Apple opens Siri to developers with iOS 10’s new SiriKit API

By Anthony Bouchard on Jun 13, 2016

iOS 10, which was unveiled at Apple’s WWDC 2016 Keynote on Monday, will provide users with the most in-depth Siri experience of any iOS release in history.

Apple is officially opening Siri up with an API that will let developers tap into Siri for their App Store apps. Read More

 

Voice calls come to Slack, video calling and screen sharing in the works

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2016

Slack, a cloud-based, cross-platform team collaboration service, has rolled out support for voice calling, the team announced yesterday. With it, team members can call one another without leaving Slack, and calls even have an emoji response feature.

Calls are currently voice-only, but Slack says that features like video calling and screen sharing will come in the future. Slack is available across iOS, OS X, the web and other platforms. Read More

 

Xbox One is getting Cortana soon

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 6, 2016

Microsoft’s personal digital assistant Cortana is coming to the Xbox One console with an forthcoming software update for the console, the Windows giant revealed this morning. Cortona is currently available on Windows as an integrated feature and on iOS and Android devices as a standalone app.

Cortana for Xbox One will let players find new games, see what their friends are doing, start a party, perform common tasks and even turn on the console with their voice. 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

 

Best voice recording apps for iPhone and iPad

By Andrew O'Hara on May 22, 2016

Students who record lectures, business users who record meetings, or an aspiring artist who records ideas on the go. There are many different people use, or could use, a voice memo app. Apple does include a stock application, however its features are rather limited. To break through the crowded hodge podge that is the App Store, we went searching for some of the best apps around for taking audio recordings. Read More

 

Introducing Assistant, Google’s conversational AI helper

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016

In addition to announcing a pair of new iPhone apps for messaging and video calling and a preview of its Amazon Echo-killer, the Google I/O 2016 keynote saw some pretty exciting news regarding the search giant’s all-new two-way conversational assistant, coming soon to all your devices.

Named Assistant, it’s a big upgrade to Google Now that builds “on all our years of investment in deeply understanding users’ questions”. Read More

 

“OK Hound, what’s this song?”

By Christian Zibreg on May 17, 2016

SoundHound, a Santa Clara, California headquartered audio recognition and cognition company, today pushed an interesting update to its free and paid App Store apps, which now include a brand new, pretty powerful voice-activated music assistant feature.

Responding to the ‘OK Hound’ keyword, the new search and assistant mode translates your spoken commands into appropriate actions, letting you identify songs, discover new music, add tracks to your Apple Music playlist and more, hands-free. 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

 

Google’s own Amazon Echo-like accessory, dubbed ‘Chirp’ is landing soon

By Christian Zibreg on May 13, 2016

Code-named ‘Chirp’, Google’s upcoming hardware appliance will integrate the company’s search and voice assistant technologies akin to the Amazon Echo, and is landing soon, Re/code reported yesterday.

The rumored device should resemble Google’s OnHub wireless router, according to several sources.

If the increasing popularity of Amazon’s integrated wireless speaker and voice command device is an indication—it’s estimated they sold three million Echo units to date—Google’s rumored accessory could prove popular with users, especially given Google’s expertise in voice and search. 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

 

Get your Mac to speak any selected text

By Anthony Bouchard on Feb 29, 2016

Your Mac, just like any iOS devices you own, comes with an ability to speak selected text. This comes in handy when you can’t see the text very well and would find it useful to have the text read out loud to you.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can make your Mac speak a selected body of text with ease. 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

 

Tip: use Siri to toggle system settings

By Anthony Bouchard on Jan 26, 2016

Siri is the personal voice assistant pre-installed on your iOS device. Introduced in iOS 5, the voice assistant allows a wide variety of functions, conversions, information queries, and fun comments to be invoked with just your voice.

But did you know Siri can also be used to toggle certain system settings on or off too? In this tutorial, we’ll show you how. Read More

 

Need a coin toss or roll of the dice? Have Siri do it

By Anthony Bouchard on Jan 25, 2016

When it comes right down to it, you may not always have a coin or a die in your pocket, but fortunately, you probably have your iPhone with you, and all recent iPhones can take advantage of the pocket voice assistant Siri.

Siri is a powerful tool, and you may not have known this, but if you forgot your coin and die at home, Siri has you covered for all of your chance-taking needs – she never forgets hers! In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to have Siri flip a coin or roll a die for you. Read More

 

Get more intimate with Siri: teach her how to call you

By Anthony Bouchard on Jan 21, 2016

Siri is a great way to get to the things you want on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad without having to tap on anything – it works great for situations where you don’t really have your hands free, but who says using Siri has to be boring?

In this quick post, we’ll show you how you can spice up your conversations with Siri by configuring the voice assistant to call you something different. Read More

 

You can now download Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant to your iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2015

After rolling out a beta of Cortana for iOS to a limited number of beta testers in late-November, Microsoft today released the software to everyone via the App Store.

A free download, Cortana for iOS helps you get things done “by letting your PC and iPhone work together,” as per the official description. The app takes advantage of your schedule, interests, contacts and reminders to deliver personalized results.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and give Cortana a try right now! Read More

 

Microsoft rolling out Cortana for iOS to beta testers

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 30, 2015

Following its announcement earlier in the month that Cortana for iOS would soon launch for a limited number of beta testers, Microsoft has now made good on that promise and started rolling out the beta software, TechCrunch reported this past weekend.

Cortana for iOS looks just like the Windows 10 Mobile and Android equivalents, and works in a very similar way, with a few exceptions stemming from Apple-imposed restrictions on third-party iOS app development. Read More

 

Microsoft invites a limited number of iOS users to beta-test Cortana assistant

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2015

Microsoft today announced that a limited number of iPhone owners in the United States and China can now sign up to test-drive the first public beta of its personal digital assistant, called Cortana. “Over the coming months, we’ll continue to deliver frequent updates to the app to expand the features and functionality,” notes the Windows maker.

While Cortana offers the most complete experience on Windows devices due to its tight integration with Microsoft’s operating system and Apple-imposed restrictions related to iOS development, Cortana for iOS does take the intelligence of its Windows counterpart and brings that experience to the user’s iPhone. Read More

 

SoundHound has created a voice search app that will knock your socks off

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 5, 2015

Apple’s introduction of Siri back in 2011 was a watershed moment for voice-activated personal digital assistants. Today, a myriad of Siri-like services exist such as Google Now on Android devices and Microsoft’s cross-platform Cortana, which will be hitting iOS soon following Windows 10 debut on July 29.

But many if not all of the existing services, Siri included, could be put to shame by Hound.

Hound is a forthcoming digital assistant which promises a groundbreaking smartphone experience, created by SoundHound, the maker of namesake mobile music and audio recognition service. 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

 
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