Last week Google officially took the wraps off of its Amazon Echo competitor Google Home, while earlier this month the original Siri creators unveiled their latest personal assistant Viv. Now, The Information reports that Apple is working on an Amazon Echo-like device.
Google kicked off its Google I/O developer conference today with the usual keynote address where executives showed off a number of upcoming hardware, software and developer tool products. It started off with its new voice controlled Siri competitor— Google Assistant— which also ties into its upcoming Amazon Echo-like device for the home called Google Home.
9to5Mac first reported back in February that Apple is planning to finally bring Siri to the Mac starting with OS X 10.12 later this year. Apple’s voice assistant started on the iPhone in 2011 and has since made its way to the iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, so bringing it to the Mac is expected to be a tent pole feature in the next major software update. With the next big update to the Mac operating system set to be introduced in a few weeks at WWDC, new images have surfaced purportedly showing how Siri’s iconography will appear on the Mac.
As long-time readers will know, I’ve long been a fan of Siri. As I’ve often noted, it’s my primary means of interacting with my iPhone (part of the reason I don’t need a larger screen). I dictate most of my messages, and if it’s possible to ask Siri to do something for me rather than doing it myself, I do.
But Siri does have one major failing: it has no access to third-party apps. There are countless apps where I’d love to be able to get Siri to do the heavy lifting, as I wrote last year in a Feature Request:
What I can’t yet do is ask the time of my next train home, despite having an app on my phone that can answer that question. I can’t ask it to show me today’s Timehop, nor can I ask it to post that to Facebook. I can’t ask it to post something to a Hipchat or Slack chatroom. I can’t ask it to call an Uber car. I can’t ask it to translate ‘Where is the nearest pharmacy’ into Mandarin. I could name many other examples, but you get the idea.
If Apple offered an API to allow third-party developers to take advantage of Siri, I’m confident that many would do so. And I’m certainly not alone in wanting that – in our poll, 95% of you agreed with me.
But it turns out that Siri’s original developers wanted to take things a step further …
Last week, the creators of Siri teased their next virtual assistant service named Viv. At the time, the creators said that Viv does more than Siri or any other virtual assistant currently available. As expected, Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus today took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City to officially show off Viv to the public for the first time, touting that it will “the intelligent interface for everything.”
Apple has once again recruited actor Neil Patrick Harris alongside Siri to star in its latest iPhone 6s ad. The new commercial features NPH using the ‘Hey Siri’ voice command to read a legendary thank you speech from the Notes app … all completely hands-free.
I addressed one big issue with Apple Music last week – and was very surprised to see from the poll results just how widespread the issue was. But while discussing that issue, we happened across a Reddit thread that I thought contained a really great idea: give the iOS app Smart Playlist functionality via Siri.
I may complain a lot about the bloated nature of iTunes, a single app that tries to do way too many different things, but I do really like it as a pure music player. One of the features I love is Smart Playlists, which you can use to do all kinds of funky things.
For example, maybe you have some music you really love but haven’t listened to for a while? Create a Smart Playlist where Rating is 5 and Last Played is not in the last year. Been listening to the same stuff too much lately? Create a playlist where Last Played is not in the past month. Feeling nostalgic? A playlist where Year is a particular year …
The original minds behind the iOS virtual assistant Siri have a new project in the works. A new report from The Washington Post details that Siri’s creators are working on an artificial intelligence technology called “Viv” that does more than Siri or any other virtual assistant currently available.
Like a lot of new technologies from Apple these days, HomeKit isn’t perfect but the parts that work well are really useful. Apple’s home automation framework connects smart accessories from various companies all under the control of Siri and HomeKit apps like Home or Hesperus. But HomeKit is relatively young still and there’s plenty of low hanging fruit in terms of ways the framework could improve with iOS 10 and beyond. Here are a few ideas I hope we see with HomeKit this year:
August Home unveiled its second-generation Smart Lock with an updated industrial design and Siri control through HomeKit last October. Starting this week, August’s Bluetooth-connected deadbolt is available to purchase from Amazon and Best Buy after a lengthy pre-order period (although stock appears slim so far).
Apple has agreed to pay $24.9M to settle a long-running lawsuit alleging that Siri violated a patent owned by a New York institute and exclusively licensed to a company in Dallas. The patent predates the launch of Siri by four years.
The Albany Business Review notes that Apple was sued not by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which holds the patent, but by Dallas-based Dynamic Advances, which licensed it. The company reportedly receives $5M now, and the balance after meeting unspecified conditions. In return, Apple gets a license to use the patented technology for three years.
The settlement means that the patent trial, due to take place in New York next month, will no longer proceed. However, that may not be the end of it …
[UPDATE: Apple has confirmed what Siri told us earlier today. The company has now issued a press release in which it says that WWDC will be held from June 13th through June 17th in San Francisco. The same lottery process applies to getting tickets this year as in previous years. Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website now through Friday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT.
In a change from traditional years, the Monday keynote will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, not Moscone West. All other conference sessions will take place at Moscone, though. The annual Bash will also be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.]
In an unusual chain of events, it appears Apple is announcing the WWDC dates through Siri. Although the Apple website has not been updated with any new info, Siri is proudly proclaiming that WWDC 2016 will indeed be held in San Francisco from June 13th to June 17th. Although Siri didn’t explicitly say, it is almost certain that WWDC will once again be held at Moscone West, simply because it’s the best choice of venue for an event like this in San Francisco. This is an unusual announcement nonetheless, it being the first time Apple has used Siri as the primary announcement vehicle for one of its events. WWDC is expected to feature the unveiling of iOS 10, OS X 10.12 and more …
Earlier this week Apple TV added CBS and the newly launched Starz app to its growing list of universal search channels, which lets you use Siri or the Search app to find movies and TV shows across multiple channels in a single search. Now Siri has learned another new skill called Live Tune-In, which lets you easily jump right into live programming with a single voice command using Siri Remote.
In our regular Feature Request series, 9to5Mac authors offer their opinion on how to improve popular hardware or software products. Since we started the feature back in November of last year, the majority of installments in the series have focused on Apple’s own software and hardware, including a number of ways the company can improve its current iOS and Mac OS X software as well as possibilities for upcoming iOS 10 and Mac OS X 10.12 releases.
And some of the other Feature Requests we’ve published included features for the new Apple TV, the upcoming next-generation Apple Watch 2, Apple Music, iCloud, and more. Below we’ve compiled a hub for the series giving you an easy way to stay up to date and hopefully some hints at what to expect at WWDC this year and other upcoming Apple product launches… expand full story
Last month, Apple unveiled a new commercial for the iPhone and always-on Siri, and now the company has shared a new video showcasing the behind-the-scenes process of making the video. “Go behind the scenes of the commercial, with Cookie Monster and everyone’s favorite personal assistant, Siri,” Apple teases.
Early this morning, we told you about a new iPhone 6s passcode bypass vulnerability that allowed handlers to access photos and contact details without needing to verify with a passcode or Touch ID. The Lock screen vulnerability was made possible by Siri, and let users bypass the security provided by the Lock screen passcode and/or Touch ID.
If there’s a positive spin to put on such a vulnerability, it’s that fixes can be implemented server side without the need for an iOS update. Apple today has fixed the passcode bypass method by forcing Siri to request your Lock screen passcode whenever a user tries to search Twitter via Siri while at a secured Lock screen expand full story
Apple doesn’t normally improve the capabilities of Siri outside of a major operating system update, but it has made an exception this time around for baseball. Apple has dramatically improved the knowledge base Siri can draw from for Siri, allowing the voice-activated personal assistant to answer a wider range of questions about the sport. Via The Verge, Siri now covers 28 leagues, not just Major League Baseball, too.
Siri first started answering sports questions with iOS 6. Apple says that the upgrade to baseball, timed alongside the new MLB season, allows users to ask more detailed questions about career statistics and baseball history.