Siri

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Siri is Apple's virtual personal assistant, available on iOS devices, the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV. When activated, Siri can respond to natural language requests to help Apple product owners find information, complete simple tasks, and get recommendations.

Siri was introduced in 2011, and since that time, Apple has expanded Siri's capabilities quite a bit. On the iPhone and Apple Watch, Siri can be used for a long list of tasks, such as making phone calls, sending messages, identifying songs, downloading apps, changing device settings, searching the web, finding movie and restaurant reviews, making dinner reservations, creating reminders and calendar events, calculating tips, and more.

On the Apple TV, Siri is used as a main method of input for finding specific TV and movie-related content, and Siri is also an integral aspect of HomeKit, Apple's home automation platform.

Siri is activated on the iPhone by holding down the Home button, the Apple Watch by holding down the Digital Crown, and the Apple TV (where available) by holding the Siri button on the included Siri Remote. Hands-free Siri is available by saying "Hey Siri" to an iOS device that is plugged in or an iOS device with an integrated motion coprocessor, such as the iPad Pro, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus.

Siri will be coming to the Mac as part of macOS Sierra in fall 2016, with the feature and the new operating system version currently in beta testing.

'Siri' How Tos

Tips for Getting Siri to Play Tracks in Apple Music

If you are signed up for the free, three-month trial of Apple Music, you probably know by now many of the cool features the streaming music service has to offer. But, did you know that Siri can make the experience even better? We've got a few tips for getting Siri to act as your digital deejay. To get the full use of Siri's compatibility with Apple Music, make sure you are subscribed and your iCloud Music Library is on. Play a Radio Station or Beats 1 Not only can Siri play a radio station like Electronic or Oldies, but now the personal assistant can also start playing live Beats 1 programming. Just ask her to "Play Beats 1." Play an Apple Music Playlist One of the things I love about Apple Music is the playlist feature in the For You section. If I've recently "liked" a particular song, A new playlist based on that will show up. If you know the name of an Apple Music created playlist, ask for it specifically. For example, "Play Souxie & The Banshees: Deep Cuts." What Song is Playing If Apple Music is playing a song you don't recognize, you can ask for more information. Just say, "What song is this?" to discover the artist and song title. Add an Album to Your Playlist If you like the song that is playing and want to hear the whole album, ask Siri to add the album to your playlist and it will begin playing after the current track is finished.

How to Add Reminders and View Your Daily Schedule on Apple Watch

Apple Watch is the perfect device for quickly glancing at the things you need to do today or to fill you in on your plans for the weekend. It is also a useful device for quickly setting up a reminder without needing to pull out an iPhone. While much of the setup for Calendars is done on iPhone, you can use Apple Watch to respond to invites, add a quick event, and get alerts to remind you when to leave for your next appointment. Using the Calendar App The Calendar App on Apple Watch is tied to Apple's native Calendar app on iOS, which is also compatible with OS X. I sync my Calendar app with Google Calendar, but it is compatible with a number of services, like Exchange, Facebook, Yahoo, and remote servers via CalDAV. In order to use the Calendar app on Apple Watch, you must be using it in some form on iPhone.

How to Use Siri on iPhone and iPad

Siri is a workhorse of a virtual assistant for iOS, but I rarely see anyone actually using the feature on the iPhone. Maybe it is because most people don't know all of the amazing things she (or he) can do. Siri's improved a lot over the past several years and there's now a long list of tasks she can accomplish, so if you haven't been using Siri it might be time to give it another look. Siri can schedule appointments, call your friends, read your text messages to you, play back your music, and much more. Apple recently updated Siri's webpage with more details on the different commands. Today, we've got a quick set up guide for using Siri, plus a list of features that Apple's virtual assistant can perform if you already know how to use it. Set up Siri Open the Settings app. Select General from the menu. Select Siri from the list of available options. Turn the toggle switch on. Optionally, turn on the toggle switch for "Hey Siri" to use the feature hands-free when it is connected to a power source. Select "My Info" to add your contact details to Siri's database. Once activated, to use Siri, simply hold the Home button on the iPhone (or iPad) until the microphone icon appears, or simply say, "Hey Siri" when your iPhone is connected to power. On the Apple Watch, you can hold the Digital Crown to bring up Siri, or just say "Hey Siri" immediately after raising your wrist or tapping the screen to wake up the watch. Siri can perform a variety of tasks to make your life easier. Below is a list of phrases that you can use to make the most of your virtual

How to Use Siri on Apple Watch

Anyone with an iPhone 4S or newer knows how to use Siri. Even if you've never used the "Hey Siri" feature on iOS 8, you can probably figure it out fairly easily. However, on a completely different device, like Apple Watch, accessing Siri may need a little bit of extra training. If you are having trouble getting Siri to activate, we've got a tutorial that may help shed some light on how to get her attention. Plus with one simple question, you can find out everything that your personal assistant can help you with on Apple Watch Using "Hey Siri" You can get Siri's attention by raising your wrist and speaking the words "Hey Siri" within range of Apple Watch. You can also ask follow up questions the same way. If you have experienced problems getting the Hey Siri feature to work, there are a couple of factors that may be keeping her from responding. First of all, if you navigated to the watch face by pressing the Digital Crown from another view, like the Home screen, Hey Siri won't work. It also doesn't work if you are in the Glances screen. Instead, you will have to lower your wrist until the Apple Watch screen goes to sleep. Then, wake Apple Watch by lifting your wrist again. Then, say "Hey Siri" to activate your personal assistant. You can use Hey Siri while you are viewing an app, in the Notifications screen, or on the Home screen. But if you are having trouble getting her attention, try the steps above. One other reason that you may be having trouble using Hey Siri is if the microphone is blocked. Apple Watch's microphone is on the side of the

'Siri' Guides

Getting Started With HomeKit: A Beginner's Guide

HomeKit is Apple's home automation platform for controlling smart home products with iOS apps and Siri voice commands. The platform was announced at WWDC 2014, and the first HomeKit-enabled products were released one year later. The software framework communicates directly with connected accessories within the home, securely encrypts all data and even works remotely over iCloud remote access with a third-generation Apple TV or later when you are away from

'Siri' Articles

See What It's Like Using Siri on a Mac in macOS Sierra

With macOS Sierra, the latest version of the Mac operating system, Siri is available on Macs for the first time. Siri on the Mac can perform many of the same functions available on iOS, like answering simple queries, looking up information, sending messages, opening apps, and more, plus there are Mac-specific functions. As can be seen in our hands-on video showing off Siri on the Mac, Siri is able to search through files to help you quickly locate content with commands like "Find me the documents I opened last week" or "Where are the files John sent me on Tuesday?" Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Siri is accessed through the menu bar, a dock icon, or a keyboard command, and the Siri results, displayed in individual windows, can be pinned to the Today section of the Notification Center or added to documents and files. Pinned results are kept updated, so it's a great way to keep tabs on a sports game or a particular Twitter search right in the Notification Center, and it can be used to do things like insert a map into an email invitation or search for an image to add to a document. macOS Sierra and Siri for Mac are are only available to developers right now, but Apple plans to offer a public beta in July. The operating system will be released for free to all Mac users in the fall. In case you missed them, make sure to check out our seven minute WWDC 2016 video, which features a quick rundown on all of the new iOS, macOS Sierra, tvOS, and watchOS features Apple introduced this week, our video highlighting iOS 10's overhauled Lock

Apple Opens Siri to Third-Party Developers With iOS 10

At its WWDC keynote today, Apple announced that it would open Siri up to third-party developers with a public API, allowing users to use Apple's personal assistant AI to summon third-party services and apps hands free. Siri now supports a multitude of app types, including popular third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat. Like with iMessage, Siri can be used to send texts to contact by uttering voice commands like "WeChat Kevin and tell him I'll be late." Siri can also be used for payment apps, VoIP apps and ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft. The public API for Siri will be available for developers in the iOS 10 preview today, and will be available for users when iOS 10 launches in the

Apple Announces Siri for macOS Sierra With Web and File Searches

At its WWDC keynote today, Apple confirmed that Siri would be coming to the Mac with macOS Sierra. Siri's icon will sit in the top menu bar next to the Notification Center toggle. Siri can handle context-sensitive searches for things such as files, allowing users to search for files they worked on in the last week or just the files an individual co-worker sent a user. Siri for Mac, which can also work while a user is in a full-screen app, can search the web. Siri's web searches can also be pinned to the Notification Center. Like Siri for iOS, Siri for Mac can also be used to bring up music, send text messages and open apps. Siri can also be used in conjunction with other new macOS Sierra features, like the updated Continuity and Apple Pay.

Siri References OS X 'Finder' Ahead of WWDC 2016 [Update: Siri May Know 'Dark Mode' Too]

Expectation that Apple is set to announce Siri for the Mac at WWDC 2016 has intensified over the weekend, thanks to an apparently unprompted reference to OS X leaked by none other than the personal assistant on iPhone. Asking Siri the oddly worded question, "Open settings in the window" simply opens the iOS Settings app. But the same question with the word 'Siri' included at the beginning of the sentence evokes the spoken response: "It doesn't look like you have an app named 'Finder'." Screenshot via AppleInsider 'Finder' appears to be a reference to the OS X file manager application, since no such app of that name exists for iOS. The discovery was revealed in a blog post by Brian Roemmele, and suggests that Apple's servers are already being modified behind the scenes to extend Siri's functionality to the Mac. Screenshots passed to MacRumors indicate that Siri will soon become a defining aspect of the Mac desktop, ready to answer many of the same queries and perform many of the same tasks it can on iOS devices – opening apps, conducting web searches, controlling HomeKit, sending text messages, reading emails, setting calendar events, and more. Additionally, Apple is also said to be preparing to release a Siri software development kit so that developers can make their apps and app content accessible through Siri voice commands, marking a much-awaited extension of the assistant's capabilities. Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off tomorrow with a keynote event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, where Apple is expected to show off the latest version of

Siri Offers Witty Responses to Users Asking About WWDC Announcements

Ahead of Apple's WWDC 2016 keynote next Monday, June 13 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, Siri is now offering up some traditionally witty responses to users that ask about potential announcements. iPhone users can test Siri themselves by asking "what to expect at WWDC?" or similar questions. All of Siri's responses are unsurprisingly vague, including one related to the popular HBO drama series Game of Thrones. Each response includes a link to Apple's WWDC website, which provides a schedule of events and other details about the weeklong developer conference at Moscone West in San Francisco. Siri previously revealed that WWDC 2016 would be held on June 13-17, prior to any official announcement, and offered similar "give us a hint" responses leading up to its September 2015 media event last year. As is usual, Apple is expected to unveil the latest versions of its iOS and OS X operating systems for iPhone and Mac respectively at WWDC

Apple May Introduce Next-Gen Natural Language API in its Amazon Echo Competitor

Last week we reported that Apple is said to be readying an Amazon Echo competitor that could be used in the home for features like listening to music, asking for information and getting news headlines. The product is thought to include a camera with facial recognition capabilities and said to learn over time about its users, which interact with the device via an enhanced version of Siri. Meanwhile, Apple's virtual assistant is expected to be opened up to outside developers via a soon-to-be-released software development kit in order to facilitate this integration. Now, Tech Insider claims that a natural language outfit bought by Apple late last year could play a central part in the company's plans for the upcoming smart home device. In October 2015, Apple acquired VocalIQ, a UK-based startup that had spent the last 10 years researching natural language, belief tracking, decision making, and message generation, in an attempt to develop a next-generation natural language API. Speculation at the time suggested Apple hoped to use the technology in its car project, codenamed "Titan". However, according to a source familiar with VocalIQ's technology who spoke to Tech Insider, Apple is likely to introduce the API in its Echo competitor because of its ability to go beyond the "session-based" contextual responses touted by the likes of Viv. VocalIQ achieves this feat by retaining semantic context between conversations and permanently remembering the preferences of its users. Apparently the company had been testing VocalIQ against Siri, Google Now, and Cortana,

Apple's Amazon Echo Competitor Could Feature Camera, Facial Recognition

Apple's rumored product designed to compete with the Amazon Echo could come equipped with a camera and facial recognition capabilities, reports CNET. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, CNET says the device would be "self aware," able to detect the people in the room through facial recognition technology. Once the device determines who is in the room, that information could be used to pull up each person's preferences, "such as the music and lighting they like," allowing for a customized interactive experience for each member of the home. Facial recognition is something Apple has previously expressed interest in, both through patent filings and acquisitions. News of Apple's work on an Amazon Echo competitor first surfaced earlier this week, when The Information reported such a device was under development. The Amazon Echo is an in-home personal assistant device that features a built-in speaker and a robust artificial intelligence system, and a product from Apple would likely be similar, with AI capabilities based on Siri along with its own speaker and microphone. It is not clear what form Apple's in-home hub will take. While The Information's report suggested it was a standalone hardware product, a second report from VentureBeat has said Apple will built the Echo-like features into a next-generation Apple TV. Apple is laying the groundwork for a robust in-home AI-powered product through its work on Siri, and major Siri improvements could come in iOS 10. Apple is said to be preparing to release a Siri SDK, which would make the personal assistant

Apple's Rumored Amazon Echo Competitor Could Be a Next-Generation Apple TV

Earlier this week, The Information said Apple was actively developing an in-home hub that would compete with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, and now VentureBeat has shared new details on the product and its prospective features. Citing an unnamed source, VentureBeat says rather than developing a new product, Apple could add Echo-like features to a revamped version of the Apple TV. The Amazon Echo, for those unfamiliar, is an in-home personal assistant device with a built-in speaker and a robust AI system. The Echo is able to perform a wide range of functions, from giving weather reports and answering queries to controlling smart home devices. A future version of the Apple TV may gain a dedicated microphone and speaker, along with deeper Siri integration to allow it to function like the Echo. Processing queries and serving up results is said to require additional computing infrastructure, which Apple is working on. It is not clear what extra computing infrastructure is needed as the fourth-generation Apple TV includes the same A8 processor that was used in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, two devices more than capable of processing Siri inquiries.The company will build on its enhancements to the Apple TV announced last year, which brought the Siri virtual assistant to the set-top box. A new version of the Apple TV will solve problems with the existing box and remote control, a source familiar with the matter claims. "They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything," the source told VentureBeat.Apple reportedly considered several options, ranging from a

Apple Working on Amazon Echo Competitor, Opening Siri Up to Developers

Apple is actively developing a product that would compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home, reports The Information. Citing a source with direct knowledge of Apple's plans, the report suggests Apple is working on a Siri-based device that would include a speaker and microphone that could be used for features like listening to music, getting news headlines, and more. In addition to developing such a device, Apple is planning to improve Siri by opening the voice assistant up to outside developers. Apple is said to be preparing to release a Siri software development kit that would allow developers to make their apps and their app content accessible through Siri voice commands. Apple plans to require developers to use the tool responsibly. Opening Siri up to third-party developers will go a long way towards expanding the capabilities of Apple's virtual assistant. Right now, Siri only works with a handful of apps like OpenTable and Yelp, and Apple has been hesitant to develop a Siri API and improve Siri's functionality because of privacy concerns. According to The Information, a Siri SDK could be introduced as soon as WWDC, meaning third-party Siri access would be built into iOS 10 and perhaps OS X 10.12, which is also rumored to be gaining Siri support. Both Amazon and Google have developed robust in-home personal assistant devices built around their respective AI platforms, which Apple hopes to compete with. The products are able to perform a wide range of features, from giving weather reports and answering queries to controlling smart home devices like light

Siri for Mac’s Colorful Waveform Dock Icon Revealed Ahead of OS X 10.12 Unveiling

Rumors have indicated Siri integration will be one of the key features coming in OS X 10.12, and new screenshots of a Siri menu bar and Siri app icon suggest Apple is indeed working on bringing Siri to the Mac in its 2016 operating system update. The screenshots were shared with MacRumors by a source who has provided us with reliable information about Apple's software plans in the past. In the menu bar, there's a simple Siri black and white icon that features the word "Siri" surrounded by a box, while the full dock icon is more colorful and features a colorful Siri waveform in the style of other built-in app icons. Clicking on either of the icons brings up a Siri waveform to give users a visual cue that the virtual assistant is listening for commands, much like on iOS devices when the Home button is held down. In addition to accessing Siri through these two buttons, a hands-free "Hey Siri" activation command is also supported. "Hey Siri" is an option that's disabled by default at the current time, but it can be turned on in the Preferences menu. Siri integration in the Mac is still in the early stages of development, but the assistant will presumably be able to answer many of the same queries and perform many of the same tasks it can on iOS devices - opening apps, conducting web searches, controlling HomeKit, sending text messages, reading emails, setting calendar events, and more. Because work on Siri is far from complete, there's a chance these icons could be tweaked between now and when the feature is introduced as part of OS X 10.12 at Apple's Worldwide

Original Siri Team Member Leaves Apple for General Electric

Darren Haas, one of the last remaining members of the original team that developed Siri, has left Apple to work at General Electric, reports The Information. Haas worked on Siri before it was purchased by Apple in 2010 and has been at Apple since then working on cloud engineering services. Haas's departure follows the departure of Steve D'Aurora and comes amid rumors that Apple's efforts to move its cloud infrastructure in-house has been slowed by "political infighting" between the iCloud and Siri engineering teams.Political infighting has engulfed Apple's engineering ranks after the company decided to extend the software platform built by Siri's team to Apple's other Internet services such as iCloud and iTunes. At GE, Messrs. Haas and D'Aurora are working on a similar cloud software platform.Earlier this week, other members of the original Siri team, including co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, debuted Viv, a next-generation AI bot able to carry out complex tasks by mimicking the "spontaneity and knowledge base" of a human assistant. In a demonstration at TechCrunch Disrupt, Viv was shown to be far more advanced than Siri with improved contextual awareness and an ability to craft in-depth responses to complicated questions on the fly. Viv's creators plan to build it into a range of products from cars to smart

Siri Creators Debuting New AI Assistant 'Viv' Next Week

Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, co-founders of Siri, the virtual assistant now built into all of Apple's iOS devices, are set to demonstrate their newest artificial intelligence project on Monday, reports The Washington Post. Viv, the name of the AI bot, is more advanced than Siri and is able to carry out complex tasks by mimicking the "spontaneity and knowledge base" of a human assistant. Viv can, for example, set up a dinner reservation and purchase movie tickets all based on one query, parsing ticket prices to find deals and offering suggestions if a movie is sold out or a restaurant has no seating available. Completing the same task with Siri would require multiple commands and human interaction. In an example given by The Washington Post, the Viv team uses it to order pizzas from a nearby restaurant, with Viv parsing numerous voice-based topping and side dish orders without ever needing to open an app. Image via The Washington Post Much of Viv's functionality is enabled through integration with third-party apps like Uber, Florist One, SeatGuru, ZocDoc, and Grubhub, similar to Amazon's Alexa. The team behind Viv is in talks to bring on more partners and plans bring the Viv technology to a variety of Internet-connected devices like cars and TVs. Grubhub chief executive Matt Maloney said he rushed to sign up with Viv two years ago, impressed with the idea of allowing consumers to perform different activities without having to toggle between services. "No one has been able to say, 'I want the movie ticket, and the bottle of wine, and some flowers on the side' -- all

iCloud and Siri Teams at Odds as Apple Seeks to Move Cloud Services In-House

Apple's efforts to move its cloud infrastructure in-house for its web services are being slowed by "political infighting" between the company's iCloud and Siri engineering teams, according to The Information. The paywalled report claims that the fighting is holding back Apple from fixing "technical problems that have plagued iCloud and iTunes," while at least one key engineering manager is said to have departed the company over the ongoing conflict.Steve D’Aurora, an engineering manager in a team led by Patrick Gates, resigned last week. That’s raised the possibility that Mr. D’Aurora’s superior, Darren Haas, a “head of cloud engineering,” would leave as well. Both Mr. D’Aurora and Mr. Haas joined Apple through its 2010 acquisition of Siri, the voice-activated assistant on the iPhone.Multiple sources claim that Apple is working on building its own internal cloud infrastructure, known as "Project McQueen" internally, to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Apple spends an estimated $1 billion or more on cloud services each year. Apple reportedly inked a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last year to "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services, but its reliance on third-party providers should decrease as it builds or expands new data centers in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Ireland, and Denmark.The new infrastructure is meant to help improve the reliability of iCloud and Apple’s other apps. The infrastructure work has taken on added significance this year. Apple CEO Tim Cook has

Apple Shells Out $25 Million to Settle Siri Lawsuit

Apple today settled a long-running lawsuit with Dynamic Advances and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute over accusations Apple's Siri voice-based personal assistant violated a 2007 patent owned by Rensselaer and licensed exclusively to Dallas company Dynamic Advances, reports the Albany Business Review. Apple will pay a total of $24.9 million to Dynamic Advances' parent company Marathon Patent Group. $5 million will be paid after the lawsuit is dropped with the rest of the money to follow later. Apple will be granted a patent license to use the technology and under the terms of the settlement, will not be sued again for a three-year period. Dynamic Advances will pay approximately 50 percent of the money received from Apple to Rensselaer, but Rensselaer has not agreed to the royalty rate proposed in the settlement.Dynamic Advances expects to pay 50 percent of that money to Rensselaer, legal counsel and the predecessor exclusive licensee of the patents in suit, according to regulatory filings. Rensselaer has not, however, agreed to the royalty rate proposed in the settlement, according to a document filed by Marathon Patent GroupHad the case not been settled out of court, it would have gone to trial next month. The lawsuit dates back to 2012 and covers U.S. patent No. 7177798 B2, "Natural language interface using constrained intermediate dictionary of

WWDC to Be Held June 13 to June 17 in San Francisco

As we reported in January, Apple plans to hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 13 to June 17 in San Francisco, at the Moscone West convention center where the conference has been held for the past several years. The official WWDC dates have leaked courtesy of Siri (via 9to5Mac), who, when asked when WWDC will be held responds: "The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held June 13 to June 17 in San Francisco. I'm so excited!" While today's information counts as official confirmation that the conference will be held from June 13 to June 17, the dates in question were already known based on scheduling information at Moscone West. Since January, the Moscone Center has been booked for the first, second, fourth, and fifth weeks of June, leaving only the third week open for Apple. Given that Siri is providing information about the Worldwide Developers Conference, the ticket lottery for the event is imminent and could go live as soon as tomorrow. Due to the popularity of the event, Apple offers each $1,599 ticket to developers based on a lottery system. Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is of interest to developers because it gives them a chance to interface with Apple engineers and attend a wide variety of instructional websites to learn methods for improving their apps. For non-developers, the Worldwide Developers Conference provides a first look at new versions of iOS and OS X and is also often used as a venue for introducing new products and

Siri Responds to Most Burning Question Asked by 'Game of Thrones' Fans

The first episode of the long-awaited season six of HBO series Game of Thrones premiered in Los Angeles over the weekend, and Siri is now giving cheeky responses to users who ask the personal assistant whether one of its principal characters, Jon Snow, has truly left this mortal coil. Asking Siri, 'Is Jon Snow dead?' returns a number of possible responses, including: Well, you know what they say to Death… Not today! But why would tomorrow be any better? Anyway, I'm not exactly sure. 'Dead is dead'. Or is it 'What's dead may never die'? No, wait, 'Death is so terribly final'? I give up. I don't know. I just hope someone is setting up doggie daycare for Ghost. Game of Thrones fans can also bide their time waiting for the new season to hit TV screens by asking Siri 'Is winter coming?', to which the response 'Hodor!' may or may not be forthcoming. Previous seasons of the hugely popular Game of Thrones series are available to watch via the HBO GO app for those with a subscription. HBO GO is a universal app that can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] Siri is expected to make its long-anticipated debut on Mac in OS X 10.12 later this year.

Apple Shares 'Behind the Scenes' Look at Recent Siri Ad Starring Cookie Monster

Last month, Apple shared a charming iPhone 6s ad starring well-known Sesame Street character Cookie Monster, who used the iPhone 6s and the always-on "Hey Siri" feature as a cookie-baking aid. The spot, which garnered more than 8 million views on YouTube, is one of the most popular ads in Apple's recent history, which is likely why the company today released a followup "Behind the Scenes" video depicting a humorous second look at Cookie Monster as he shoots the ad. In the ad, we see some before and after shots, showing more footage of Cookie Monster waiting for his cookies. Cookie Monster asks over and over again when his cookies will be ready, and has a cute conversation with Siri where he offers her a cookie when they're done. The video continues on with the ding of the oven and Cookie Monster's excitement over the finished cookies, ending with Siri wishing Cookie Monster good night. The two ads starring Cookie Monster are two in a series of iPhone 6s ads that have starred various well-known celebrities using different iPhone 6s features. Previous ads have focused on everything from Live Photos to 3D Touch and have starred Jamie Foxx, Bill Hader, Jon Favreau, and Stephen Curry.

Apple Updates Siri With Improved Baseball Acumen

Apple has upgraded Siri to improve answers to baseball-related questions in time for Major League Baseball's new season (via The Verge). Apple's voice-activated assistant is now able to draw on an updated database that includes statistics going back to the beginning of the sport's history. Siri users can also enjoy more detailed Major League Baseball career stats as well as additional information for 28 other leagues and minors. Siri has provided sports results since iOS 6. However, The Verge notes that, when it comes to sports, Siri's responses to more specific questions still feel limited. For example, asking "When was the last time the Yankees had a perfect game?" returns a generic search for the baseball team, with similar searches resulting in simple Google queries. Apple is continually working to improve Siri's breadth of knowledge and often quietly updates its responses to particular topics. The personal assistant also received additional improvements to its contextual awareness with the release of iOS 9. Siri is expected make its long-anticipated debut on Mac in OS X 10.12 later this year. Just last week, Apple agreed a deal with Major League Baseball that will see the sports league's coaching staffs use iPad Pros in dugouts to make better use of data during

Siri and iAd Restricted by Apple 'Policy Czars' to Limit Customer Data Collection

As Apple's battle with the FBI and Department of Justice appears to have hit a crescendo, with the Tuesday hearing between the DoJ and Apple having been postponed, Reuters has published a new report outlining how a team of "policy czars" has impacted Apple's data collection policy and restricted Siri and iAd in the process. Unlike Google, Amazon and Facebook, Apple is loathe to use customer data to deliver targeted advertising or personalized recommendations. Indeed, any collection of Apple customer data requires sign-off from a committee of three "privacy czars" and a top executive, according to four former employees who worked on a variety of products that went through privacy vetting. The three "policy czars" are Jane Horvath, a lawyer who served as global policy counsel at Google, Guy Tribble, a member of the original Macintosh team and the vice president of software technology who spends a significant amount of time on privacy, and Erik Neuenschwander, who reviews lines of engineer's code to confirm that they're following policy. Product managers start collaborating with the privacy task force early, steering complicated privacy issues to senior vice presidents or Tim Cook himself when needed. Key principles behind many of the data decisions for Apple's services and products include keeping data on the hardware rather than in the cloud or Apple's servers and isolating data so it cannot be used to form a profile of a customer. However, Apple's privacy stance has resulted in restrictions to products like Siri and iAd. Employees had wanted to use iTunes' user

Fast Voice Assistant App 'Hound' Comes to iOS, Takes on Siri

A new voice search and personal assistant app called Hound debuted on iOS yesterday that apparently outperforms Siri, Google Search and Cortana in terms of speed and recognition accuracy. Developed by the creators of music-recognition app SoundHound, the new app provides extremely fast responses to complex, nested natural language queries with highly accurate results and location-based suggestions. Hound uses a simple single-button interface similar to the Google Search app for users to tap and ask a question. Alternatively, users can say "Ok, Hound" to initiate a query, which can broach a multitude of subjects, including weather, GPS navigation, directions, Uber, web searches, and local hotel, bar and restaurant queries. As well as stock price, flight status, date, time, alarm and timer requests, users can also activate a Shazam-style music recognition feature called "SoundHound Now", which also responds to sung and hummed queries. Many of the queries are already handled by Apple's voice-activated personal assistant Siri, however it is Hound's reaction speed, language translation and search accuracy that make the app particularly noteworthy, according to The Verge.The app is so fast that it can produce near real-time translations of whole sentences in other languages, and it can spit back mounds of requested data faster than you could ever possibly glean it from Google with a keyboard. [...] The software's true appeal is understanding questions within questions and sussing out human context. You can give it sprawling, absurd requests nested inside