June 14

AAPL: 145.16

-1.43

A pair of notable shuffles were made over the last month when it comes to talent within Apple. Bloomberg reports that Apple has hired a former YouTube employee for social and video efforts, while VentureBeat reports that Facebook has snatched up a Siri language chief from Apple.

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June 8

AAPL: 154.99

-0.38

Siri has come under fresh attack today, with former members of Apple’s intelligent assistant team stating that it still lags behind its rivals despite the announcement of HomePod and improvements introduced in iOS 11.

Independent tests of the main IA systems also tend to bear this out, especially when it comes to personalization. Both Google Home and Amazon Echo have a better understanding than Siri of who we are and what we are likely to want.

The thing is, this isn’t coincidence – and doesn’t come without a cost …

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Siri is still lagging behind rival intelligent assistants, say former Apple employees who worked on the project, despite the latest enhancements announced at WWDC. Software developers attending the conference have also reportedly expressed disappointment at the limited nature of the access by third-parties.

Apple announced a number of enhancements to Siri’s intelligence in iOS 11, including translation between languages, the ability to learn about your interests and greater contextual understanding of queries. The company also followed Amazon and Google’s lead in launching a voice-activated speaker, HomePod. But neither is enough to rival the features available from competitors, say former team members …

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June 7

AAPL: 155.37

0.92

Apple wasn’t shy about comparing its new HomePod speaker to existing competition from the likes of Amazon and Sonos, and now an Amazon executive has spoken on the company’s newfound rival. Amazon’s senior VP of devices David Limp explained that he believes Alexa and Siri should be able to communicate with one another, while also pointing to the HomePod’s price as an advantage for Amazon…

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June 5

AAPL: 153.93

-1.52

 

I wrote a feature request back in 2015 calling on Apple to give Siri access to third-party apps. Six months later, Apple gave me part of what I’d asked for in the form of limited Siri support for six app categories.

For iOS 10.0, the Siri API will only work with six kinds of application: ride booking (think Uber), messaging, Photo Search (find photos and videos in a particular app), payments (‘Send $100 to John with SquareCash’), VoIP Calling (e.g: Skype) and Workouts (for starting health and fitness activities).

We’re now hearing that Apple plans to announce that it is expanding Siri support to more app categories, and there’s one of these that’s right at the top of my wish-list …

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June 3

AAPL: 155.45

2.27

An interesting thread appeared on Reddit this morning from a supposed Foxconn insider who apparently has knowledge about various Apple products in the pipeline as they have seen prototypes pass through the factory. There are various tidbits about the iPhone 8, the Siri Speaker, future iMac design changes and dynamic e-ink keyboards for future MacBooks.

While we would usually ignore these anonymous claims, the Reddit mods have apparently verified the poster’s identity. We’ve rounded up the interesting information below …

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June 2

AAPL: 155.45

2.27

A new report from Reuters today offers some information on planned Siri updates for iOS 11, part of an expansion expected to come alongside a much anticipated standalone Siri device during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next week. The move, according to the report, will see Apple expand the categories for third-party apps that can integrate with Siri in order to help it compete with Amazon’s Alexa. expand full story

The biggest week of the year for many Apple fans is almost here. The company’s Worldwide Developer Conference officially kicks off on Monday at 10AM PT, and throughout the week we’ve been breaking down everything that’s on the docket.

Now, we’ve compiled all of that information into one big roundup, outlining everything that we expect to see when Tim Cook and other Apple execs grace the stage of the McEnery Convention Center on Monday morning

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May 31

AAPL: 152.76

-0.91

May 30

AAPL: 153.67

0.06

May 16

AAPL: 155.47

-0.23

Siri may have been a pioneer in the field of voice-based intelligent assistants, but competition in the field is now fierce. Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa are all aiming to take Siri’s crown.

The problem, however, is that many Apple owners are so deeply embedded in the ecosystem that there’s little risk of them switching platforms – especially not from an iPhone to an Android phone. So while Google Assistant in theory put Apple under pressure to improve Siri, in practice, not so much.

But if Google Assistant does indeed make it onto the iPhone this week as reported, that’s a new ballgame …

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May 15

AAPL: 155.70

-0.40

It’s long been rumored that Apple is working on a competitor to Amazon’s Echo platform and Google Home in the form of a so-called Siri Speaker. While WWDC has been a software-only event in recent years, it appears that might change with this year’s keynote and Siri Speaker.

With Siri Speaker rumored to be unveiled next month, it’s time to take a step back and look at everything we’ve heard about the device at this point…

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May 13

AAPL: 156.10

2.15

In this week’s top stories: WWDC keynote invites go out, more reports about an upcoming Siri speaker and iPhone 8, we ask the pros what they want from a modular Mac Pro, and we get a tour of one of the first new HomeKit homes.

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Apple’s WWDC conference kicks off on June 5th and whilst it is predominantly a software conference, reliable Apple analyst KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that he expects Apple to launch two new hardware products next month.

Repeating previous claims, Kuo says there is a more than 50% chance of the Siri Speaker, an all-new category for the company. In addition, he says that there is more than 70% chance of an all-new design 10.5-inch iPad Pro to be announced at the keynote.

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May 11

AAPL: 153.95

1.32

An Apple patent published today describes using iMessages instead of voice to interact with Siri in environments when speaking wouldn’t be practical.

This could span both ends of the spectrum, from very noisy environments like construction sites, where your voice cannot be heard, to very quiet ones like libraries, where you would disturb people by speaking. It would also be useful for people who don’t feel comfortable talking to their phone in public …

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May 9

AAPL: 153.99

0.98

Included in Bloomberg’s coverage of the new Amazon Echo Show is a mention of the rumored Siri Speaker as well as Apple Music. Bloomberg reports that Siri Speaker has been tested in Apple employee homes for several months, echoing earlier reporting from last fall, while adding that it’s unknown if Siri Speaker will feature a display.

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Amazon’s Echo with a screen is real and it’s shipping at the end of next month. Echo Show is a $230 7-inch tablet with video playback and calling that has to stay plugged in to work.

What makes that better than an iPad or any other tablet? Amazon hopes the answer is its Alexa voice assistant. While I’m curious about a voice-activated, always-present voice assistant that anyone can access in the home, the original Amazon Echo has more appeal to me. If Siri Speaker is something we see next month at WWDC (before Echo Show ships!), I’m hoping it’s more Amazon Echo and less Echo Show…

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May 8

AAPL: 153.01

4.05

Reports related to Apple’s Siri Speaker have been gaining momentum over recent weeks, with some suggesting the possibility of the device even being shown off at WWDC next month. Earlier today, we outlined some of the potential features that the Siri Speaker could offer, and now we’re curious: What feature is a ‘must have’ in order for you to use Apple’s Siri Speaker?

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