Siri voice control is finally coming to Philips Hue connected light bulbs thanks to promised HomeKit support and a new bridge product. Details have been surfacing over the last month with product listings going up a day early, and today Philips is ready to officially reveal how it’s bringing HomeKit support to Hue bulbs and lamps. As expected, Hue bulb owners will be able to upgrade to the new Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 to enable using Siri to control Hue lights. The new, square-shaped bridge works similar to the old, round bridge — connecting to up to 50 bulbs only with HomeKit support included even for existing bulbs and plans to support future home platforms as well. expand full story
In an effort to strengthen Siri’s natural language conversation abilities, Apple has acquired a UK-based firm called VocalIQ. Business Weekly was first to report the acquisition today and Apple confirmed the purchase to The Financial Times with the usual boilerplate statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” expand full story
We think this is pretty awesome… we tested Siri’s voice recognition with multiple iPhones in the same room! Enjoy! :)
One of the standout features of the new Apple TV is its support for gaming, but now Apple has reversed its stance and placed a new limitation on that capability. Apple has said from the beginning that third-party controllers will be supported on the new Apple TV. The SDK for the device carries Game Controller support and the company mentioned it on stage at its unveil event. Apple also mentioned that games that worked only with third-party controllers were okay, meaning the games wouldn’t necessarily have to be compatible with the company’s bundled Siri Remote. Now, however, Apple says that games can not require the use of third-party controllers.
After announcing new iPhones and iPads plus an updated Apple TV in San Francisco last week, Tim Cook is taking a slight victory lap in New York City with a media blitz that leads to an interview with Stephen Colbert tonight on CBS’s The Late Show. Before a surprise visit yesterday at NYC’s iconic Fifth Ave store with Eddy Cue, the Apple CEO gave a quick interview with Buzzfeed. In it he told John Paczkowski that his Apple Store visit really is a surprise to everyone.
“I almost always go in unannounced,” he says. “It’s rare that I tell anyone that I’m going. But I do try to go to stores every time I’m traveling to a new city. It’s important.”
Cook also discussed the privacy implications of an always-listening Siri, what he likes best about the iPhone 6s, and even the possibility of being able to delete system apps in the future…
Apple has started a new big project in its web services division, according to The Information. The report claims Apple has decided to rewrite its cloud services to all fall under one single technology stack using open-source technologies. This will combine Apple’s services like iCloud, Siri, iTunes and more into a unified backend platform.
Apple has seemingly settled on Mesos, the backend infrastructure for Siri, as the core of its new platform which will take years to finish. Apple publicly revealed it had moved Siri to a Mesos stack earlier in the year.
At a White House press hearing on September 10th, a member of the media was asking White House Press Secreatary Josh Earnest a question about President Obama working with Republicans and Siri decided to answer the question for him.
The iOS 9 GM includes a new feature for Siri to help it better recognize your voice when using the automatic ‘Hey Siri’ activation feature. On all current iPhones, you can activate Siri by saying ‘Hey Siri’ when the device is plugged in to power. On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the ‘Hey Siri’ activation feature works all the time, plugged in or not, thanks to new dedicated components inside the latest iPhones meaning it can be ‘always on’.
This makes the addition of voice training particularly relevant. In previous OS versions, Hey Siri would just work if you toggled a switch in Settings. With the GM, the OS now prompts you to go through a few training exercises before the feature will be enabled. Some readers have claimed that this feature is like Voice ID, so that Hey Siri function will only respond when the true owner of the phone speaks to it. Whilst this would be a nice feature, we cannot reproduce this and believe it is only meant to improve general detection accuracy.
Following Apple’s amusing Siri responses about today’s event, Sony has one of its own. It posted this image on its Twitter feed, clearly ripping off the Hey Siri themes. The binary translates to English as ‘Game On’.
With the new Apple TV having a strong focus on gaming, that quip has multiple connotations for Sony. #SonyBanter?
We’ve already run down most of what we’re expecting from the new iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch bands, and the new gold Apple Watch Sport colors expected to be announced at Apple’s September 9th event. On the eve of the event, we’ve received some additional details from several sources, which we roundup below.
Keeping to the ‘Hey Siri’ theme of the event, the day before the big show, Apple has added a new set of reply phrases to Siri teasing the event tomorrow. There’s about a half-dozen new witty responses in addition to those added last week. To hear them, hold-down the Home Button activate Siri and say ‘Hey Siri, give me a hint’.
Obviously, these hints are little more than funny jokes (the binary one spells the word ‘Gotcha’ if decoded) and don’t give away secret product information. If you want details about what Apple is announcing tomorrow, read 9to5Mac’s exclusive roundup of the event, which will feature the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, iPad Pro, new Apple Watch bands and the unveiling of the long-awaited brand new Apple TV.
Check out the full gallery of new hints below and let us know in the comments if you find Siri saying any more hints we haven’t discovered …
Apple’s Wednesday, September 9th event is shaping up to be one of the largest in the company’s history. The Cupertino-based company is planning to unveil several major new products on stage, including a pair of new iPhones with revamped internals, a sequel to the Apple TV, a larger version of the iPad Air, a refreshed iPad mini, and new Apple Watch accessories. The company is also likely to discuss at least two of its latest software platforms: iOS 9 and watchOS 2. We’ve reported the lion’s share of what is to come at next week’s event, so this article outlines everything we’re expecting and adds some new details…
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 Xbox, Nintendo’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…
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.