Tag - Siri
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.
You know what Siri is and you use it. Possibly you don't use it as much as you expected and we do truly believe that Siri has good days and bad days. On its good ones, though, it is genuinely as remarkable as Apple keeps saying. Only, Apple keeps saying that and you know all about it yet we keep finding ourselves in conversations –– with real people, not Siri –– where we learn that they simply haven't heard of things we use Siri for every day. There's no reason they should, it's nobody's job to learn how Siri works, but we use these because we like them and we want you to try them too.
Get your coat, it's cold out there. But while regular co-host Malcolm Owen is off working, you and I are going to take a little drive. It's a very British drive so expect a lot of roundabouts – what is it with the UK and roundabouts? – plus some slightly distracted driving, possibly a few near misses, and also, well, not exactly news.
First introduced in mid-2013, Apple's CarPlay interface -- which supplements vehicles' built-in infotainment and navigation systems with a car-safe version of iOS and Siri technology -- is finally to be widely available in most US new car models starting with the 2016 model year, which is rolling out to dealers now. In most cases, compatibility with CarPlay -- and, to a lesser extent, Android Auto -- will be a standard feature in cars with built-in navigation systems, but in some cases will be considered a standalone feature that is added to entertainment upgrade packages.
Ford is rolling out an update for its vehicles which introduces Siri Eyes-Free to the Sync entertainment and communications system. Originally announced in mid-October, the update for Ford vehicles sold since 2011 with a second-generation version of the Sync system can now update to version 3.8, adding the ability to interact with Siri on a nearby iPhone via the vehicle's built-in microphone and audio system.
In addition to today's update of the iOS 9.2 beta, Apple has also released a developer-only third tvOS 9.1 beta. The upcoming update, expected to be released early next year, will add promised but thus far missing features such as Siri control of Apple Music (Apple has already added Siri control of general searches and iTunes Match support). Also found in testing was some support for "app folders" as seen in iCloud.
Apple has released the fourth generation Apple TV's first patch, incrementing the version to 9.0.1. Cupertino has declined to provide information on what the patch resolves or updates. Following the update, the tvOS version is now build 13T402. The update does not restore support for Bluetooth keyboards, excised from previous developer builds of the software, pre-release.
In keeping with the fact that today -- October 21, 2015 -- is the day travelled to as "the future" in the movie Back to the Future Part II, Apple has done its bit by silently updating Siri to respond with quips related to the film trilogy when users tell it "Happy Back to the Future Day." The phrases vary, but include bits like "well, they were right about the 'antique computer' thing" and "I'm looking forward to Jaws 19 ... I'm not sure it will beat Jaws 18, 'Robo-Jaws' though."
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.
A report from London's Financial Times indicates that Apple has bought a natural-language development startup called VocalIQ that has developed applications for in-car apps, wearables, "smarthome" devices, and other applications where a voice interface works well. The company has been working on a natural-language API for automated self-learning that would allow users to interact even more naturally with voice-powered assistive services and devices. The company had previously criticized voice systems like Siri and Cortana for their inability to learn as they interacted with users.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl