| Cult of Mac

Discreet new Sonos voice assistant will work with Apple Music

By

Sonos Voice will give you a new way to talk to your Sonos speakers.
Sonos Voice will give you a new way to talk to your Sonos speakers.
Photo: Sonos

Smart speaker maker Sonos will soon deploy its own voice assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri. It will let you play and control music on the company’s products, according to a new report.

The new voice assistant, “Sonos Voice,” will work with Apple Music and a handful of other services.

Music streamer Tidal adds Siri support (but not for HomePods)

By

Tidal finally added Siri support, but not for your HomePod or HomePod mini.
Tidal finally added Siri support, but not for your HomePod or HomePod mini.
Photo: Tidal

Music streaming service Tidal rolled out its long-awaited Siri integration Wednesday. Subscribers can ask Apple’s voice assistant to play songs, playlists, albums and more on the platform.

That’s great if you play music on an iPhone, iPad or Mac. But the Siri integration with Tidal doesn’t extend to HomePod or HomePod mini, unfortunately.

Make your iPhone read text out loud

By

Spoken Content Settings (Big)
Your iPhone can read text from websites and iMessages (and even words in photos). Here's how to make it happen.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The iPhone is renowned for its many accessibility features. Accessibility settings can make text on the screen bigger, buttons easier to identify, animations less jarring and sound easier to hear.

An accessibility feature that is useful for everyone is Spoken Content. You can have your phone read out loud anything you have on-screen. This feature was designed for people who have trouble reading small text, but you will find it handy even if you don’t — in lots of situations.

You can have recipes read to you while your hands are busy cooking, quickly hear how to pronounce a word you don’t know — that’s what I use it for most of all — and more. You can even hear what you’re typing as you write.

Here’s how to turn on Spoken Content.

Siri turns up the heat with Aqara’s new S3 HomeKit thermostat

By

Experts speculate Aqara's S3 HomeKit thermostat will launch in the U.S. and Europe at some point.
Experts speculate Aqara's S3 HomeKit thermostat will launch in the U.S. and Europe at some point.
Photo: Aqara

Not satisfied with the thermostats on the market that you can use with HomeKit? Aqara is rolling out its HomeKit-compatible Smart Thermostat S3 with Siri voice support.

While the device is initially available only in China, experts speculate it could be coming to the U.S. and Europe, as well.

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

By

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 get the new gender-neutral Siri voice in iOS 15.4

By

Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri doesn’t have to sound female.
Image: Apple

One of the new features in iOS 15.4, released earlier this week, is a new, gender-neutral voice for Siri.

Apple developed the gender-neutral voice in response to criticism for using female voices as the default for the virtual assistant. If you want Siri to use a voice that is not explicitly female or male — maybe if you don’t identify that way yourself, or if you just want a nongendered voice assistant — now you have the option.

Here’s how to switch to the new voice on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Now Siri can control your Roomba robot vacuum cleaner

By

Have Siri tell that robot Roomba vacuum where to go.
Have Siri tell that robot Roomba vacuum where to go.
Photo: iRobot

Siri is about to get better at helping you clean the house. iRobot has begun to roll out an iRobot Genius 4.0 Home Intelligence software update to Roomba robot vacuum and Braava jet robot mop customers. The update brings Siri voice support to all users, at long last.

So cleaning the floors isn’t just for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant anymore.

‘You’ll just have to wait.’ Siri won’t spill a date for Apple’s big spring event.

By

Siri Apple spring event 2022
Siri's lips are sealed.
Image: Aaron Zollo

We’re still yet to see an official invite for Apple’s big spring event, which all but rules out the rumored March 8 date. So, when is it likely to happen? Don’t bother asking Siri. As usual, the digital assistant proves less than helpful.

“You can’t hurry news” is the response you get when asking what will be announced at the next Apple event. “No, you’ll just have to wait.”

iOS 15.4 fixes bug that collects Siri recordings even after users opt out

By

Siri may be in for new voice lessons soon.
Apple says it will delete all inadvertent recordings.
Image: Apple

Apple on Tuesday confirmed that its second iOS 15.4 beta fixes a bug that caused some Siri interactions to be recorded even after a user opted out.

Only a “small portion” of iPhone units were affected by the bug, which was first introduced in iOS 15, Cupertino said. After installing iOS 15.4, users will again be asked whether they want to help improve Siri by having their interactions saved.