Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese ad makes Siri look like a superstar

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Scorsese Siri
"Hey Siri, am I here to f***ing amuse you?"
Photo: Apple

July 23: Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese Apple ad makes Siri look like a superstar July 23, 2012: Looking for the perfect spokesman for its new virtual assistant Siri, Apple turns to Martin Scorsese, the legendary filmmaker behind some of Hollywood’s most violent gangster movies.

The new television commercial shows the director using Siri voice commands to juggle his busy schedule. One in a string of celebrity-studded Siri ads, it ranks among the best.

European Commission worries Apple could be future smart home ‘gatekeeper’

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Siri on HomePod mini
Siri is taking over our lives.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Smart home technology isn’t a massive focus of Apple’s. But the European Commission is nonetheless concerned that Apple could be one of the companies potentially able to engage in anticompetitive behavior in this area due to its outsized influence on the tech industry.

In preliminary investigation results published Wednesday, the EC raises concerns about the potential of “gatekeepers emerging” in this sector. The inquiry into Internet of Things (IoT) devices was launched in July 2020. It’s based on feedback from more than 200 different companies. Along with Apple, Amazon and Google are both mentioned as big players.

9 things that blew us away at WWDC 2021

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Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Photo: Apple

Some new features really stood out when Apple revealed the next versions of all its operating systems during Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Users of iPhone, Mac and iPad, and Apple Watch, too, can look forward to welcome improvements this fall.

We picked out the best of these to make sure they don’t get overlooked.

Siri will work offline and come to third-party devices this year

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri is finally expanding its reach.
Photo: Apple

Siri will soon be able to handle many of your questions and requests offline. When Apple’s next-generation software updates roll out this fall, on-device speech recognition will negate the need for a data connection.

Apple is also opening Siri up to third parties, paving the way for its virtual assistant to be integrated into all manner of smart devices in the future.

Apple adds powerful new privacy features to Mail and more

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Apple Privacy Slide from WWDC 2021
Apple is taking even more shots at advertisers in the WWDC 2021 Privacy updates
Screenshot: Apple

Apple is bringing big privacy-focused changes to its Mail app and other parts of its ecosystem, the company said Monday.

“At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of software engineering. “We don’t think you should have to make a tradeoff between great features and privacy. We believe you deserve both.”

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SwitchBot Hub Mini simplifies and enhances your home automation.
SwitchBot Hub Mini simplifies and enhances your home automation.
Photo: SwitchBot

Siri’s ignominious honor: Most accurate Apple leaker

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri beats Prosser, Gurman, etc. to become the most accurate source of Apple leaks.
Image: Apple

Last week, Siri leaked the date and time of the upcoming Apple event. And this wasn’t the first time Apple’s own virtual assistant told the world about an upcoming event before the official announcement.

So step back Jon Prosser. Stand aside Mark Gurman. Siri is now the most accurate Apple leaker.