Hey Siri

How to stop Siri from randomly activating all the damn time

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An Apple Watch with Siri Activated and the caption:
Siri always interrupts at the wrong time.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How can you stop Siri from randomly turning on? As if Siri’s unhelpful answers were not irritating enough when you actually want them, Siri often interrupts a conversation, meeting or TV show when you haven’t asked for anything at all.

Yes, Siri can be helpful — we previously covered six surprisingly useful things Siri can do — but it can oftentimes be an unwelcome guest, activating when you want it to zip it. And now in iOS 17, it’s going to activate every time it hears “Siri,” not just “Hey Siri.”

How do you stop Siri from activating all the time?

Apple’s ‘Hey Siri’ trigger phrase might soon shrink

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Activating Siri may soon get simpler.
Image: Apple
WWDC23

The “Hey Siri” trigger phrase for Apple’s virtual assistant could go away soon, replaced with a shorter version. And the change might be announced at WWDC23 next week.

Being able to activate Siri by simply saying “Siri” near an iPhone, HomePod, etc., could make activating Apple’s virtual assistant easier.

Apple wants to shorten ‘Hey Siri’ trigger phrase to simply ‘Siri’

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Siri
Siri could become easier to summon in the future.
Photo: Apple

Apple is working on changing the “Hey Siri” hotword to just plain “Siri,” and the change could roll out as early as next year.

Introduced in 2015 with the iPhone 6s, the “Hey Siri” hotword remains unchanged to this day. You also can use the phrase to invoke Apple’s voice assistant on the Mac, iPad, HomePod and Apple Watch.

Your iPhone can alert you to breaking glass, smoke alarms and other dangers

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Get alerts for alarms, door bells, dogs, appliances and more.
Get alerts for alarms, door bells, dogs, appliances and more.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The other day I was walking with music blasting through my AirPods when I almost stepped in front of a speeding ambulance.

Luckily, the magical Sound Recognition feature on my iPhone was turned on and my AirPods recognized the wailing sirens. They silenced the music and piped the sirens into my ears instead, saving my bacon. It was amazing and quite magical.

Your iPhone can also listen and alert you for crying babies, running water, knocks on the door, barking dogs and more.

Here’s how to use it.

Studio Display adds ‘Hey Siri’ to older Mac models, has 64GB of storage

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Apple Studio Display
That seems like a lot of storage space for a monitor.
Photo: Apple

Studio Display’s surprisingly powerful internals allow it to enable “Hey Siri” on a number of older Mac models that don’t usually support the feature — including the 2019 Mac Pro and several Mac mini variants.

Users also discovered that Studio Display has a surprisingly large (64GB) amount of internal storage. We already knew that it runs the same version of iOS 15.4 as iPhone, but still, all that space seems pretty overkill.

How to change the iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 default email application

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How to change iOS default email application
Changing the iPhone or iPad default email application is now possible. And easy.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple just removed one of the biggest remaining restrictions from the iPhone and iPad. It’s finally possible to change the default email application in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to something other than Apple Mail.

Making the change is easy. However, a current limitation will delay many people from taking immediate advantage of it.

Apple’s unreleased over-the-ear headphones spotted in iOS 14 code

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airpods-max
Apple's making its own headphones to rival Beats.
Photo: 9to5Mac

The clearest look yet at Apple’s upcoming over-the-ear headphones was unearthed from an early build of iOS 14 this week.

Icons for Apple’s unreleased over-the-ear headphones were spotted by 9to5Mac, revealing a few features about the headphones’ design as well as a possible timeframe on when they might launch to the public.

What to expect from Apple’s innovation-focused iPhone event

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Apple 2019 Fall press event invitation
Apple is promising tons of innovation.
Photo: Apple

A whole lot of innovation is in the offing for Apple’s biggest hardware event of the year. CEO Tim Cook recently promised that Apple will unleash its strongest product lineup ever, and next week’s “By Innovation Only” event could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks to a glut of leaked info, we have a pretty solid idea about what new hardware to expect during the event. iPhones obviously will steal the spotlight, but Apple might unleash a few surprises as well.

This is what we think we’ll see during the 2019 iPhone keynote, which starts at 10 a.m. Pacific on September 10. Apple will live-stream it from the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California.

Surreptitious Siri recordings spawn class-action lawsuit

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Siri Alexa in voice report
The recent controversy surrounding Siri recordings is headed for the courts.
Photo: Apple

A class action lawsuit has been proposed to prevent Apple from recording Siri commands without users’ express consent. And the plaintiffs want restitution, of course.

Apple admits it made recordings of people talking to the Siri voice-control system to improve the system. As part of the process, some of these were listened to by humans.

Siri accidentally overhears more than we realize

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Siri Alexa in voice report
Sometimes Siri is listening when we don’t mean it to.
Photo: Apple

It’s been widely reported that voice control systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri use people in their quality-improvement process, not just algorithms. But Siri and others might be accidentally overhearing to what we say more than we realize, and humans in the loop are getting an earful.

A new report warns that Apple contractors have heard “confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex.”

Powerbeats Pro fuel 24-hour run through Iceland in breathtaking new ad

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powerbeats
The scenery in the new Powerbeats Pro ad is astounding.
Photo: Beats

The insanely beautiful landscapes of Iceland serve as the backdrop for Apple’s latest Powerbeats Pro ad that will motivate you to get out and run.

Seven runners from the Paris Running Club embark on a daunting relay that takes them 280km through the wilderness of Iceland in the new ad. The goal is to chase the sun that doesn’t set for days and Powerbeats Pro are there every step of the way to make the run more magical.

Watch the full 90-second ad:

CarPlay is better than ever in iOS 13 — here’s what’s new

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CarPlay-dashboard-iOS-13
My cheap Kia came with CarPlay as standard.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iOS 13 doesn’t just mean big improvements for your iPhone. Apple is making some pretty significant enhancements to CarPlay, too, including a brand-new dashboard and better apps.

Some of these great new CarPlay features are long overdue. Here’s everything you can expect from Apple’s in-car platform in iOS 13.

Amazon thinks it can beat AirPods on audio quality

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AirPods 2. AirPods S, more like.
The wearables market is about to heat up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s AirPods are about to get some fresh competition from Amazon.

The online retail giant is reportedly planning to release its own set of wireless earbuds that will be powered by its digital assistant Alexa and possibly better audio quality.

Powerbeats Pro earbuds look like AirPods for athletes

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Powerbeats Pro
When will yours turn up?
Photo: Beats

The first truly wireless Beats earbuds have finally arrived.

Beats unveiled its new Powerbeats Pro earbuds today which are a successor to the Powerbeats 3 buds that feature an over-the-ear support system. The new Powerbeats Pro feature some of the same features you’ll find on the new AirPods, only in a sporty, sweat-resistant package with more color options and a larger price tag.

Check out the teaser:

AirPods 2 make great a little greater [Review – updated]

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AirPods 2 with box on desk
AirPods Pro could be more affordable thank you think.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Back in December 2016, I was ecstatic to receive my AirPods. In the first few days after they arrived, I had them in my ears almost every moment I wasn’t sleeping or in conversations with others.

Since then, I’ve worn my AirPods, on average, something like four hours every day. When they aren’t in my ears, they are in their case, in my front left pocket. They are as much a part of me as the iPhone they’re typically paired to.

With the second-generation AirPods (can we agree to call them AirPods 2?), Apple took the product I’ve loved dearly for the last 800-plus days, and made it just a little better.

Beats’ version of AirPods rumored to arrive in April

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powerbeats wireless
Bag Powerbeats3 for half the usual price.
Photo: Beats

Apple-owned Beats is about to unleash its wire-free earbuds that will be like a more sporty version of AirPods.

The Beats headphone lineup hasn’t seen a lot of design changes over the last few years but it sounds like fans might finally get a fresh look this spring. According to a new report, the new sport earbuds will be a redesign of the PowerBeats wireless earphones and will be announced in April.

Sorry, slowpokes: Shipping times slip for new AirPods

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AirPods
Better get you order in now!
Photo: Apple

Apple is already having a hard time keeping its new AirPods in stock just hours after their debut this morning.

Shipping times for the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case have started slipping, with delivery estimates now showing one to two weeks’ wait time in some areas. If you just want the new AirPods wireless charging case, though, you’re still in luck.

New AirPods deliver hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ and better battery life

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2019 AirPods
The new Wireless Charging Case is also available.
Photo: Apple

The wait for new AirPods is finally over.

Apple’s newest wireless buds are here with a brand new H1 chip that allows for hands-free “Hey Siri.” They also promise better battery life in between charges, and even faster connectivity.

An optional Wireless Charging Case is also available, but it’s not cheap.