Tag - Siri
We're weeks away from the public beta of iOS 10, and months from the proper one that will roll out to iPhones and iPads in the fall. Yet the instant the new version was mentioned, suddenly iOS 9 seemed old; even old-fashioned. Before it passes into history for approximately 90 percent of us within a week of iOS 10's release, let me give a tip of the hat to 2015/16's iPhone and iPad operating system.
You already know what was announced at this year's WWDC. True, if you didn't watch the keynote or read our analysis then there's likely to be a lot you didn't catch but overall, you know. So this week's One More Thing laboriously details everything all over again. Oh, yes. We'll read out every one of Apple's slides. That'll be good.
Announced today at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, the Macintosh operating system will no longer be called OS X. Instead, it will be renamed macOS and the next version is specifically macOS Sierra. Highlights of the new system include the long-awaited addition of Siri to the Mac plus Apple Pay on the web, a Universal Clipboard for copying and pasting across all your devices, plus some potentially controversial changes to how your documents are stored.
Siri could be getting a major upgrade to the way it handles queries, if a report's suggestion is accurate. It is believed an acquisition made by Apple last year to acquire VocalIQ before the company could release its smartphone app will be making a considerable change to Apple's digital assistant, with a report claiming the VocalIQ team was largely kept intact after the purchase, and was left to work on integrating their software into Siri itself.
We're another week along with the latest twist and turns of the rumor mill, but we seem to have come full circle this time: "new" and "leaked" schematics for the "iPhone 7" and the "7 Plus" larger model are back to the original ideas: that apart from the camera and slightly-rearranged antenna bands, the next iPhones will look almost exactly like the ones they replaced. Worse, we're now hearing reports that the alleged home Siri device will actually be ... another new Apple TV model, just as Apple said it would be a year ago.
Apple is planning to roll out a long-requested Siri SDK for developers at WWDC 16, reports The Information. The software package will finally allow developers to take advantage of Siri's natural speech recognition technology within their apps for the first time. Additionally, Apple is said to be looking to take Siri into the house, by building a speaker system that would compete with devices like Amazon's Echo. With Siri for Mac expected to debut at WWDC16, Siri looks to becoming increasingly pivotal in Apple's plans moving forward.
It's not fair to expect greatness from a $1 app. However, all this one manages to do is make you wish even more that Apple would bring Siri to the the Mac -- and maybe wonder if there are reasons why it hasn't. For Awa 1.2 aims to be the kind of voice control that Siri is for iOS, and as yet is not for OS X. It aims to be this, and it feels like the start of something that may grow and improve, but right now it just doesn't work.
For once, though, one of them actually convinces the other about something. We know: impossible. There's no such thing as proper conversation, certainly not on podcasts or the telly, there is just one person talking and the other waiting for them to shut up. In this case, though, minds and opinions are changed. See if you get turned around about Spotify's television plans too.
Apple has produced another ad in its growing series of TV spots featuring the Siri vocal assistant feature found in iOS products. The latest is titled "Thank You Speech," and features How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris in a 30-second ad that shows off the "Hey Siri" feature -- in this case having Harris ask for a specific note, containing his thank-you award speech, to be read aloud. He then follows along with the recitation, holding a suit brush as a stand-in for the award he presumes he will get.
Can we just mention that we were right last week? We said, we actually said that if you go down to an Apple Store and wait for an hour, you might get a new MacBook. Okay, we didn't phrase it quite so specifically and actually we may possibly have meant iMacs rather than MacBooks but the principle holds: we called it. Which means this week, we have to keep that prediction record up.
Now AAPL Stock: 92.34 ( -1.06 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R