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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As someone who enjoys testing new gadgets, I’ve been very tempted at times to purchase and try both the Amazon Echo and Google Home voice assistant speakers. Rumors of an Apple version have convinced me to hold off, however, and it’s possible once again that we may soon see Apple’s take on the category.

Amazon Echo and Google Home both offer features that I’d like, but there are things I do with Siri on my iPhone and Apple Watch that only a Siri Speaker would offer. Here’s my Siri Speaker wishlist:

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May 6

AAPL: 148.96

2.43

May 5

AAPL: 148.96

2.43

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss the state of watchOS software and disappearing Apple Watch apps, the rumored Siri Speaker possibly expected at WWDC, a wild iPhone 8 launch claim, and Apple’s latest quarterly earnings results. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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May 2

AAPL: 147.51

0.93

May 1

AAPL: 146.58

2.93

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has published an industry report today claiming that Apple will likely announce a Siri Speaker product (branding unknown, Kuo calls it ‘Apple’s first home AI product’) at WWDC in June. The device will compete with the Amazon Echo and go on sale in the second half of the year.

Kuo says Apple’s product will feature ‘excellent’ sound with seven tweeters and a subwoofer, and will be positioned as a more premium product than the Echo … with a higher price tag to match.

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April 28

AAPL: 143.65

-0.14

April 27

AAPL: 143.79

0.11

April 21

AAPL: 142.27

-0.17

There are many ways to add HomeKit-connected lights to your home, allowing you to turn them on and off from your phone at a tap or with your voice using Siri. You can buy special Philips Hue bulbs, change wall switches with Lutron or Elgato, or plug in lamps to a smart plug socket.

The Koogeek Smart Socket is a different approach to the same problem. It puts an adaptor between your existing light fitting and bulb. All you have to do is screw it in. Keep reading after the jump for my full hands-on …

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April 20

AAPL: 142.44

1.76

While even the original Siri creators have unveiled their own competitor to the built-in iOS virtual assistant, another new player will soon enter the market. As detailed in a report from Bloomberg, European mobile networks Orange SA and Deutsche Telekom are building an artificial intelligence platform…

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April 14

AAPL: 141.05

-0.75

Susan Bennett has told the story before of how she became the voice of Siri without realizing it – at the time, she thought she was making the recordings for an automated switchboard system. In fact, she didn’t even find out she had become Siri until a friend played with an iPhone and recognized her voice.

But in a new interview with Typeform, she has revealed more about how the process worked, including speaking nonsense phrases …

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April 7

AAPL: 143.34

-0.32

A joint study by ad agencies J. Walter Thompson and Mindshare has suggested that Siri is seen as lagging behind other intelligent voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.

Apple is a voice pioneer, having launched Siri in 2011, but is increasingly seen as a laggard. While it has integrated Siri into wearables (the Apple Watch and AirPod), its challenge is a comparative lack of machine-learning capabilities and user data to make a voice assistant intelligent. Its strategic focus on data privacy and security reflects this.

The study, based on the behaviors and attitudes of more than 1,000 UK smartphone owners, also provided a bunch of insights into who is using voice assistants and how …

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April 5

AAPL: 144.02

-0.75

Allowing Siri access from the lock screen is a potential security threat that has, in the past, allowed someone to access personal data like photos. Additionally, Siri will respond to any command given by anyone when your device is unlocked.

Apple thinks it has a solution, using a combination of a special phrase and authenticating your unique voice to ensure that Siri responds to you and only to you …

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March 29

AAPL: 144.12

0.32

Samsung is today showing off its latest flagship smartphones that will compete with Apple’s next-generation iPhones this fall, officially unveiling its new Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices and its new Siri competitor called Bixby that will debut on the new phones. We’re covering all of the announcements over at 9to5Google and taking a look at how they compare to what’s reportedly being planned for iPhone 8 below.

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