November 18

AAPL: 117.29

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November 10

AAPL: 116.77

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Apple recently confirmed that the Apple TV will get Siri support for Apple Music from the beginning of next year, and iDownloadBlog‘s Jeff Benjamin found that it’s already present in the beta of tvOS 9.1.

You can now direct the remote assistant to play any song or album directly from Apple Music, even if the song or album isn’t in your library. Siri can even search for songs on Apple Music, play Play Beats 1 radio, and more.

Benjamin demo’d the functionality in a video (below) …  expand full story

November 9

AAPL: 120.57

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November 6

AAPL: 121.06

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Last week, Apple seeded the first beta of the upcoming iOS 9.2 release to developers, and we’ve discovered that the new update will add support for Arabic in Siri. Apple previously built in the fundamental elements of understanding Arabic to iOS by adding Arabic support to the Keyboard Dictation and QuickType features in iOS 8 last year. Apple adding Arabic support to Siri follows up on Apple expanding its retail presence to the United Arab Emirates by opening up a pair of flagship stores in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

A local YouTube video shows off examples of Siri in Arabic:

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November 4

AAPL: 122.00

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While Siri voice search is a core feature of the new Apple TV, right now it’s limited to only eight countries: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. In other regions, the Siri Remote is simply called the Apple TV Remote (not to be confused with the old Apple TV Remote) and pressing the mic button just opens the Search app.

This is despite the fact Siri on iPhone is actually available in 30 countries, so it wasn’t clear why Apple had pinpointed only a subset of those. It turns out, according to a chat with Apple by MacPrime, that there are some clever optimizations Apple makes with Apple TV Siri to improve speech recognition.

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If you’re curious to see how Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana compares to Siri, you may be able to take it for a test-drive. Microsoft says that it has completed internal testing of Cortana for iOS and is now seeking beta testers.

Cortana is with you on your Windows 10 PC, tablet, and phone—helping you whenever and wherever you need it. But we also know that there’s a choice of mobile devices out there, so we want help from our Windows Insiders to make sure she’s a great personal assistant on iOS too. We’re looking for a limited number of people to get their hands on an early version of the […] Cortana for iOS beta … 

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November 2

AAPL: 121.18

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As Nintendo’s ultra-popular Wii demonstrated back in 2006, adding motion sensors to a remote control can be fun — and dangerous for your TV when you start swinging the controller around during gameplay. Since the fourth-generation Apple TV supports games and its new Siri Remote includes motion sensors, Apple came up with its own safety solution: the Remote Loop, not surprisingly sold separately as a $13 accessory.

Our galleries below show what you can expect from the Remote Loop, including its packaging, the metal spikes it uses to grip the Siri Remote’s Lightning port, and the earlier Apple inspiration for its choice of fabrics….

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October 29

AAPL: 120.53

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While early reviews of the new Apple TV are somewhat muted, Apple isn’t finished yet. It has confirmed to Buzzfeed that the new device will add Siri support for Apple Music from the beginning of next year.

This means that using the Apple TV remote control, people will be able to say, “Play ‘Hotline Bling’” or “Play the newest Taylor Swift album,” and Siri will take it from there.

Reviewers have praised Siri’s universal search feature, which allows system-wide searching for video content, and the box will now be capable of carrying out similar searches for music. The move should be good news for Apple as well as for its customers …  expand full story

October 27

AAPL: 114.55

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Pandora co-creator Tom Conrad discovered that Siri won’t open the pod door answer questions about the music charts if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music. When Conrad asked Siri for the most popular song in the US today, she remained tight-lipped.

Sorry, Tom, I can’t look up the music charts for you. You don’t seem to be subscribed to Apple Music …

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October 25

AAPL: 119.08

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Apple today has shared three new advertisements for iPhone 6s to its YouTube channel. These new ads come just days after the company debuted seven new ads for Apple Watch. Today’s new iPhone 6s ads are called “The Camera,” “Crush,” and “Flip a Coin,” each highlighting a specific feature of the device.

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October 21

AAPL: 113.76

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October 14

AAPL: 110.21

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Apple’s HomeKit platform for connected accessories around the house has been steadily expanding over the last few months, and today August is adding to it with a new version of its Smart Lock. Revealed today, the new HomeKit-enabled August Smart Lock is an upgraded version of the Bluetooth-connected door lock that first launched last year. HomeKit compatibility means you can use the Siri virtual assistant on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to lock or unlock August Smart Lock using voice commands. Working with Apple’s smart home platform also means Smart Lock can be a part of commands like “Goodnight” that turn off connected lights, lock the front door, and lower the temperature. expand full story

October 5

AAPL: 110.78

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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

October 2

AAPL: 110.38

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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


September 28

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September 15

AAPL: 116.28

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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.

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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…

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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.

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