Some believe Siri is a driving force behind Apple’s record-breaking iPhone 4S sales, but not everyone is impressed with the Cupertino, California-based company’s virtual assistant. Apple’s TV ads depict Siri as an impressive, fast-acting feature that intelligently offers help or information in responds to a wide range of and commands. A number of users have found that Siri is not as helpful as Apple leads consumers to believe, however, and the company has been hit with a number of lawsuits as a result. More →
Apple’s upcoming high-definition television is real, and it will reportedly feature an aluminum construction, Siri, FaceTime video calling and more. An anonymous source speaking with Cult of Mac claims to have seen a prototype of Apple’s upcoming “iTV” in action, and a number of details have been reinforced as a result. “It resembled an Apple monitor, only much larger,” the unnamed source told the site, referring to the aluminum LED Cinema Displays Apple currently sells alongside its Mac computers. Cult of Mac, which has revealed accurate details surrounding unannounced Apple products in the past, also reports that the HDTV will feature Siri, Apple’s sophisticated voice recognition software, and an iSight camera for FaceTime video calling. Many expect Apple to launch its debut television later this year, though a recent report suggests that it may not hit the market until 2014. More →
Rumors surrounding the imminent launch of an Apple-branded HDTV have been swirling for the better part of a year, and while some industry watchers expect the “iTV” to launch as early as this summer, one analyst suggests that we’re still more than a year away from seeing Apple launch an iOS-powered television. JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said on Thursday that his firm does not believe Apple will release an HDTV in the near future. More →
A class action lawsuit was filed in New York against Apple earlier this month, alleging that the company’s “misleading and deceptive” iPhone 4S ads depicted Siri as responsive and helpful. The complainant, Frank Fazio, argues that Siri is unresponsive and it often fails to understand what is being asked of it. Earlier this week, another class action suit was filed in Los Angeles that makes similar allegations, Los Angeles Times reports. ”Through its nationwide multimedia marketing campaign, Apple disseminates false and deceptive representations regarding the functionality of the Siri feature,” the suit claims. “For example, in many of Apple’s television commercials, consumers are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even to learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs. In its advertisements, Apple depicts these tasks as easily accomplished ‘just by asking’ Siri.” It continues, ”Apple’s deceptive commercials diverge greatly from the actual functionality and operation of the Siri feature as experienced by Plaintiff and fellow consumers.” The suit seeks relief and damages for the complainant and everyone else in the country who purchased an iPhone 4S. More →
The man who counted to infinity twice is invading iPhone 4S handsets around the world thanks to an incredibly useless but fantastically amusing Siri tweak. iOS developer Wonderbread recently released an add-on dubbed “Chuck Norris Facts” for the AssistantExtensions platform that brings powerful new functionality to Apple’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri. After installing AssistantExtensions and the Chuck Norris Facts add-on, the command “let’s chat” will activate AssistantExtensions’ chat-bot feature, and users who dare to speak his name can simply say “Chuck Norris” to hear Siri reply with one of countless faux factoids from the popular Chuck Norris facts meme. Chuck fans will need to jailbreak their iPhones in order to download and install the tweak from the Cydia app store, and caution is recommended when jailbreaking or when doing anything involving Chuck Norris — there used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.
Nokia’s upcoming Lumia 900 Windows Phone could be the first smartphone running Microsoft’s mobile operating system to really make a splash in the United States. BGR exclusively reported that the new flagship 4G handset will hit AT&T store shelves late next month alongside a massive marketing blitz and a big subsidy program that will leave the phone with a surprisingly low $99.99 price tag. As impressive as the Lumia 900 is shaping up to be, however, Nokia is apparently working on another smartphone with new technology that will blow us all away. Read on for more. More →
Apple’s rumored iOS-powered high-definition television will enter production in May or June ahead of a launch slated for the fourth quarter this year, one analyst claims. Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek met with unnamed sources during a recent trip to the East, and he now believes Apple’s “iTV” is a sure thing. “Specialty components have begun to ship to Apple’s Asia panel suppliers with polarized films, filters, and IGZO components starting to move in small quantities,” the analyst wrote in a note to investors Tuesday morning. “We expect commercial production in May/ June with 2M to 5M builds likely. We still expect a CQ4 launch.” Apple’s HDTV has been rumored for quite some time, and it is expected to feature unique voice controls powered by Siri. Apple’s is also reportedly working on a subscription offering that will treat TV channels like apps and allow users to subscribe to individual channels or bundles of channels a la carte.
Apple is being sued in New York by Frank Fazio, who claims that Apple falsely advertises Siri as a responsive and helpful when in fact the virtual assistant is allegedly anything but, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Represented by Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, Fazio’s class-actions suit seeks unspecified damages and and a court order demanding that Apple cease all misleading advertising that depict Siri as responsive, user-friendly feature. “On many of Apple’s television advertisements, individuals are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs or how to tie a tie,” Fazio’s complaint reads. “In the commercials, all of these tasks are done with ease with the assistance of the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature, a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri.” Fazio’s attorneys argue that their client and the class he represents have had nothing but trouble with Siri, which is unresponsive and often doesn’t understand what is being asked of it. Fazio’s full complaint is embedded after the break. More →
In December, it was reported that Google is working on a solution that will boost the capabilities of its Voice Actions on Android-powered devices in an effort to compete with Apple’s Siri voice assistant. The service, which was previously code-named “Majel,” will launch as “Assistant” according to a report from TechCrunch. Google intends its Assistant service to go beyond Siri’s functionality, and the software giant will maintain complete control of all the layers involved. According to the website’s sources, Assistant is being created by the Android team and has three goals: to put the world’s knowledge into a format a computer can understand, to create a personalization layer and to build a mobile, voice-controlled “do engine” that will help users accomplishing real-life goals. Unlike Apple, Google reportedly intends to make the service available to developers in an effort to broaden its functionality. The service will reportedly be unveiled in the fourth quarter of 2012. More →
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled plans to integrate Apple’s Siri voice assistant into its A-Class vehicles, according to a report from PSFK. The integration would allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using voice commands. The feature is being called the Drive Kit Plus program and will work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’ Digital DriveStyle app to translate the iPhone’s screen onto the in-car display. The program will feature compatibility with popular apps such as Twitter and Facebook pre-installed, and drivers will be able to listen to music, change radio stations, update their status on social networks and send text messages using voice commands as well. According to the report, the car’s integrated Garmin navigation system will be also compatible with Siri commands. Mercedes-Benz is the first car maker to integrate Apple’s voice assistant into a vehicle, with the feature reportedly set to debut at the 2012 Geneva auto show next month and a rollout to all A-Class vehicles scheduled to begin this fall. More →
Apple reportedly plans to launch a new Apple TV next month that will feature a faster processor along with other enhancements. Apple watcher 9to5Mac on Tuesday reported that the Cupertino, California-based technology giant plans to refresh its Apple TV offering in March alongside the iPad 3. To be clear, this is not the HDTV Apple is rumored to be working on, but rather the somewhat popular iOS-powered set-top box. 9to5Mac’s source says the new Apple TV will be powered by a faster dual-core processor, perhaps the “Apple A5x” that has been rumored recently, and it will feature better video playback performance as well. Earlier rumors suggested that Apple’s new Apple TV might also feature Siri voice command integration, a Bluetooth 4.0 remote and support for Apple’s rumored upcoming 1080p iTunes content, but none of these rumors have been confirmed. More →
A patent filed by Google showcases a new technology that could enable users to control Google TV-equipped devices using their voices, reports Patently Apple. Using a specific smartphone app, users could be able to speak commands or queries that are then acted upon by a television, a set-top box, a DVD player or another device equipped with Google TV, according to the patent filing. The patent documentation also mentions an interesting feature where “the provision of the query to the television may occur when the user is within a set distance of his home also (e.g., by determining with GPS functionality on the smartphone that he is within 1/4 mile of the home), and the television may be turned on automatically as he approaches the home, with the television tuned to a channel that is determined to be most relevant to the query.” Google’s technology can also be applied to music, allowing users to remotely set up a playlist to be streamed on a TV or other device. Whether or not we can expect Google TV products to launch with the functionality described in this patent is unknown. More →
We’ve got a hold of what is said to be Apple’s iOS 5.1 GM, the version that will be released to the public on or around March 9th, and we can now confirm an earlier report detailing two new changes. The lock screen in iOS 5.1 has a fixed camera button located next to the slide to unlock button, and instead of tapping on it to launch the camera, you simply drag the entire unlock section up to reveal the camera finder. This makes photo-taking instantly fast when you’re getting the phone out of your pocket or bag. Siri has indeed learned Japanese as well, and we’ve been able to confirm that in Settings. We’re told there are no roadblocks as of now in this release candidate, so we’d expect the version we have to be the version released in the coming weeks. Another photo can be seen after the break. More →