Tag - Siri
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.
Apple has agreed to settle a patent lawsuit concerning technology used in its virtual assistant, Siri. Marathon Patent Group and licensee Dynamic Advances sued Apple in October 2012 over Siri for allegedly infringing a patent for a "Natural language interface using constrained dictionary of results," with the two sides agreeing to terminate proceedings with a settlement payment from Apple worth $24.9 million.
Apple has revealed the dates for when the next Worldwide Developers Conference will be held, via a query on Siri. The first sighting of any information about when exactly the developer conference will take place, asking the virtual assistant "When is WWDC?" offers the answer that it "will be held June 13 through June 17 in San Francisco," one week later than the June 8 to June 12 last year's event took place.
A security issue has been discovered in iOS that provides access to a limited amount of data, based on the way Siri handles searches while an iPhone is locked. The flaw, discovered by Jose Rodriguez, uses a combination of a Siri search, Twitter, and 3D Touch on an iPhone 6s or an iPhone 6s Plus running iOS 9.3.1, with the attacker able to view photo albums and the contact list stored on the iPhone from within Siri, all without passing through the lock screen.
Following a study critical of Apple's Siri technology, and its responses to sexual abuse-related questions, Apple has updated the personal assistant. With help from Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), nonsensical responses to related queries have been eradicated, with changes putting questioners one click away from calling a hotline to get information and help.
We've spoken before in the Pointers column about the usefulness of Siri, and about the Reminders app (both of which are available nearly everywhere: on the Mac, on iOS devices, on the Apple Watch, and even on PCs and such using the iCloud.com website). Oddly enough, we've not written much about how massively useful Notes is, even after it got a major upgrade in usefulness with the arrival of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan. In this Pointers, we'll address that, and get you to use both it and Reminders more with and without Siri, and even more so with and without an Apple Watch -- the latter of which turns out to be something of a "killer feature."
There were intelligent assistants on iPhone before Siri, and there are now many of them on every phone, but Siri is the Hoover or Coca-Cola of them. It is the one you're talking about when you refer to speaking to your phone and getting sarky comments back. It's the one that has gone the further to making this Star Trek-like technology mainstream.
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Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ