All items tagged with "Siri"

Siri speaks 7 new languages in iOS 8.3

Siri speaks even more languages in iOS 8.3. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Siri speaks even more languages in iOS 8.3. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s second iOS 8.3 beta, which was pushed out to registered developers on Monday ahead of a public release later this year, enables Siri to speak seven new languages, testers have found. It also brings more performance improvements for older iOS devices like the iPhone 4s.

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Siri lets you relive your audio misadventures

Want to see all the songs you've found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Want to see all the songs you’ve found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac


iOS 8 includes Shazam — a magical technology that gives your iPhone the power to listen to a song and tell you what it is. In the car, at a movie theater, or even at a crowded bar, you can just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” or hold your home button for a few seconds, and your iPhone will use Shazam tech to tell you exactly what song is in your environment. You can also (surprise) buy the song you just recognized via a little button in the results screen.

But what if you want to buy it later? Or remember what song was playing at the bar last night when that cute girl gave you her number? You can easily do just that with a quick trip to iTunes on your iPhone.

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Forget about asking Siri for a date this Valentine’s Day

Ask Siri

If you’re feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, don’t think your favorite personal assistant will be there for you. In fact, Siri will do anything to avoid saying “yes” to your proposal.

Check out what happened when we tried to take our working partnership to the next level after the jump. Spike Jonze’s Her this ain’t!

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¿Qué? Siri destroys Cortana and Google Now on language accuracy

Siri can help in far more languages than most of its rivals.

Siri can help in far more languages than most of its rivals.

Three-and-a-half years after the debut of Siri, virtual assistants haven’t yet become a user interface element on par with, say, the mouse cursor — but that’s not through any lack of trying.

According to a new study carried out for Venture Beat, Siri not only defeats Microsoft rival Cortana and Google’s Google Now automated assistants in understanding English; it absolutely slays them when it comes to other languages.

¡Viva Siri!

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Cloe is Siri with a human touch — and a life

Cloe, a concierge service that provides recommendations and answers to texted requests, is currently working her magic in two major cities. Photo: Meet Cloe

Cloe, a concierge service that provides recommendations and answers to texted requests, is currently working her magic in two major cities. Photo: Meet Cloe

New app Cloe is a dutiful concierge service you can text to request a good jazz club or microbrewery and get an informed, cheery response in a minute or less. Think of the mad research skills of Siri with the personality of Samantha, the AI operating system from the movie Her.

Need a tailor? Cloe may ask if you need a custom shirt made or just a button sewn on a jacket before she sends you a recommendation based on where you are standing at that very moment.

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Apple is getting into search? Pleeease

Could an Apple-branded search engine disrupt the established likes of Google?

Search? Don’t make us laugh. Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple needs to go a long way before it thinks about launching its own search engine. Smartphones? Sure. Tablets? Absolutely. Search? Fuggetaboutit!

As much as we all love Apple, nobody can deny that its search products are oddly bargain basement in quality. iTunes discovery is horrible, the App Store is abysmal and Siri’s painful.

Could Apple fix it? Sure it could, but it’s going to take a lot more than one poor new employee to do it. Here are the worst offenders when it comes to all things Apple Search:

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Blind Redditor pays $1,000 to have Siri read the news

I can't wait to get my hands (and ears) on Sireader. Photo:

I can’t wait to get my hands (and ears) on Sireader. Photo: Philip Tennen

Want to see something neat to start off your day? How about a Siri RSS reader?

RSS readers, as most readers will be aware, are great at aggregating news headlines from a variety of different websites that get updated throughout the day. While they’re useful tools, they’re less than ideal for blind or partially sighted users, however.

With that in mind, one blind Redditor recently announced that they were posting a $1,000 bounty for any developer who could create a jailbreak tweak capable of not only keeping track of RSS feeds, but also getting Siri to read them out loud.

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Apple leases extra office space to boost its Siri team

Apple is Siri-ous about virtual assistants. Photo: Apple

Apple is Siri-ous about virtual assistants. Photo: Apple

Apple is beefing up its Boston office, with an aim to expanding its Siri voice recognition team. Documents filed with local authorities show that the company has leased around 11,500 square feet of office space on the 13th floor of One Broadway, an office tower owned by MIT and located on the outer perimeter of the university’s campus in Cambridge, MA.

The added space gives Apple room to bring in an extra 65 people to work on the project, although a local job search for the area doesn’t yet show anything.

Apple has been steadily growing its Siri team over the past few years — recruiting employees formerly from companies like AT&T Research, Microsoft, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, BBN Technologies and others for its speech team in Cambridge.

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7 things Steve Jobs would have hated about Apple today

"You like me, they really like me!" Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Steve Jobs started Apple in his image. But would he like everything about it in 2015? Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

A lot has changed at Apple in the years since Steve Jobs died. While much of it is good (record-breaking iPhone sales, work on the new Apple campus, the stock-split leading to new share price highs), it’s unavoidable that one or two (or, indeed, 7) things would slip through the cracks, which Apple’s notoriously perfectionist late CEO would have hated.

The recent publishing of a patent for an iOS stylus — an accessory Jobs was vocal about opposing — got us thinking about other aspects of Apple, circa 2015, that likely would have rubbed the company’s late CEO the wrong way.

Here’s what we came up with.

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Siri: Your personal resolution wrangler

Let Siri help you keep your New Year Resolutions. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Let Siri help you keep your New Year’s resolutions. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

I asked Siri to set a 6:30 a.m. alarm so I could get this article written before my morning spin class. And that got me wondering what other things the young woman on my iPhone 6 Plus could do to help me meet or exceed my plans to dominate in 2015.

After my wake-up alarm, I told Siri to “call me ‘Champ.'” What better way to get our relationship started than to establish a motivational nickname? I was going to go with “Tiger” or “Hero” or “Shnoogems,” but decided “Champ” was the least embarrassing if Siri shouted it out in public.

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