Pro Tip: Use Siri without all the loud play-by-play

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Hush it down, Siri. Hush it down.
Hush it down, Siri. Hush it down.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugYou know how it is: You press and hold the Home button to set a quick timer and Siri comes back all loud, “OK! Setting the timer! I’m in suspense!”

Or some such nonsense. Sure, you want to confirm that Siri’s not, say, adding an event to your calendar or calling your Aunt Tilly instead of setting a timer, but maybe you don’t need Apple’s AI helper to be all chatty about it.

Here’s how you can tamp down Siri’s sometimes-annoying banter.

Future Siri could switch user profiles based on voice

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Play classic arcade games right on your Apple TV.
Siri's ability to recognize different voices could be big for technology like Apple TV.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

As Apple rolls out Siri beyond the iPhone and into shared devices like the iPad and, most recently, Apple TV, Cupertino’s engineers have been working on a way of letting its voice activation technology pick up individual users, and offer them customized options based on their past preferences.

Published today as the patent “User profiling for voice input processing,” the technology would allow Apple to make better use of Siri (and voice recognition in general) as it moves into new fields like home automation and vehicles.

Apple loses patent claim battle against Chinese Siri

siri
Siri's usefulness has stood the test of time, but can 3D Touch?
Photo: Apple

A Beijing court has ruled against Apple, upholding the validity of a patent for a “type of instant messaging chat bot system” held by a Chinese company.

Zhizhen Internet Technology sued Apple back in 2012, claiming that virtual assistant Siri was infringing on the Chinese company’s patented idea for a so-called Xiaoi Bot. The Chinese bot was patented in 2004 — two years before the first Siri-related patent filing was made.

Tuesday’s Beijing court ruling paves the way for Zhizhen to continue its case against Apple for intellectual property infringement. Apple’s defense? That it never heard of Zhizhen’s technology prior to creating Siri.