our lives. And it did.

But merely nineteen months later, Google has leapfrogged Siri with Google Now, which combines the power of Google search with the company’s Knowledge Graph and top-notch voice recognition to deliver relevant info before you even asked for it.

But Google isn’t standing still. Today the firm has updated its native iOS Search app with “location improvements and bug fixes.” And just yesterday, it announced that nutritional information will start cropping up in search results across platforms, including iOS and Android applications that incorporate Google Now… Read More