Ask any honest Android fanboy what he envies aboutchances are good that he or she will menton Siri. And since we're speaking honestly, I'll be the first to admit that this is one feature that I wish my Android could do.
Google may soon launch a new, more sophisticated voice assistant for Android devices that can respond to natural language commands, claims tech enthusiast site Android and Me.
Codenamed Majel after the late "Star Trek" actress Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who provided the voice of the computer for all of the later versions of the popular science fiction TV series, the new voice assistant could launch as early as January or February.
According to the descriptions of recent jobs posting on its Web site, Apple is looking for iOS engineers to join its Siri development team to help implement user interface (UI) design for the voice-activated assistant included on every iPhone 4S.
The primary objective of the first position would be to help develop the look and feel of the conversational UI elements while using Siri. This includes a variety of tasks, as the post explains, "we [Apple] take every application that Siri interacts with, distill it down to fundamentals, and implement that application's UI in a theme fitting with … Read more
Given recent PR battles that Apple has been having with regard to Siri's search results, there are some basic syntax tips for talking to Siri that can help improve your search results and the impact Siri has on your iPhone 4S experience.
You may think that Siri is capable of understanding any sort of commonly worded request, performing a search through various online databases, and producing a result that perfectly suits the needs of the user.
Yes, this is where the technology is going. No, it's not there yet.
In fact, for an Apple product (and one that … Read more
The Carrier IQ spy software scandal continues to grow: Al Franken wants an explanation and researchers say it might even be showing up in iOS. AT&T's T-Mobile bid is on death watch, and we perform a live demo of Siri's abortion "glitch" -- biggest problem? It's not search and it should be search. Meanwhile, Google announces that it's planning to map indoor spaces, and we envision a world of Google mapping guys on Segways in the mall and maybe even snooping around our cubicles and kitchens.
It's funny how Siri works. She will tell you where you can find an escort, drugs, or guns but can't seem to help if you are seeking birth control or abortion clinics.
Today, the ACLU launched a petition that asks Apple to fix the "glitch" in the voice-activated service on the iPhone 4S so it provides useful information to people seeking information on reproductive resources.
Apple told CNET that the company is still working out the kinks in the beta service and the problem should be fixed soon.
"Our customers want to use Siri to … Read more
Android users looking to replicate the Siri experience have another option now, with the introduction of an app called Cluzee.
Developed by startup Tronton and touted as a "talking intelligent personal digital assistant," Cluzee attempts to step up where other alternatives fall short. The free app is available now for devices running Android 2.1 or higher and has already gotten attention in the tech community.
As you'll see in the video below, Cluzee is designed to answer simple questions with real, helpful responses. Need to find a nearby pizza joint or check the weather forecast for the next few days? Cluzee is the app to handle not only these requests but many other tasks as well.… Read more
commentary What do Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Kinect have in common besides processing voice commands? Right from the get-go they were both a top target for tinkerers.
Look no further than this past weekend's very neat hack of Siri, which managed to get the voice software--which is perhaps best known for being the first major voice recognition system that has a personality--to control a home thermostat.
Not content with searching for weather reports and dictating voice notes, programmer Peter Lamonica put together a software workaround to funnel Siri's voice commands through a separate server, then used those commands to interface with the digital thermostat. The end result let Siri both check and change the temperature settings, using Apple's servers to do the heavy lifting when it came to transcribing. Keep in mind this is just a little more than a month out from the release of the iPhone 4S.
Is this a watershed moment for the kinds of things mobile phones can do? No, but it was a big one for Siri. Users took some of its basics, and rethought the kinds of things they could do with it.
Something very similar happened with the Kinect last year. Unlike Apple, which packaged Siri as an exclusive software feature within the iPhone 4S, Microsoft sold the Kinect as a $150 add-on for its Xbox 360 platform. The move gave owners of a five-year old piece of hardware new ways to control their system, and games with voice and motion controls.
Seeing a cool new gadget to hack, tinkerers--and not just Xbox owners--took to the platform immediately, wanting to have their way with the hardware, and use it in places Microsoft was not yet offering, like on desktop PCs. A week after the Kinect's release, that's just what happened. … Read more
iPhone 4S users, developers and hackers alike have had plenty of time to learn the inner workings of Siri. … Read more