How to search for songs by lyrics in Apple Music

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Just look at that rick(shaw) roll!
Just look at that rick(shaw) roll!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you have a snippet of a song in your head, and it’s driving you crazy? Did you forget to Shazam it when you heard it playing in that hipster boutique vegan-boots-and-artisanal-ramen store? Then you need Apple Music’s search by lyrics feature, which lets you find a song based on a few vaguely remembered snatches of verse.

Sonos will add Google Assistant to its speakers this year

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Sonos supports AirPlay2
Sonos speakers connect to over 80 streaming services.
Photo: Sonos

CES 2019 bug Sonos is about to add a new weapon to its smart speakers that will help make it even more competitive against Apple’s HomePod.

The company revealed today that it plans to bring Google Assistant to its smart speakers later this year. Beta testing for the new feature has already begun, allowing Google’s Siri-competitor to be the main voice input on some Sonos speaker models.

Siri’s Hebrew voice is suing Apple

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HomePod siri
Apple has another lawsuit on its hands.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The female broadcaster and voice artist whose voice is used for the Hebrew version of Siri is reportedly suing Apple. Galit Gura-Eini, who has also provided the local voice for Waze, claims that Apple used her voice without permission.

Her lawsuit also claims that people have used the Siri voice to make her voice say various sexual, racist, or violent things.

Google Home tops Siri and HomePod in smart speaker test

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HomePod market share
Will you upgrade to a family plan?
Photo: Apple

Apple may have been late to the smart speaker game but its HomePod is showing signs it could one day outperform them all.

But only if Apple gives Siri the power.

In Loup Ventures annual smart speaker comparisons, Google Assistant understood all 800 questions and answered nearly 88 percent of them correctly. In its first Loup Ventures test, the HomePod with Siri at the helm misunderstood just three questions and managed to answer correctly nearly 75 percent of its queries.

How to run multiple cooking timers with Shortcuts

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Yum. Perfectly timed.
Yum. Perfectly timed.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

“Hey Siri, 30-minute timer!” you shout across the kitchen, elbows deep in turkey gizzards. Only Siri isn’t interested. It’s already running that one-hour timer for the roast potatoes. Why would anybody want to run multiple timers at the same time? Silly human.

Thankfully, Shortcuts is here to save your bacon (and your Brussel’s sprouts, sage-and-onion stuffing, and so on). If you’re feeling fancy, you could even set this up to use with Siri, but today we’ll keep it simple. So, no matter how complex your Christmas Day cooking arrangement, Shortcuts will let you know when your goose is cooked.

Apple promotes new SVP of machine learning and AI

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John Giannandrea
John Giannandrea is Apple’s newest SVP.
Photo: Apple

Apple has promoted John Giannandrea to its executive team as senior vice president of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

Giannandrea, who joined Apple back in April of this year after eight years at Google, is responsible for Siri and the Core ML framework. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is “fortune to have John … driving our efforts in this critical area.”

4-year-old uses Siri to summon help after mom faints

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Siri
Siri proved useful in helping a boy in England call for help.
Photo: Apple

A 4-year-old boy in England used Siri to call for help after his pregnant mom collapsed, according to reports.

Beau Austin, who reportedly loved talking to digital assistants on devices, called out to Siri on his mother’s iPhone to dial 999. He then told the operator “my mummy’s sick,” adding they were alone.

Why HomePod’s ‘Hey Siri’ will blow you away

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Siri speaker
The HomePod's ability to hear at full volume is one of the most impressive feats.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple pulled back the curtain on some of the most complicated features of its HomePod smart speaker this morning with a new blog post that details the machine learning tech that goes into its ‘Hey Siri’ detection.

One of the biggest challenges with making a smart speaker is not only figuring out what to listen for but also what sounds to discard in the process. Apple’s engineers have come up with a number of interesting methods to make Siri work even when you’re blasting tunes our of the HomePod’s speakers.