How to purge your obsolete Apple Watch alarms


Can Apple Watch be as successful as the iPod?
The Alarm Clock app is in there somewhere ...
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of mac

We love how easy it is to set up an alarm from the Apple Watch. All you have to do is say, “Hey Siri, wake me up at 7 a.m.,” and the digital assistant will put that order in for you.

But this comes a slight inconvenience: What happens to alarms after you’re done using them? Well, if you’re like me, you just turn them off to stop the horrendous buzzing on your wrist and then forget about them. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s how to clear off all of those old, unused alarms with a quickness.

Surprise! Siri’s hints about Apple event aren’t that helpful


Don't even bother asking Siri for a hint.
Don't even bother asking Siri for a hint.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple just confirmed its big iPhone 6s event will take place September 9, and while the art on the invite didn’t offer any clues, Apple did give us one tip: Try asking Siri for hint.

Tim Cook’s not about to let his digital assistant leak details of the big event, but we decided to give it a try anyway. After begging Siri to give us a hint, a tip, anything, all we got back was more shade. But at least the replies were pretty funny.

Here are all of Siri’s hints:

Swipe your way to iOS 9’s suggested contacts


There they are! Hello, contacts!
There they are! Hello, contacts!
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 introduced the idea of showing your most-contacted contacts in the multitasking screen. You’d simply double click on the Home button to see the list of the most recent apps as well as a row of the folks you contacted the most across the top.

If you’re looking for that feature in iOS 9, you might have noticed that the contacts are no longer in the multitasking screen. Never fear, though, they’ve just moved.

SmartPlug turns your home into a modern-day Clapper


iHome SmartPlug HomeKit
You may not get a whole lot of use out of a single SmartPlug.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Home automation, specifically Apple’s HomeKit framework and its compatible accessories, is the latest Thing We’re Supposed to Get Excited About™. And it has a lot of promise for convenience, time-saving, and just generally feeling like you live in the future.

The first HomeKit-compatible smartplug is upon us, courtesy of iHome. The ISP5 SmartPlug is a $40 device that plugs into your wall outlet and lets you run whatever you plug into it from your iPhone, using either Siri or the companion app.

It does everything it says it will: You can set up rooms and zones, and control individual appliances or whole groups of them with a tap or quick voice command. It also lets you build “rules” to make your stuff turn on and off without your input. All of this is cool, but when you actually have one, you might struggle to think of useful ways to use it.

Slack boss calls Siri ‘f—ing idiotic’


Apple Watch siri
Do you hear that, Apple Watch? Your primary interface is a fool!
Photo: Apple

We have a bit of a digital-assistant war brewing in the tech world. In addition to Apple’s Siri, we have Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and, eventually, Facebook’s MoneyPenny. Everybody’s out to provide users with the most helpful fake secretaries imaginable, and even productivity app Slack is getting in on the action.

But while touting upcoming improvements to the chat platform’s helper, Slackbot, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield had some strong words about its rival in your iPhone or Apple Watch.