Microphone technology is Siri’s next big hurdle

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Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Siri needs better microphones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple, Amazon and Google are all in a battle to create the next great breakthrough with microphones in order to make their digital assistants more powerful.

While machine learning and artificial intelligence are getting all the hype lately, few industry analysts say microphone technology will play just as key a role in taking Siri and Alexa to a new level.

Apple joins government task force to kill robocalls

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Apple put a giant logo on the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for WWDC 2016
Apple is teaming up with top tech companies to end the scourge of robocalls.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

The scourge of robocalls may be coming to an end, thanks to a new task force comprised of over 30 top tech companies, including Apple.

The U.S. government has enlisted the help of Apple, AT&T, Alphabet, Verizon, Comcast and others to crack down on unsolicited, automated, prerecorded phone calls that have become the most frequent complaint the U.S. Federal Communications Commission receives from citizens.

macOS Sierra gets its fifth beta build

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macos_sierra_tabs
macOS Sierra puts Tabs everywhere.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

One week after releasing macOS Sierra beta 4, Apple is already back with a new beta build of its future operating system for Mac that is set for public release later this fall.

Apple mentions in the release notes that it has made bug fixes for Apple Pay, iTunes, Keychain Access and even Microsoft OneDrive in the new build. The upcoming update brings a ton of new features, including Siri for Mac, auto-unlock with Apple Watch, Apple Pay, better iCloud integration and more.

Microsoft says its new camera app is even better than Apple’s

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Microsoft-Pix-iPhone
Pix wants to help you take better photos on iPhone.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft today launched its new camera app for iOS, and the company claims it’s even better than the one Apple builds into iOS.

Pix uses artificial intelligence to make your camera “smarter,” automatically adjusting settings and making enhancements to give you the best shots.