Tag Archives: siri

WWDC Wishlist Part Four- iOS 12

We are now one week out from the WWDC Keynote, so the rumors should start to pick up a little in the coming days. As with all of the recent editions of this event, iOS is expected to be the star of the show. However, it’s a little harder to say how far the improvements will reach after Mark Gurman reported earlier this year that the bulk of new features have been pushed off until iOS 13, and that iOS 12 will be more centered on fixing bugs and increasing stability. According to this report, Apple will now focus on the next two years of iOS development at a time, rather than force-marching its engineers to meet constant and sometimes unrealistic one-year features delivery deadlines.

This move is disappointing in a way, because the report made reference to some BIG improvements that may have been on the roadmap for iOS 12 before Craig Federighi stepped in, including redesigned Home Screens for iPhone and the iPad. I’ve been wanting to see this for the last three years, so it was disappointing to see how close we were to finally getting them. However, in the long term, this is probably the right decision, and it should deliver us a consistently better and more stable iOS. So with this news from February fresh in our minds, what can we expect to see next week?

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New Report of a Cheaper Beats Branded HomePod Seems a Little Off

There have been several reports that a less expensive HomePod is coming on the heels of the original’s release earlier this year. While Apple offering a product that costs less than the current HomePod’s $349 seems like a no-brainer at some point, I have already stated my personal opinion that it is too early for Apple to make this move. If Apple doesn’t push Siri and its capabilities to power an intelligent speaker forward first, they risk a more affordable HomePod falling flat. That could really stunt the future potential of their efforts in a category that is still in its infancy.

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WWDC 2018 Wishlist Part One- Siri

The 2018 WWDC Keynote is just a little over three weeks away. Apple routinely gives us about two hours worth of new software, hardware, and services. With the past as a guide, we can expect to see all of the latest on macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. We will also see any updates that are coming to Apple’s services, such as iCloud, Maps, News, and Music. Hardware announcements and previews come and go, but I would expect to see the new iPad Pro at the very least.

As we move closer to the Keynote, I’ll be making predictions/wishlists on several of the things that I think we will or won’t hear about on Monday, June 4th. I am going to start the ball rolling with one of Apple’s biggest weaknesses at the moment- Siri. There is absolutely no doubt that we will hear a lot about what Apple is up to to improve the service. The question is, how will it go? Does Apple have anything real and tangible to show us?Will it be more window dressing like the last few years, or will we see something more this time.

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Apple Expands its AI Offices in Seattle Again. Will it Matter?

For the second time in two years, Apple has expanded the footprint of its offices at Two Union Square in Seattle, Early last year they expanded to make room for the staff from Turi, an AI and machine learning startup that was based there. Earlier this month, GeekWire broke the news that Apple is taking over another floor, growing again to 70,000 square feet of space in the building. This should give them room for between 350 to 475 people.

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“Hey, Siri” Gets a Detailed Breakdown in Apple’s Machine Learning Journal

An interesting entry detailing exactly how Apple’s “Hey, Siri” feature works appeared in the Apple Machine Learning Journal yesterday. It definitely is NOT light reading (especially as late in the evening as I read it), but it is definitely a fascinating look under the hood of a feature than many people use quite often. The article also details possible machine learning techniques that may be used in the future to improve this feature.

As for me, I rarely used “Hey, Siri” when it was released with the iPhone 6, but find myself taking advantage of it much more often since the release of the original Apple Watch. I also use it anytime I fire up the HomePod to listen to music at home, and I do use it with my iPhone when I am in the car, as well. When and where Apple customers choose to use “Hey, Siri” will vary based on personal preferences, but its convenience means that most of us will in some way or another. This makes it both a crucial part of how Siri works, and of how effective we perceive Siri to be.

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Apple Hiring Google’s Former AI Chief Is REALLY Big News, But Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Photo Source: CNBC

So Apple made a bit of a splash out of nowhere this week. Google originally released a statement that John Giannandrea, their former Chief of Search and AI, would be taking a step back, but still working on some projects for them. However, it wasn’t long after when Apple turned the tables and announced that they had actually hired Mr Giannandrea to head up their machine learning and AI efforts. It’s a high profile and MUCH needed win for a company that has faced continuous challenges in this space.

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Is Apple FINALLY Going to Take a Major Step into Home Gaming with the Apple TV?

If you’ve been reading this site over the last year, you may have come across one of my many rants on the Apple TV. It’s a platform that I used to love. A device I thought had so much promise just a few years ago. I was excited to get one back in late 2015, when Tim Cook told us “The future of TV is apps.” I thought that, at long last, Apple had finally taken the next step with their television platform.

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HomePod and the Apple Watch: Disconnected

The Apple Watch and HomePod share a connection in that they are the two most recent new hardware platforms released by Apple. Unfortunately, other than having a variant of iOS at their respective cores, this is all they share. What would seem to be an obvious partnership, with the Apple Watch able to play and control music through the HomePod via AirPlay, is currently an oddly disjointed relationship.

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Tips and Tricks: Resetting your Apple Music Listening Preferences

I signed up for Apple Music as soon as it was available to try it out, so I know it pretty well at this point. You would think it knows me by now, but more on that in a moment. I had been using Google Play All-Access before that at a discounted monthly rate, but never was super-impressed with the iOS app or the service’s features. It was a very bare-bones music streaming service at the time, and with my kids getting more interested in listening to music, the ability to add parental controls became a priority.

While Apple Music itself was fine outside of a confusing interface that first year, we did experience one irritating problem. We had set up Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing when it became available in iOS 8, but there were some issues and bugs with it over the course of the first year or so. One of these affected Apple Music Family Plans when the service was released. We tried to set up our kids’ devices to use Apple Music independently with Family Sharing a couple of times within the first few months, with no success. Their iPhones and iPods would not recognize that they should have access to Apple Music when signed on on their iCloud accounts.

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Living with the HomePod: On the Road

The HomePod is really good at a few things. Unfortunately, working in a hotel room with hotel WiFi is NOT one of them. Just like the Apple Watch, that pesky interstitial WiFi login screen trips it up, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising. I’m going to attempt using Personal Hotspot sometime down the road and see if this can be bypassed. Until then, here are a few more observations on Apple’s new toy.

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Living with the HomePod- Settling In

This is day four with my HomePod, and I think I have a pretty good feel for it at this point. We all know the basics- the sound is great, Siri is no so great. However, this is the point where users start coming across more of the details of a device, and the HomePod is no exception. Here are some more observations from the last couple of days of use.

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