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.
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
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
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.