iPhone 11 arrives with killer cameras and cheap price tag

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iphoen 11
Let's just agree to not call them 'slofies'.
Photo: Apple

The newest iPhone is finally here and it’s more colorful than ever.

Following up on the success of the iPhone XR, Apple unveiled the iPhone 11 this morning that sports a new aluminum and glass body and two amazing rear cameras that could make it the most attractive iPhone to most people. It’s cheaper price tag doesn’t hurt either.

Siri will one day discuss your health problems with you

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Siri may soon be able to identify your voice and give personalized responses.
Less "What are you doing" and more "How are you doing?"
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The ability to have back-and-forth conversations about users’ health problems is one of several new abilities planned for Siri in “fall 2021,” a new report claims.

Based on leaked documents, The Guardian says that Apple is planning a host of new features for its AI assistant. These will include built-in machine translation and, intriguingly, support for a new, unspecified piece of Siri hardware.

Apple could be fined $22 million for eavesdropping on Siri requests

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Siri Lights
Apple admitted to listening in on Siri requests.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission wants answers from Apple about why it let contractors listen to private Siri recordings. The data protection watchdog is looking into whether Apple’s GDPR privacy obligations.

Should Apple be found guilty, it could be fined up to 20 million euros ($22 million) or 4% of its annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

Apple apologizes for Siri spying, pledges privacy fixes

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Siri
Going forward, no one will listen to what you say to Siri unless you approve it.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A revamp of Apple’s program that had people monitoring Siri voice commands for quality control will soon ask users to opt-in first, and only Apple employees will be listening.

“We realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize,” the company said in a statement.

Apple terminates contracts of people hired to listen to Siri recordings

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HomePod siri
Contractors listened to around 1,000 Siri recordings each shift.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple has laid off the contractors whose job it was to listen to Siri recordings to improve the quality of Apple’s voice assistant.

Contractors in Ireland had their fixed term contracts “abruptly terminated” this week. This followed Apple suspending the practice last month. During each shift, employees supposedly listened to 1,000 Siri recordings.

Siri’s former boss has jumped ship to Microsoft

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HomePod siri
"Siri, why is my former boss using Windows?"
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Microsoft has snapped up the former Siri boss, who left Apple earlier in May 2019.

Bill Stasior joined Apple in 2012, taking over control of the Siri team not long after it made its debut with the iPhone 4s. In his job at Microsoft, Stasior will be corporate vice president of technology.

Spotify might finally get Siri support with iOS 13

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Spotify Premium update October 2018
Apple and Spotify might declare a truce.
Photo: Spotify

Apple might be ready to agree to a truce with Spotify that would allow iOS users to control the rival music streaming service with Siri.

iPhone users have been unable to use Siri and Spotify together even though you can do it with Apple Music. Reports of the negotiations come as Apple is facing more intense scrutiny for anti-trust practices, with Spotify being one of the loudest dissenting voices.

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 eavesdropping controversy underlines why Apple must be more transparent [Opinion]

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Siri
Apple backed down after a privacy backlash this week.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple wants you to know that, at least for now, it has stopped listening to Siri queries made by users. It’s the right move to make. But it’s the unnecessary result of a backlash Apple brought upon itself.

The Siri eavesdropping controversy perfectly illustrates why Apple needs to be more transparent with users — even if that means sacrificing some ease of use.