iOS 6.1 Siri Update

Siri will be able to buy movie tickets for you in iOS 6.1

By on November 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM.

Siri will be able to buy movie tickets for you in iOS 6.1

iOS 6 gave Siri the ability to track sports, look up movies and ratings, launch apps and make restaurant reservations. The update was a step in the right direction to fleshing out Siri’s capabilities, but there’s still a long ways to go before Apple’s (AAPL) personal assistant becomes more than just a novel gimmick. According to 9to5Mac, developers who are testing iOS 6.1 have discovered that Siri will be have the ability to help you purchase movie tickets through Fandango. The solution is somewhat half-baked, though, as Siri will only bring up showtimes and a purchase button, but the final checkout for the tickets is routed through the Fandango app. In the end, you still need to use the Fandango app, anyway. 9to5Mac says the feature appears to be U.S. only and will only work at select movie theaters.

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Google Voice Search App

Google’s iOS Voice Search app absolutely demolishes Siri in a speed test [video]

By on November 5, 2012 at 4:16 PM.

Google’s iOS Voice Search app absolutely demolishes Siri in a speed test [video]

Gizmodo decided pit Apple’s (AAPL) Siri against Google’s (GOOG) new iOS Voice Search application in a speed test, and the results were not pretty for Siri. Although Gizmodo found neither voice search app to be perfect, it said overall that Google’s app “came up with a quicker response almost every time, was more accurate, and frankly sounded much less grating than Siri.” In a video of the speed test, it’s clear to see that Google Voice Search almost instantly comes up with responses to questions while Siri takes at least a couple of seconds to “think” before coming up with its reply. Google first released its Voice Search app for iOS last week, marking the first time the company had ever released an app for the iPhone capable of directly taking on Siri’s functionality. Gizmodo’s full video is posted below. More →

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Apple scoops up Amazon search executive William Stasior to beef up Siri

By on October 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM.

Apple scoops up Amazon search executive William Stasior to beef up Siri

Apple Hires Amazon Search Executive

Apple (AAPL) is in the news for the second time in two weeks for hiring another top employee from a competing company. According to AllThingsD, Apple has hired Amazon (AMZN) executive and head of search William Stasior to fill the void left by Siri co-founder Adam Cheyer when he left last month. AllThingsD says that Stasior could end up “strengthening Apple’s search and search advertising technology in the wake of its increasing competition with Google.” Despite the fact that Siri is now more intelligent in iOS 6, it’s still a beta service that’s been criticized by the likes of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak for being worse after the Cupertino-based company acquired it. More →

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Siri is fouling up weather forecasts for major cities and suffering from intermittent outages

By on September 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM.

Siri is fouling up weather forecasts for major cities and suffering from intermittent outages

Siri Weather Forecast

New York iPhone users who ask Siri for a weather forecast this week might be surprised to learn that the Big Apple is expected to register temperatures in the mid-90s for the next several days. Of course, that’s not the actual New York weather forecast, but a weather forecast for the town of New York that’s located in Texas. MacRumors reports, and BGR has independently confirmed, that Siri is coming up with the wrong results for weather requests in several towns, including the particularly egregious example where Siri pulls up the weather in New York, Texas when asked for weather in New York. BGR also experienced intermittent connectivity issues with Siri on Monday, although it’s unknown whether this is related to Siri’s weather forecast mistakes. More →

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Siri-controlled iTunes could be coming to future Macs

By on September 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM.

Siri-controlled iTunes could be coming to future Macs

Siri On Macs Apple Patent

Voice control is the way of the future, or at least that’s what Apple (AAPL) wants people to believe. With the launch of Siri on last year’s iPhone 4S, Apple opened up a new world of using a natural language user interface to the masses. Today, Siri is on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad, and it will land on the new iPod touch, too. And with Apple’s rumored HDTV supposedly coming with a Siri-like interface, it seems fitting that the Cupertino-based company is also toying with the idea of a personal assistant on Mac computers. More →

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Siri co-founder Cheyer parts ways with Apple

By on September 11, 2012 at 4:55 PM.

Siri co-founder Cheyer parts ways with Apple

Siri Co-Founder Adam Cheyer

Another one of Siri’s daddies is leaving home. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday afternoon that Siri co-founder Adam Cheyer was parting ways with Apple (AAPL) just two-and-a-half years after the electronics giant acquired his company. Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that Cheyer had left the company “recently” after spending time with Apple’s mobile software group. The sources did not list a reason for Cheyer’s departure. As Bloomberg notes, Cheyer is the second major Siri-related departure from Apple over the past two years as former Siri CEO Dag Kittlaus left the company in October 2011.

More →

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IBM envisions its Watson supercomputer becoming a supercharged voice assistant

By on August 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM.

IBM envisions its Watson supercomputer becoming a supercharged voice assistant

IBM Watson Smartphone Integration

Apple (AAPL) introduced its Siri voice assistant with the launch of the iPhone 4S last October and since then, a number of copycat apps have been made available. While all these services show potential, in their current state they are just too limited for everyday use. IBM (IBM) is looking to change that, however, with the help of its supercomputer Watson. Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s vice president of innovation, said that he always envisioned a voice-activated Watson that would answer questions based on location data, historical trends and scientific studies. More →

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Hate Siri all you want – it’s still the future

By on August 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM.

Hate Siri all you want – it’s still the future

Siri Criticism Analysis

I recently penned a quick piece on Apple’s (AAPL) Siri and Google’s (GOOG) new voice command support in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, explaining that while there are undoubtedly issues to iron out, services like these are going to change the way we interact with devices. But people are still fed up with Siri, and rightfully so says David Pogue in the latest issue of Scientific American. “We’re used to consumer technology that works every time: e-mail, GPS, digital cameras,” he wrote. “Dictation technology that relies on cellular Internet, though, only sort of works. And that can be jarring to encounter in this day and age.” More →

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University sues Apple for allegedly stealing tech that powers Siri

By on July 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM.

University sues Apple for allegedly stealing tech that powers Siri

Apple Patent Lawsuit Siri

A Taiwanese university has sued Apple (AAPL) for allegedly infringing upon its voice recognition patents, Reuters reported. Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University claims the technology found in the iPhone-maker’s Siri voice assistant infringes on two of the school’s U.S. patents dealing with speech recognition technology. The suit was filed on Friday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. More →

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IPhone Security Encryption Law Enforcement

The truth about Siri

By on July 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM.

The truth about Siri

Poor, poor Siri. Apple’s (AAPL) virtual personal assistant was welcomed with open arms when it was unveiled last year, and the new feature was also credited with being the driving force behind Apple’s record iPhone 4S sales. But in tech, new features quickly lose their luster and in recent months, complaints surrounding Siri have mounted. Several lawsuits have even been filed against Apple claiming that its Siri commercials are “misleading and deceptive” when they portray the virtual assistant as being easy to use and quick to respond. There is no question that Apple’s personal assistant needs work — I’ve had my fair share of disagreements with Siri (NSFW) — but an article titled “The Stupidity of Computers” published in a recent issue of n+1 magazine helps explain just how impressive Siri really is. More →

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A Chinese company you’ve never heard of says it invented Siri first

By on July 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM.

A Chinese company you’ve never heard of says it invented Siri first

Apple Siri Chinese Patent Lawuit

There’s been a lot of angst recently over America’s trade deficit with China, but it seems the United States has finally found something that it can successfully export to the People’s Republic: patent suits! Per the Dow Jones Newswire, a Chinese company called Shanghai Zhi Zhen Internet Technology has filed a patent suit against Apple claiming that it had originally patented the technology behind Siri all the way back in 2004. A company spokesman says that Zhi Zhen holds a patent for a digital personal assistant known as Xiao i Robot, a Mandarin-language automated voice system that’s “similar to Siri.” This all raises an obvious question, of course: How long until Steve Wozniak comes out and says that Xiao i Robot is superior to his former company’s voice-enabled software in every respect? More →

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Siri still can’t match old-fashioned Google search, analyst says

By on June 29, 2012 at 3:30 PM.

Siri still can’t match old-fashioned Google search, analyst says

Google Tops Siri Search Accuracy

Fortune reports that Piper Jaffray has conducted a little study comparing Siri and Google in terms of both query comprehension and response accuracy, and has not surprisingly found that Google bests Siri in each category. In a way this isn’t a fair fight since Siri has to recognize the human voice and speech patterns while Google has to interpret text that’s (presumably) clearly written. At the same time, the results are pretty interesting: the firm found that Google comprehended queries 100% (A+ grade) of the time and gave accurate responses 86% (B grade) of the time while Siri comprehended queries 89% (B+ grade) of the time and gave correct answers 68% (D+ grade) of the time while in a quiet room. More →

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HTC teases voice assistant to compete with Apple’s Siri

By on June 22, 2012 at 4:20 PM.

HTC teases voice assistant to compete with Apple’s Siri

HTC Siri Voice Assistant Teaser

HTC on Friday posted an image on its Facebook page teasing a voice assistant that may look to compete withApple’s Siri and Samsung’s S-Voice. While the image contains the caption, “Ever wonder what your pet has been trying to tell you all these years,” but we are almost certain HTC isn’t releasing a dog translator. With enhanced voice command and voice assistant features growing more popular, it is only logical that HTC would follow suit and roll out a service that will compliment its Sense user interface and service layer. More →

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