How to teach Siri to pronounce a name correctly

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siri pronounce
Siri will teach you how to teach her.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Siri is great for setting reminders and timers, but in recent times Apple’s AI assistant has gotten a lot better at other things, too. For instance, sending iMessages to folks via your EarPods or AirPods, with your iPhone still in your pocket, works well enough that you can use it reliably all the time.

However, if Siri can’t pronounce the names of your contacts, then it’ll drive you crazy. Luckily, you can teach Siri to say these names correctly.

Apple’s biggest wireless keyboard could be set for a refresh

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Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
Apple's extended wireless keyboard is only four months old.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad could be about to get a refresh.

Shipping estimates for the existing model, which launched just four months ago, have slipped to a surprising six to seven weeks. A new model could arrive alongside the exciting iMac Pro this December.

Simple Android app lets AirPods activate Google Assistant

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AirPods in ear
AirPods now work even better on Android.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirPods can be paired with any smartphone, just like other Bluetooth headphones. But you don’t get full functionality on third-party platforms. On Android, however, they just became a lot more useful.

You can now use AirPods to activate the Google Assistant — thanks to one simple app.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4s opens for Siri-ous preorders

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iPhone 4s
The iPhone 4s was the last iPhone Steve Jobs directly worked on.
Photo: Apple

October 7: Today in Apple history October 7, 2011: Two days after the death of Steve Jobs, Apple opens preorders for its next-gen iPhone 4s.

The last iPhone that Jobs worked on directly, the 4s boasts a speedier A5 chip, improved 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording, and — most significantly — Apple’s new AI virtual assistant, Siri.

Sonos speakers will support AirPlay 2 next year

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Sonos supports AirPlay2
The Sonos One smart speaker will support Apple's AirPlay2.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos’ new voice-activated Sonos One smart speaker will work with Amazon’s Alexa assistant when it ships later this month, and will add support for Apple’s new AirPlay 2 streaming protocol next year.

The new smart speaker, which will ship Oct. 24, places an emphasis on high-end audio. With its $199 price point and promised compatibility with multiple platforms, it should put pressure on Apple’s upcoming HomePod, which costs nearly twice as much.

Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s

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Siri
Siri had first been predicted by Apple back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 4: Today in Apple history October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the new iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri, a groundbreaking example of artificial intelligence in action.

Siri’s debut represents the culmination of a long-term dream at Apple, an accomplishment predicted in the 1980s and fulfilled almost down to the exact month.

Amazon unleashes 5 new Echo products with crazy price tags

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Amazon Echo Plus
Amazon's new Echo devices are ready to invade your home.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon revealed not one, not two, not three, not four, but five Echo-based products at a huge event today at its headquarters in Seattle.

The wave of gadgets, which also included a new TV dongle, is ready to take on Apple’s HomePod speaker and Apple TV 4K with some pretty impressive features. Even more impressive, though, are their incredibly low price tags. It makes you wonder how Apple possibly can compete.

Here’s all the stuff Amazon just revealed.

Apple’s quick iOS 11.0.1 release is here to kill some bugs

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iOS 11
The first iOS 11 update is here.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone and iPad users that upgraded to iOS 11 last week are already getting their first update even though Apple didn’t release any beta builds to developers yet.

The new iOS 11.0.1 update was pushed out to devices this morning exactly one week after the big release of iOS 11. It’s not clear if there are any major changes, but it looks like it may come with some important bug fixes.

iOS 11 lets you customize left and right AirPod double-tap shortcuts

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AirPods
iOS 11 brings independent left/right controls to AirPods.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 is full of small tweaks that have a big impact. Today’s tip is one of those. In iOS 10, you can customize the double-tap shortcuts on your Apple AirPods to perform various actions — invoke Siri, or play/pause, for example. But the same shortcut would apply to both AirPods. In iOS 11, you can customize each AirPod independently. So, your left ear could be set to call Siri, and your right ear set to play and pause. That’s double the options, with just a software update!

Apple ditches Bing for Google on Siri and Spotlight

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Siri
Siri is switching to Google.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple just gave Microsoft’s search engine Bing a huge blow today by replacing it with Google on iOS and macOS.

The company previously used Bing search results as the default when users made a search query via Siri on iPhones or from Spotlight on Macs. Bing will still be around in some capacity, but it appears that the company has given in and turned back to using Google.