Tag - Eyes Free
A new software update for older Ford vehicles from 2011 onwards with the second-generation Sync system installed has added support for Siri Eyes Free, Apple's control and command technology designed for automobile use. Once the version 3.8 software update has been installed (which typically takes about a half-hour), "Siri Eyes Free can be activated by pressing and holding the voice button for at least 3 seconds," the company says.
Apple has issued a statement criticizing a study conducted by the University of Utah for the American Automobile Association in October that rated Apple's Siri (and other naturalistic voice-command virtual assistants by proxy) as "the most" distracting in-car task compared to just driving, adjusting the car's radio or temperature, or using built-in car navigation or infotainment systems. In its response, Apple points out some serious flaws in the study, including the fact that it deliberately avoided using the driving-specific Siri Eyes Free or CarPlay options.
The 2014 Civic and the 2015 Fit will each get two forms of iOS integration, Honda has announced. The most significant is Display Audio, which will let users control functions like music, calling, and navigation through gesture controls on a built-in capacitive touchscreen. Connecting will require an iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c, and one or more of four new HondaLink apps: Connect, Navigation, Aha, and Launcher. Aha provides access to Internet audio including radio, podcasts, and audiobooks, plus Twitter and Facebook updates, and listings for nearby points of interest. Launcher is used to find and launch HondaLink-compatible apps. The official Honda apps are all free except for Navigation, which costs $60.
Honda has officially launched Siri Eyes Free integration for a handful of vehicles. These include 2013 and 2014 models of the Honda Accord, and 2013 models of the Acura RDX and ILX. Eyes Free lets people trigger Siri through a button on their steering wheel, instead of having to reach for their iPhone to control functions like texting, music playback, or turn-by-turn navigation; it also shuts off the phone's screen to reduce distractions. To get the feature, car owners must pay for a dealer installation.
Siri's "Eyes Free" mode will be supported in several 2014 Chevrolet cars, GM has announced. These include the Camaro, Volt, Malibu, SS, Cruze, and Equinox. The technology will be integrated via Chevy's MyLink service. Earlier in 2013, the company's Spark and Sonic models were among the first vehicles to get Eyes Free support.
All 2014-model BMW cars will support the Siri "Eyes Free" technology included in iOS, the luxury automaker has announced. The technology is being delivered through an update to BMW's iDrive platform. By pressing and/or holding a voice command button on the steering wheel, people will be able to trigger Siri without reaching for their iPhone. The same button will also be able to trigger S Voice on Samsung phones.
As promised, Chevrolet's 2013 Sonic and Spark cars have been updated to support Siri Eyes Free. The bridge is handled through MyLink, a touchscreen interface built into the vehicles. To use the function a person has to connect a cellular-equipped iOS device via Bluetooth; commands are issued by pressing a voice activation button on the steering wheel.
The Siri Eyes-Free feature that was first shown off at Apple's developer conference earlier this month will be appearing in future versions of Chevrolet's Spark and Sonic models. Sources tell GM Authority that the Spark and Sonic will be among the first cars to feature integration with Apple's digital assistant. The automaker has yet to confirm the news with an announcement, but one may be forthcoming within the next 12 months.
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WaterField cycling ride pouches
WaterField's new cycling ride pouches are custom-fit to carry both in one compact kit and are ready for the summer cycling season. The Cycling Ride Pouch includes a clear window that allows basic phone access with the phone still safely within the case, and the Cycling Club Pouch incorporates a padded phone pocket to separate up to an iPhone 6 Plus-sized phone from the tool compartment. Both handsome pouches fit neatly in a back jersey pocket, with optimized surface area for comfort. The Cycling Ride Pouch sells for $80, with the Club Pouch retailing for $50. http://bit.ly/1rRqN4e
Dish providing on-site iPhone repair services
Dish has expanded into the iPhone repair industry. Available today, the satellite television company's "Smart Phone Repair" routes a technician directly to a customer's door. DISH's network of technicians in all 50 states will repair cracked screens and replace batteries on Apple's iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. In the coming months, the company intends to expand its service to include additional devices and smartphone accessories. http://bit.ly/1SLaDiW
India rejects Apple's refurb request
Apple's request to the Indian government to be allowed to sell refurbished iPhones has been rejected, a move that will hurt the company's efforts to attract budget-oriented consumers. Opposition to the importation of refurbished iPhones is said to have been led by local smartphone makers (and, it should be noted, Samsung), who feared that lower-cost iPhones would undermine the government's own mandates on manufacturing phones in India, and trigger a flood of used electronics into the marketplace, driving prices generally downward. Currently, Apple has just two percent of the smartphone market there, and is also applying to the government for permission to open directly-controlled Apple Stores. That decision is still pending. http://bloom.bg/1rRgi0I
Amazon Prime Now available via website
Amazon's Prime Now rapid delivery service is now available to use from the web, giving users an alternative to using the normal mobile app. Available as a free option for Prime subscribers in certain areas, the web-based service continues to offer the same selection of goods as the mobile version, and is still free for deliveries within two hours, $8 for within one hour. http://amzn.to/1UvqYgi
SoundCloud Go expands to UK, Ireland
SoundCloud has expanded its subscription service to the United Kingdom and Ireland, its first expansion since launching in the United States in late March. Priced at £10 ($14) per month, SoundCloud Go lets users listen to existing tracks ad-free, as well as complete access to licensed music from major record labels, and the ability to download tracks for offline listening. http://bit.ly/1rhBv35
Maps adds transit for Rio Olympics
On Monday, Apple added public transit directions for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to its Apple Maps program in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics, which begin on August 5. The addition marks the first time a Brazilian city has gotten the upgraded public transit maps, which include station maps as well as transit schedules and tracking. The transit directions cover ferries as well as bus, subway, and light rail lines. The company has recently expanded transit directions to Montreal in Canada, and Seattle, Portand (Oregon), and other US cities.
Ive opens Met Gala fundraiser in NYC
On Monday, Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive opened the press preview of the annual Met Gala fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. Ive is serving as co-chair with Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and Apple is helping sponsor the event, which is themed "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." He said the company is "thrilled" to participate in the Gala, and tied the company to the theme by saying that Apple's goal "has always been to try to create objects as beautiful as they are functional," adding that the company is "only starting" on its path of making products "more personal." http://bit.ly/1Y3EHKg