While the "commercial" starts with the familiar soul-searching music and closeup of Siri's interface in a typical Apple advert, it becomes quickly obvious after the first question that this clip is not like those other civilized parodies. McInnes asks some simple questions, but the programmers behind Siri's voice recognition obviously are not prepared for references to "chip butty," "jammy dodger," or "Caledonian 80." The results (below) are hilarious. … Read more
Reports of Siri's bandwidth hogging ways have been greatly exaggerated, according to a former board member of the namesake company Apple bought in 2010.
In a guest post on Forbes this morning, former Siri and Nuance Communications board member Gary Morgenthaler suggests that the research report put out earlier this month by mobile network management company Arieso--the one that claimed the voice assistant feature led to about twice the amount of data use--is untrue.
"Siri's average data consumed per query is less than 63 kilobytes, according to Ars Technica; and it's a number I can confirm, … Read more
Apple's voice-activated, personal assistant, Siri, is a cool app to show off at parties, but is it useful enough for me to upgrade to the iPhone 4S? And how can I make sure that I don't get socked with a surprise $1,000 bill when I return from my winter vacation in the Caribbean Islands?
These are the questions Ask Maggie tackles in this edition.
Should I upgrade to the iPhone 4S for Siri?
Dear Maggie, I've had the iPhone 3G for a couple of years. But recently, I've really gotten tired of the slow download … Read more
What Siri will do next only Apple knows, but we just got a few hints.
A handful of future features headed to the software may have been outed in a new patent application, primarily that the sassy assistant could be headed to Web and e-mail platforms, and eventually help you buy things, control your home thermostat, and weigh in during conversations.
That application, published this morning by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and picked up by Patently Apple, details an "Intelligent Automated Assistant." The filing, dated January 2011, comes some nine months after Apple's acquisition of Siri the company, and includes numerous diagrams of the software in use.
In the application's abstract, Apple describes its invention as a tool that "engages with the user in an integrated, conversational manner using natural language dialogue," while making use of "external services when appropriate to obtain information or perform various actions."
That's Siri as we know it, the virtual assistant that translates user voice requests into actions--functionality that first appeared in Siri the app, and later extended to Apple's implementation of it in the iPhone 4S. Some of those external services have been tools like Yelp and Wolfram Alpha.
Where things get interesting is when Apple details where such a tool could be used.… Read more
Everyone should have more money. Everything should be cheaper. Everyone should have a job.
These seem to be the prominent political themes of the day.
Indeed, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry made clear that we cannot drive great tech entrepreneurs away from the U.S.: "Steve Jobs and what he innovated and people like him, we need to be giving them the incentive to be on shore doing that and not driving them off with tax policy and regulatory policy."
Last night, Jon Stewart seemed a little bemused by this. He wondered how we could get Steve Jobs … Read more
Boosted by the iPad 3, Apple's popular tablet could see sales of more than 48 million this year, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu believes.
In an investor's note released yesterday, Wu attributed his forecast to recent speculation that the iPad 3 would be a "significant update" over the existing model and will reach customers in March.
Reports have also popped up that Apple's next tablet would be powered by a quad-core chip and support 4G LTE. Though Wu didn't weigh in on the likelihood of those features surfacing, he did say that such improvements … Read more
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak may have waited in line for the release of new iPhones, but he says there are ways Android has leaped ahead of iPhone.
In an interview with Dan Lyons for the Daily Beast comparing iPhones with Android phones, the Woz laments the limitations of Apple's smartphone.
"My primary phone is the iPhone," the Woz said. "I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do."
However, don't get the idea that Woz is getting ready to dump the iPhone. He … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Vlingo, the virtual assistant app for all major mobile platforms, today announced that it's making its way into televisions.
Not just a voice-controlled remote for changing channels and volume, "Vlingo for Smarter TVs" can help you browse and discover new content by simply talking into your mobile device. For instance, you could ask Vlingo something like, "what comedies are playing tonight?" Then, the app would trigger your TV to pull up a listing using the database of programming made available by cable providers. Or, you could simply tell Vlingo, "watch 'The Price is … Read more
The Apple rumor mill went into high gear this week, with reports of multiple iPads, giant televisions, and mystery events later in the month.
One tidbit of official news is that the company is planning to bring the iPhone 4S to China and 21 other countries next week. The move, which was expected, should give the 4S a healthy sales boost considering that China has become a top market for smartphones. In Apple's most recently reported quarterly earnings, Greater China came in second (behind North America) on the company's list of top revenue-generation regions.
You can read more … Read more
Move over Siri. Windows Phone now has its own voice assistant, dubbed Ask Ziggy, and it seems to be a hit.
Except for some negative comments here and there, many reviewers on the MarketPlace page for the free app christened it with 4- and 5-star ratings, resulting in an average of 3.5 stars.
"Off to a great start," said one commenter. "As a proof of concept it's funny to see how Apple's 'amazing' interface can be rivaled by a single developer. Looking forward to future updates."
I ran a quick, informal competition between … Read more