Yesterday

AAPL: 112.76

-0.53
Stock Chart

New Apple TV will look similar, but thicker (image via Michael Steeber)

Although iOS devices and the App Store have transformed the handheld gaming market, the first three Apple TV generations did not attempt to challenge Microsoft’s XboxNintendo’s Wii, or Sony’s PlayStation game consoles for complete control of living room TVs. According to sources with knowledge of the product, the fourth-generation Apple TV will actively compete for TV gamers with updated hardware, software, and peripherals that will debut at Apple’s September 9 event in San Francisco.

One of the next Apple TV’s tentpole features will be near-universal Siri control, a feature hinted at in Apple’s invitation to the event. But the other will be deep support for gaming, representing Apple’s largest-ever effort to lure players from traditional consoles. In addition to the convenience of downloading games directly from the Apple TV’s built-in App Store, and controlling many of them via a new bundled remote control, Apple will also support more complex, console-style Bluetooth game controllers with the pressure-sensitive buttons and joysticks previously introduced for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches…

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August 27

AAPL: 112.92

3.23
Stock Chart

apple

Apple has just sent out official invitations to media outlets (via CNBC) for its next special event on September 9th. The tagline this year reads “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” The event will take place at 10 am PT at Bill Graham auditorium in San Francisco, California, which was rumored to be the venue ahead of the invites. Apple’s September event is set to include the next generation iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus as well as the long awaited Apple TV hardware update.

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August 26

AAPL: 109.69

5.95
Stock Chart

Facebook today confirmed previous rumors that it was developing a Messenger-based virtual assistant codenamed “Moneypenny.” The software was debuted today under the name “M,” and will be available in a very limited release to users in the Bay Area starting today.

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August 20

AAPL: 112.65

-2.36
Stock Chart

Smart plugs aren’t exactly new. Belkin has its WeMo platform of connected home devices including its Wi-Fi-enabled ‘Insight Switch’, an iPhone app-controlled outlet, and others have similar competing products. But iHome’s new SmartPlug is one of the first arriving for Apple’s recently launched Siri-controlled HomeKit platform. I’ve been testing out the product in recent weeks to see exactly what HomeKit adds to the experience and to get a real world taste of Apple’s home automation platform in general for the first time with an actual product. Now that it’s officially available for purchase, here’s what you need to know… expand full story

August 3

AAPL: 118.44

-2.86
Stock Chart

siri

Apple is reportedly conducting internal testing on a service that allows Siri to transcribe your voicemail messages into text, so that you can read them rather than having to listen to them. Business Insider reports that the service is expected to be launched next year.

When someone using iCloud Voicemail is unable to take a call, Siri will answer instead of letting the call go to a standard digital audio recorder. 

iCloud Voicemail can relay information about where you are and why you can’t pick up the phone to certain people. But the coolest feature of the service is that Siri will transcribe any incoming voicemails, just like it does with anything else you say to it.

The piece says that a number of Apple employees are currently trialling the service to determine its reliability …  expand full story

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There are some companies so well-known for their less-than-stellar customer service that even a machine like Siri feels the need to offer its condolences when you need to get in touch with them. Try asking Siri for Comcast’s customer service number and that’s exactly the response you’ll get.

After spending somewhere in the ballpark of literally forever on the phone with Comcast today, it’s nice to see Siri showing a little solidarity.

Tellingly, this seems to be a Comcast-specific response. Use the same exact phrasing for competitor Time Warner and you’ll at least get some web search results, if not an actual phone number.

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July 13

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After taking on messaging, cash transfers, and more, Facebook is preparing to challenge Apple in the virtual assistant arena. The social company is in the process of developing a Messenger-based Siri competitor called Moneypenny, a new report indicates.

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July 1

Eddy Cue confirmed late last night that a new iOS 9 seed is coming to developers next week with support for Apple Music, but since the service launched yesterday, users have discovered that there are a few ways to use certain aspects of it while on iOS 9.

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We’re not mean, so we won’t spoil the joke. But the Cookie Monster gets a cameo.

The original source appears to be this Reddit post.

June 25

homekit

With the first products using Apple’s HomeKit platform for home automation accessories arriving earlier this month, Apple has updated its support page detailing a full list of supported Siri commands. expand full story


I just wanted to point out that on my iPhone 5s with iOS a Siri now says what she can do in iOS 9 and watchOS 2 when you ask her what she’s doing. 

I remember that she would say stuff about the Apple Watch when you first said this so I wanted to try this out to show somebody and I saw that she had a bunch of new responses. 

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June 8

Tim-Cook-WWDC-2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the company’s WWDC keynote presentation today with its usual update on numbers and growth since last checking in. The big numbers so far from today’s event: Siri is now 40% faster and more accurate, the company now supports 2500 banks for Apple Pay, and iOS and OS X adoption continues to outpace the competition. 

Head below for a full roundup of notable numbers and company stats announced during today’s event (we’ll be updating as more come up): expand full story

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Apple has announced a new version of Siri with many new features in iOS 9. Siri can now show recent photos, create reminders about web pages and other in-app content, detect when you get in your car, and features a new UI inspired by the Apple Watch.

The new system can also automatically look up unknown numbers through your email to figure out who is calling, and show information on the lock screen that fits into your daily routine. It can also automatically show your Now Playing screen on the lock screen when you plug in your headphones.

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At WWDC, Apple has officially announced the new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 9. The update will be available in the fall for free. iOS 9 runs on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Developing. Follow our liveblog here.

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June 1

Apple Watch Tesla Model S

Last month we saw a rather glorious video demonstration of how the Apple Watch can remotely control the Tesla Model S with the right software, and now that app’s developer has gone a step further by adding voice commands like remotely starting the car to the demo using Siri. Check out the video below: expand full story

May 27

Spotlight

After several years of quiet development, Apple is readying a major new iOS initiative codenamed “Proactive,” which will leverage Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps to create a viable competitor to Google Now for Android devices. Like Google Now, Proactive will automatically provide timely information based on the user’s data and device usage patterns, but will respect the user’s privacy preferences, according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans.

As an evolution of iOS’s Spotlight search feature, Proactive is the fruit of a long-term initiative that involved the acquisition of small app developers, and integration of core iOS apps. It will also work with Apple’s Maps application to display personally relevant points of interest using an augmented reality interface, and integrate with a third-party Siri API codenamed “Breadcrumbs”…

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May 26

cortana

Reuters reported back in March that Microsoft planned to bring its Siri competitor Cortana to iOS, and Microsoft has now officially confirmed this in a blog post.

Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go […]

The Cortana companion will be available for Android phones at the end of June and for iPhones later this year.

While Microsoft is pitching the app as a companion to a Windows PC, it appears that most of the functionality will work in the iPhone app without the need for a Windows device, Microsoft saying that you can “make the same queries, ask the same questions” in the standalone app …  expand full story

May 13

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