Siri comes to Mac and opens up to developers

Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Photo: Apple

Big changes are coming to Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice-activated assistant. For the first time, Siri will be available on the Mac and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.

While Siri was one of the first voice-controlled AI assistants on the market, it’s fallen behind competitors like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Now, largely because it was a closed system that worked only in Apple’s apps. Opening it to developers makes it much more functional, and presents a more serious challenge to upstarts like Viv that promise to help with a wide range of services and tasks.

Craig Federighi on why FBI’s backdoor demands are so harmful

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Hair Force One wants everyone to become a coder.
Cray-Fed says the FBI wants us to return to a world of iOS 7-level security.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s battle with the FBI, over whether it should create a backdoor to allow for the hacking of iPhones, is one of the biggest stories in tech right now.

Over the weekend, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, took to the pages of the Washington Post for an impassioned op-ed about how hard Apple works to stay ahead of criminals and terrorists who want to infiltrate its systems — and why the FBI and Justice Department’s proposed solution to the problem is so “disappointing.”

Coding is the next level of literacy, says Apple software boss

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Hair Force One wants everyone to become a coder.
Hair Force One wants everyone to become a coder.
Photo: Apple

Teaching your kids how to code is pretty much as important as teaching them to write, according to Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, in an interview promoting the company’s Hour of Code project.

Apple is turning all of its retail locations into coding centers for kids this week. The classes will offer hands-on instructions into the basics of coding that Federighi says will hopefully set of a spark with the young learners.

Bill Graham Civic hosted Apple’s biggest hyperbole-fest ever

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The iPhone 6s Plus might be hard to find on launch day.
All Apple's saying is that the iPhone 6s will be the most amazing, dynamic, life-changing thing you've ever seen.
Photo: Apple

We get that yesterday’s Apple event was a marketing thing, which is why every presentation began with whoever was onstage telling us how “thrilled,” “excited” or “really happy” they were to be there. And the exaggeration just continued from those intros.

Here are some of the most outlandish and enthusiastically subjective lines that came from the stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. We’ve organized them by speaker so you can see who “won” this verbal arms race of canned excitement.

Apple: Making 3D Touch was really, really hard

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Force Touch was only the beginning. 3D Touch was incredibly difficult to engineer.
Force Touch was only the beginning. 3D Touch was incredibly difficult to engineer.
Photo: Apple

Making an iPhone is complex, for sure. Creating the hardware and software that rules our daily lives has been an ongoing, iterative process since 2007, when Steve Jobs revealed the first one.

Since then and on up to the newly announced iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the iPhone itself has improved bit by bit while still wowing consumers as better enough to upgrade to.

“You can’t just say, ‘Here it is. It does the same thing 5 percent better than last year,’ says senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller in an interview over at Bloomberg. “Nobody cares.”

In a device that’s the essence of complexity, refined, the new 3D Touch was super tricky to make, as the in-depth interview explains.