Tag Archives: siri

With the HomePod Arriving Tomorrow, Thoughts on its Future and Siri Abound

With the HomePod arriving tomorrow for those who preordered, there is even more talk about what the future holds for this new Apple hardware platform and also about what Siri can and can’t do on the device. The initial reviews have been almost uniformly glowing over the speaker’s sound quality, but not so over Siri’s very noticeable limitations. I won’t get my hands on mine until late tomorrow evening when I return home from Boston, but I am certainly looking forward to trying it out for myself.

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Apple Needs to Make Siri Great at Something

With the HomePod showing up on my doorstep next Friday, I’ve been doing some thinking about Siri lately. Why is the overall impression of Apple’s digital assistant so negative? There are recent surveys and tests showing it as being competitive with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana in some areas. There is real evidence that many “normal” users aren’t as dissatisfied with it as we in the tech community and the “Apple bubble” are. So what is the problem? Where is the disconnect?

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2018 Predictions and Resolutions: The Year of Siri

A couple of weeks ago, I predicted that 2018 will be the Year of Face ID for Apple. Based on the early device rumors of what is coming this year, that looks to be a pretty safe bet. I think it is just as much of a given that 2018 will also be the Year of Siri. It’s about time, as a focus on pushing Siri forward in terms of both features and user satisfaction is already long overdue.

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Apple’s AI and Machine Learning Initiatives Go Beyond Just Siri

When I have written about Apple’s AI and Machine Learning initiatives in the past, the articles have usually centered around Siri and Voice Dictation. It’s easy to put these things together because Siri is the most visible and user-centered Apple interface that involves AI. However, as we have seen this month, there is a lot more than meets the eye going on beneath the surface at Apple.

Last week, Wired ran a story about a lunch talk given by Apple’s leading AI expert, Rutland Salakhutdinov, for around 200 others in the field during the NIPS machine learning conference. The most interesting thing to come out of his presentation was fresh news of Apple’s continued work in the field of self-driving cars.

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Apple is Reportedly Buying Music Recognition Service Shazam

A couple of days ago, I asked if Siri is finally starting to improve. I’ve seen some positive changes and evidently I’m not the only one. However, as was noted in the survey that was the main focus of my article, Siri isn’t where it needs to be when it comes to music. This has to be a major concern for Apple, especially considering that they recently delayed the release of a new hardware platform that will depend heavily on Siri’s skill as a “musicologist.”

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Is Siri Finally Starting to Improve?

When you live with something for a while, it can be difficult to detect little changes that occur over time. The subtle differences and small tweaks can slip by without notice. I am definitely having this experience with Siri in my daily use over the last few months. I can’t tell you when both Siri and the on-board Voice Dictation started replacing and correcting words after the fact based on grammar rules, but I see that it’s happening on a regular basis now. One direct example I noticed recently would be Dictation replacing “there” with “their” based on the context of the sentence after I had dictated a few more words. I’ve seen the same with “your” and “you’re,” as well. This makes voice dictation far more flexible and usable, since I don’t have to go back and edit as often.

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Why Was Apple’s HomePod Delayed Until 2018?

If you haven’t heard by now, Apple has pushed the release of the HomePod from the more advantageous Holiday sales season to sometime in early 2018. I can’t say this comes as a massive surprise, because there has been very little news on the device over the last month. Part of that is because of the massive wave of interest in the new iPhone X, but if it had been coming out in December, we would have seen some leaks by now. This is definitely unfortunate for Apple, as they will certainly lose potential sales in a market where they are already later to arrive than usual. However, the why is more interesting than the what in this situation.

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Apple is Expanding its AI Efforts with Acquisitions

Apple acquired a small AI-focused messaging startup Init.ai earlier this week. This is just the latest in a string of recent acquisitions for Apple that have all been related to AI or machine learning. Last week saw Apple purchase the French computer vision company Regaind. Earlier in the year Apple also purchased SensoMotoric Instruments and Lattice.

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Apple Watch Series 3 Observations- Part 5: Siri

It’s been a good week taking a look at several aspects and features of the new Apple Watch Series 3. I was already a fan of the Apple Watch platform and watchOS 4, so liking this new device isn’t a major surprise. However, I enjoy and appreciate the independence aspect of the new Watch more than I initially expected. Now, as I come close to closing out this series, I’m circling back to a couple of the primary features of the device. Tonight, the focus in on Siri.

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Siri Shift- The Move to Craig Federighi’s OS Group Marks a Big Change for Siri

If you are an Apple fan, you’ve probably already heard that the company has officially shifted the responsibility for Siri from Eddy Cue’s Services Group over to Craig Federighi’s OS Group. On the face of it, this may not seem like a big deal, but looking beyond this one event to the context of many other changes in the last year, I feel like it will be, and I’m not alone in thinking that.

It also could easily be interpreted as a failure on the part of Mr Cue, who has done wonders for stabilizing and incrementally improving Apple Maps, iCloud, and Apple Music. Despite his successes in other areas, it is difficult to ignore the stagnation and lack of direction for Siri under his watch. Based on recent comments from both former and current Siri team members, it seems that there has been a lack of effective leadership, direction and emphasis on the service over the last several years. That period of time has seen all of the other major voice assistant platforms catch or surpass Siri in both accuracy and capability.

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Apple Slices- WWDC Delivered the Goods


What a week it has been. Apple has definitely made the most of its time in the spotlight, grabbing the media’s attention and showing us that they can still innovate, be aggressive, and even listen to what users are asking for from time to time. While all may not be perfect, and there are still questions to answer, iOS 11 looks REALLY good, and the new iPad Pro features are a huge upgrade. As for the HomePod, let’s reserve judgement until we at lease see it in a closer to final form.

Beyond all the great software and hardware announcements, which I will get into in greater depth soon, there is other Apple news of note to look into. Let’s get to it.

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