siri

iOS 12 Shortcuts available in beta for developers

iOS 12 Shortcuts available in beta for developers

One of the most exciting things to come in iOS 12 is admittedly the new and improved Siri. There is, of course, Siri Shortcuts which lets you not only jump directly into a specific app function or feature but also lets you use your own command phrase for it. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of it comes in the new but familiar Shortcuts app that is now available in beta form, at least for developers.

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Siri is about to leave Alexa, Google Assistant in the dust

Siri is about to leave Alexa, Google Assistant in the dust

Although Siri has been the first popular and widely known voice-controlled smart assistant, it has been shoved to the sidelines by the rapid expansion of the likes of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. At WWDC earlier this month, Apple showed it still had some fight left. It introduced Siri Shortcuts and, more than just catching up with third-party integration, it’s going to change the game that will hopefully make smart assistant even smarter. But probably not before it shames its rivals.

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At WWDC, watchOS 5 paves way to Apple smart glasses

At WWDC, watchOS 5 paves way to Apple smart glasses

Apple's message at WWDC 2018 that we're too attached to our iPhone seems, for a company the fortunes of which are so closely tied to its smartphone, a strange one. From iOS 12's Screen Time tattling on the apps you're most addicted to, to watchOS 5's increasing independence, you'd almost think Apple was having a change of heart after a decade of making iPhones.

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The Sonos AirPlay 2 update is coming in July

The Sonos AirPlay 2 update is coming in July

Sonos is bringing AirPlay 2 to its speakers in early July, allowing its connected devices to be linked with Apple's own HomePod in multi-room systems. Launched back in late May, AirPlay 2 saw Apple expand its streaming system from its own hardware, allowing third-party speakers to be linked in multi-room configurations and remotely controlled, en-masse, from an iOS or macOS device.

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iOS 12 Siri Shortcuts and Suggestions digs AI into more apps

iOS 12 Siri Shortcuts and Suggestions digs AI into more apps

Siri is getting much deeper integration into third-party apps, with Apple hoping to address criticisms that its virtual assistant just hasn't been as useful as it could have been. Announced at WWDC 2018 today, Shortcuts in SiriKit and the new Shortcuts app promise to make Siri far more responsive and useful, including by learning from how you use your iPhone in everyday life.

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Apple HomePod stereo pairing: Hands-on

Apple HomePod stereo pairing: Hands-on

If one HomePod sounds great, how about two of Apple's speakers set up as a stereo pair? With the arrival of AirPlay 2 this week, right on the cusp of WWDC 2018, Apple finally delivers on music promises it made back when it first announced HomePod at WWDC 2017 last year.

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Siri at WWDC 2018: what it needs to be smarter

Siri at WWDC 2018: what it needs to be smarter

Apple's annual developers' conference is barely two weeks away and the Internet is already abuzz at what's expected to make a big splash there. Considering it will cover the whole breadth of Apple's products and services, it's not surprising that there's quite a lot to talk about. One thread that does seem to be more common than other is how much smarter Siri will magically become. But what does "smarter" really mean in this context and how will we be able to judge if Siri has finally caught up with its peers? Here are a few points to consider.

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Apple HomePod by Beats: Cheaper but not enough to save it

Apple HomePod by Beats: Cheaper but not enough to save it

Apple products don't always become an overnight success. Some take years of constant marketing to hammer them into consumers' skulls. So while the HomePod's reported lackluster sales are disappointing for Apple fans, they might not be as fatal as some predict it to be. That said, the company seems to be trying to salvage its image by making a rather odd move. Not only is it coming out with a cheaper HomePod, according to reports it might not be launched as a HomePod at all.

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Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri vulnerable to inaudible commands

Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri vulnerable to inaudible commands

Smart assistants, especially those in smart speakers, have to always be listening. There is no other way to have them ready to answer your questions or obey your commands at a moment's notice, whether or not you have trigger phrase for it. Unfortunately, this also means that they will always be receiving and hearing any and all audio to intercept commands. The problem, according to researchers, is that these smart assistants might follow even those commands that you might not be able to hear.

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Ask Siri to define “mother” twice and you’re in for a shock

Ask Siri to define “mother” twice and you’re in for a shock

AI-powered voice assistants and their smart speaker abodes are hot items these days. But useful (or not) as they may be, they come with some inherent risks. Driven primarily by voice, there is no quick way for users to screen results and stop the assistants before they blurt out something private, sensitive, or inappropriate. Take, for example, Siri, who will gladly inform you of a definition of the word "mother" that you may not really care for or want to hear.

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Alexa Blueprints will DIY you straight to the dark side

Alexa Blueprints will DIY you straight to the dark side

I'm a luddite when it comes to our future AI overlords, but when I saw how fun Amazon Alexa Skill Blueprints were, I gave in. Or at least I expect to give in a little bit. When I'm able to customize Alexa's responses to my questions, that's where I change a tune. When I "see how easy it is to create a skill with blueprints," I sort of lose my mind and go into silly mode.

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Apple’s “Hey Siri” team just spilled what’s coming next

Apple’s “Hey Siri” team just spilled what’s coming next

Apple has pulled back the curtain on Siri, and specifically the "Hey Siri" voice trigger feature that, from iPhone 6 on, allowed the assistant to recognize only its owner. In a new article published on Apple's Machine Learning Journal, the Siri team details a paper it submitted to the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) which kicks off today.

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