Apple Shows Off iOS 6, Maps, Passbook, Siri

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As part of today's big events, Apple has been showing off some of the features of iOS 6 running on the new iPhone 5. First off the bench was Maps, now completely sans-Google, with 3D buildings, points of interest,  flyover, and turn-by-turn directions. I'm still shedding a tear for the loss of public transport information. Safari can now go fullscreen, and sync tabs via iCloud. Mail will let you tag people as VIPs, and messages from them will get shunted into their own mailbox. One of the big new features is Passbook, which was shown off with Delta, Starwood Hotels, and more. It's tickets, coupons, movie tickets, and more. Photo Streams will now allow you to subscribe to streams of your friends and relatives, … [Read more...]

Nuance Announces Nina, Siri For Every App

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While Siri is cool, she only works for a handful of situations, and is quite obviously still in beta. Nuance, the company rumored to provide the speech recognition for Siri, has just announced a new service that could bring similar functionality to any app. The new tool is dubbed Nina, and will allow app developers to add Siri-like interactions to any application. … [Read more...]

Apple Files Motion To Dismiss Over Siri Lawsuit

A few months back we reported on a growing number of individuals who were suing Apple, claiming that the features of Siri were misrepresented in the companies advertisements and a far cry from real world experience. Referenced in the complaint was the Rock God ad, which apparently one of the plaintiffs attempted to reproduce to no avail. According to the WSJ, Apple is fighting back with a motion to dismiss the Siri lawsuit. They offer only general descriptions of Apple’s advertisements, incomplete summaries of Apple’s website materials, and vague descriptions of their alleged—and highly individualized—disappointment with Siri. Tellingly, although Plaintiffs claim they became dissatisfied with Siri’s performance “soon after” … [Read more...]

Daily iPhone App Giveaway: Voice Assistant for iPhone

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Now that we've spent some time swimming with the sharks, it's time to get back to being productive. Those of you looking for a Siri alternative, enter today for a chance to win Voice Assistant for iPhone. How to enter: This app is a voice recognition app that allows you to speak to create email or text messages. Not only that, you can use it to update your social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. To enter, let us know how you would use a Siri-like app like Voice Assistant on your iPhone.  The  winner(s) will be randomly selected tomorrow.  Not a member, join today! Voice Assistant - Features Like Siri on iPhone4 and iPhone 3GS Voice Assistant allows you to use your voice instead of typing, which saves time. While … [Read more...]

Quick Guide: Siri Tips and Tricks for Beginners

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If you've recently picked up a new iPhone 4S and haven't start playing with Siri, there's no time like the present to start. Though both novel and powerful, Siri isn't always quite as good as you might expect if you've seen Apple's ads. But with a little tender loving care, you can get Siri working for you more efficiently. Correct Siri's Mistakes Every now and then, Siri will make a mistake. Depending on your accent or clarity of speech, this might be more often than you'd like. Thankfully there are two ways to keep Siri working with the right information. The first is a hands-on approach. If Siri makes a mistake, take a look at your device. Scroll to the top of the screen and you should see your query transcribed, and any … [Read more...]

The Voice Behind Siri That Apple Doesn’t Want You To Know

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The Telegraph this morning features an interview with Jon Briggs, the voice behind Apple's popular Siri personal assistant in Britain. Briggs alledges that a public relations representative from Apple contacted the vocie-over specialist asking that he not speak publically about its product saying, "We are not about one person". Briggs however had not been contracted by Apple, but instead by Scansoft, who merged with Nuance prior to be acquired by Apple. Briggs recorded over 5,000 sententces over a three week period.   “I did a set of recordings… spoken in a very particular way and only reading flat and even,” Mr Briggs said. “Then they go away and take all the phonics apart, because 'I' have to be able to read anything … [Read more...]

Quick Guide: Teach Siri Names and Relationships

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What's in a name? Quite a lot, if you're trying to communicate clearly with Siri, the iPhone 4S's new digital personal assistant. Siri can do quite a lot, but to get the best possible experience she needs the right information. So for the sake of your sanity, let's teach Siri how to pronounce your name. And for efficiency you can let her know how you relate to the people in your life. With Siri's limited language support -- only English, French and German at the moment -- and ever growing global presence, she's not going to be able to get every name right straight out of the gate. There are a few ways you can help. If you want Siri to know who you are, you'll have to tell her. Open the Settings app, and navigate to General, then Siri. … [Read more...]

iPhone 4S Review Roundup

Apple has dropped the embargo on iPhone 4S reviews and the usual suspects have filed their reviews of Apple's latest iPhone. Here's what they are saying: "Spending a week with Apple’s newest phone, I’m reminded again of just what makes the company’s products so special. It’s not specs, services, or apps. This phone is not perfect. Certainly it can be improved. But there is something here, beyond the screen and CPU, beyond iCloud, something under the surface. Some intangible spark. Is this the best phone ever made? That’s debatable. But I can tell you this: the iPhone 4S is pretty damn cool." Joshua Topolsky of The Verge. Here are some of my favorite examples from experimenting with Siri: Me: “I’m drunk.” Siri: “I found a … [Read more...]

What Can Siri Understand?

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So Siri is either the greatest thing since sliced bread, or else a feature you'll use once and then forget about for all time. One way or another, its success will hinge on Siri's ability to not only understand the infinite variation of English-speaking accents, but also pick apart the spoken word and its variations. To get a feel for what you can say to Siri, TUAW has compiled a list of phrases Siri will understand which we've embedded after the break. It's a pretty substantial breakdown, and reveals a uniquely robust recognition engine. We'll be interested to see how it performs in the real world. … [Read more...]

Introducing Siri For the iPhone 4S

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While there was plenty cool to geek over for the iPhone 4S, the real news was Siri, the much rumored voice control system. It all boils down to vocabulary, and if you have to use specific words to make the system happy. According to Phil Shiller, Siri will be smart enough to know what you're trying to say (as someone with a bizarre accent, I plan to challenge that). The system which rumors were calling Assistant is able to parse "do I need an umbrella" "what is the weather" and "what is the hourly forecast" into their separate but still linked meanings. As with all services of this sort, it'll really boil down to real world use. These things can be tweaked for stage, but when I groggily ask it to set an alarm while I'm jetlagged and … [Read more...]