Apple's new Apple TV set-top box will add to, rather than replace, the existing model new rumors suggest, with the 4th-gen establishing a range ahead of cord-cutter plans. The new box is widely expected to be revealed at Apple's September 9 event in San Francisco, alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but new leaks indicate its much-discussed Siri control and other features will come at a cost.
According to a new report, Apple is said to be working on integrating voicemail into iCloud, bringing about some of the biggest advancements since visual voicemail on the first iPhone. This information comes from Business Insider, which says the primary feature will be Siri's ability to transcribe voicemails into text, letting users read their messages instead of listen to the audio. Even more interesting, this iCloud Voicemail will deliver custom messages to select callers, and even let them know the user's location.
Apple's voice assistant Siri does a lot of things iPhone users ask her to do; maybe not always perfectly, but at least their somewhat related to the request. However, it has recently been discovered that asking the device to charge the battery triggers the software to start calling emergency services. It's not clear if this is a bug — though most likely it is — or exactly why this happens. Perhaps part of an unannounced security feature? Either way, it's something to aware of, and avoid if possible.
Apple is bolstering HomeKit, bringing more smart home kit under the automation umbrella and adding Apple Watch, Siri, and iCloud integration to boost usability both when at home and away. The new functionality, based on iOS 9, will see HomeKit potentially take on a more serious role thanks to integration with security systems, while improvements to the setup process should make home automation installation less of a headache. However, there’s good news for those with existing gadgets they don’t want to replace.
SoundHound, the music recognition app that never quite took off like rival Shazam, has just launched a new, natural-language voice search app that attempts to do what digital assistants like Siri and Cortana can only dream of. Simply called Hound, the app is now available as a beta on Android, and offers to handle tasks like internet and local searches, navigation, weather, geography, news, flight status, stocks, time zones, and much more.
Despite many hailing Siri to be exponentially better than Google's equivalent voice-controlled feature, it seems that Apple might be taking a few pages from Google Now's book in future iOS releases. Dubbed "Proactive", the initiative is tipped to turn iOS Spotlight, the lesser known search feature on mobile, into something that mimics and might even surpass Google Now's functionality on Android. This means more timely and relevant search results and information and even deep app indexing that will let users jump right into an app's particular screen or function.
Apple has pushed out its first Apple Watch update, a combination of performance improvements and bugfixes for early-adopters of the wearable. The firmware, Apple Watch OS 1.0.1, boosts Siri according to Apple's support notes for the download, while health and fitness tracking has also been improved. Meanwhile there's also broader language support, including Russian, Thai, and Danish.
Boiling down our extended Apple Watch review this week resulted in a set of five key points every prospective owner should understand. These include notes on apps, interaction time, and battery life. They also tap into how you'll be speaking with Siri and what you'll need to do to make your Apple Watch experience a fruitful one if you do, indeed, plan on purchasing one in the near future. This device isn't one you should consider lightly. Like your choice in smartphones, this device can really change the way you go about your day.
When Apple launched ResearchKit, the platform was open source, allowing anyone to contribute or develop for ResearchKit. The snarky quip was that Apple finally figured out what open source was. It looks like Apple wasn’t done with open source; they’ve apparently based the new Siri engine on an open source platform known as Mesos. It’s the same platform used by other major tech companies like Airbnb and Twitter, and Mesos says Siri will be one of the largest Mesos clusters.
Yahoo is one company that definitely doesn't have "quit" in its vocabulary. Predating but practically overthrown by Google and perhaps to some extent even Bing, Yahoo is always in search of new ways to generate income but without budging on its true calling. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company is hedging its bets on search. But it won't be taking on Google directly, though of course it will do that as well. Instead, it is training its guns on Google Now, Siri, and Cortana. Yes, Yahoo will once again be entering the personal assistant arena. This time perhaps for real.
As Apple recently released the latest beta version of iOS 8.3, several new settings options have been discovered by testers. Among them is a new option related to entering an Apple ID password when free apps are downloaded, as well the ability for virtual assistant Siri to make calls via speakerphone. The current version of iOS 8.2 still requires passwords to be entered when choosing to download a free app, while having Siri place call, even when using the hands-free "Hey Siri" method, would automatically switch the audio to the ear piece.