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.

Siri was added to the Mac in 2016 and the HomePod in 2018.

'Siri' How Tos

How to Use Siri's New Translation Feature in iOS 11

iOS 11 brings new functionality to Siri, including a translation feature that allows Siri to translate words and phrases spoken in English to a handful of other languages. Translation is super simple to use, and while the translations aren't always perfect, they get the gist of what you're attempting to say across to someone who speaks another language. Using Siri Translate Activate Siri, either by holding down the Home button or using a "Hey Siri" command. Tell Siri the phrase you want to translate and the language you want it in. For example: "Siri, how do I say where's the bathroom in Spanish?" Siri will respond with the appropriate translation, both in text form and vocally. The vocal component can be replayed by pressing the play button located at the bottom of the translation. There are multiple ways to phrase your translation requests. Siri will respond to "Translate X to X language" or "How do I say X in X language?" Available Languages Siri can translate English to Mandarin, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. There's no two-way translation available yet - it's only English to the above listed languages. Apple has said it plans to add additional languages to the Siri translation feature following the release of iOS 11. Apple appears to be using an in-house translation engine for Siri, as the translations do not match up with translations provided by popular services like Google Translate or Bing Translate. Also of note, while Siri can translate from English to several other languages, the translation features do not work with British,

How to Use Siri in macOS Sierra

With macOS Sierra, Apple has finally brought its well-known personal assistant, Siri, to the Mac. Siri for Mac differs from iOS' version of Siri in several ways, taking advantage of the larger real estate of a Mac's display and the Finder file system. Users can also easily transfer or pin Siri's search results to the Notification Center or documents they're working on. To help you get started with Siri for Mac, we've put together a guide outlining what it's capable of. Activating Siri There are three ways to activate Siri in Sierra. Two of the methods are visually obvious while the third is not. The Dock icon sitting in between the Finder and Launchpad logos. The Menu Bar toggle in between the Spotlight search and Notification Center icons. The keyboard command. Hold the Command and Space buttons for approximately two seconds. Siri can be enabled two ways. While you're installing macOS Sierra, there'll be a prompt asking you whether you'd like to enable Siri. Additionally, Siri can be enabled and disabled in the Siri section of System Preferences. There are several other options for Siri in System Preferences, including language, voice, voice feedback, mic input and customized keyboard shortcuts.

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

Most Useful Siri Commands on macOS

Starting with macOS Sierra in 2016, Apple introduced support for Siri on the Mac, allowing you to access the personal assistant across all of your Apple devices for the first time. Siri on Mac can actually do quite a few useful things that aren't available on iOS devices, and because the technology is still rather new on Apple's desktop and laptop machines, we thought we'd highlight some of the most useful Siri commands on the Mac. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Siri on Mac can be accessed from the menu bar, the dedicated Siri app that can be added to the dock, or through a keyboard shortcut like Command + Space. You can manage your Siri preferences and options by opening up System Preferences and choosing "Siri" from the options at the bottom of the window. One of the simplest and most useful ways to use Siri is to open apps without accessing the dock or finding the app in the applications folder. You can ask Siri to "open the Calendar app" or "open Evernote." Open works with any app on your Mac, and it also works with websites and files. Some sample commands: Open MacRumors.com Open Google.com Open the Applications Folder Open the iCloud Drive folder Siri's "Show Me" command on macOS works hand in hand with the series of open commands. You can ask Siri to show you all kinds of files stored on your Mac, which makes it easier to search for specific content. You can also ask for files within apps like Photos. Some sample commands: Show me my most recent files Show me files from June 2017 Show me photos

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

Apple Releases Golden Master Version of iOS 12 Shortcuts App

Ahead of next week's launch of iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12, Apple has released an updated version of the Shortcuts app that will be available once iOS 12 is released. The new Shortcuts beta is the golden master (GM) version of the app, which represents the final version of the app that will be provided to consumers. According to Apple's release notes, the new Shortcuts update introduces new actions that were not available during the beta testing period, with "Limited actions available in beta" listed as a resolved issue. Over the course of the iOS 12 beta testing period, access to the Shortcuts iOS app via Testflight has been limited to developers. Public beta testers and general consumers will be able to experience the Shortcuts app for the first time next week. For those unfamiliar with Shortcuts, it's an iOS 12 Siri feature designed to let you create multi-step shortcuts using first and third-party apps that can be activated by Siri voice command. So, for example, you can create a shortcut to do something like turn on the thermostat at home using the Nest app, text your roommate that you're on the way with Messages, and open up the Maps app with directions home all with a single "I'm going home" Siri command. Shortcuts are deeply customizable, with third-party apps able to expose a series of quick actions to Siri that can be incorporated into your Shortcuts recipes. Apps are expected to begin releasing updates with Siri Shortcuts support and other iOS 12 features starting next week. Apple will release iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 to the

Apple Details Improvements to Siri's Ability to Recognize Names of Local Businesses and Destinations

In a new entry in its Machine Learning Journal, Apple has detailed how it approached the challenge of improving Siri's ability to recognize names of local points of interest, such as small businesses and restaurants. In short, Apple says it has built customized language models that incorporate knowledge of the user's geolocation, known as Geo-LMs, improving the accuracy of Siri's automatic speech recognition system. These models enable Siri to better estimate the user's intended sequence of words. Apple says it built one Geo-LM for each of the 169 Combined Statistical Areas in the United States, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, which encompass 80 percent of the country's population. Apple also built a single global Geo-LM to cover all areas not defined by CSAs around the world. When a user queries Siri, the system is customized with a Geo-LM based on the user's current location. If the user is outside of a CSA, or if Siri doesn't have access to Location Services, the system defaults to the global Geo-LM. Apple's journal entry is highly technical, and quite exhaustive, but hopefully this means that Siri should be able to better understand the names of local points of interest, and also be able to better distinguish between a Tom's Restaurant in Iowa and Kansas based on a user's geolocation. In its testing, Apple found that the customized language models reduced Siri's error rate by between 41.9 and 48.4 percent in eight major U.S. metropolitan regions: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and San Francisco,

iOS Concept Reimagines Siri With Non-Intrusive UI, Contextual Awareness, and More

Kévin Eugène, a web developer and UI/UX designer, this week shared a new iOS concept that he calls "iOS Mogi," with the aim of improving the look and functionality of Apple's AI assistant Siri (via Reddit). As Eugène explains in his Medium post on iOS Mogi, his goal was "not to create new commands" or completely re-build Siri, but to display the voice assistant "in a different way" that is "more useful to the user." This led to iOS Mogi's main concept: Siri as a drop-down notification banner that Eugène describes as "parallel help." The non-intrusive banner doesn't take up the whole screen as Siri does today, allowing the assistant to perform contextually aware tasks in the background while the user does something else. As with all concepts, it's important to remember that Eugène's designs in no way indicate what we'll see with Siri in a future version of iOS. Images and GIFs via Kévin Eugène on Medium In Eugène's main example, he asks Siri to "Show me pictures of Japan" while texting a friend in Messages, and then he swipes down on the notification, scrolls until he finds the ones he wants to send and taps to select them all. Thanks to the contextual awareness of Siri in iOS Mogi, this drop-down notification also has a blue Messages "send" button, which Eugène taps to send all the photos directly to his contact. iOS Mogi also includes a multitasking feature where it's possible to ask Siri to open pages from an app while performing tasks in another app. Eugène gives the example of writing an email and asking Siri to open a conversation from Messages in a

Siri on iOS Answered 78.5% of Queries Correctly in Latest Test, Trailing Google Assistant at 85.5%

Five months after performing a test that put the smart speakers of multiple companies in the spotlight to determine how well they performed in various categories, Loup Ventures is back today with an IQ test focused entirely on digital AI assistants. To get the necessary results, the researchers asked Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana 800 questions each on a smartphone, and compared their findings to a previous AI test held in April 2017. For Siri in the new test, Apple's AI helper understood 99 percent of the queries and answered 78.5 percent of them correctly. That's an improvement on a similar AI-focused test from April 2017 (66.1 percent of 800 questions answered correctly). While Loup Ventures looked at similar methodologies when testing smart speakers in February, the researchers explain that it's "not worthwhile to compare" the results across these tests since "the use cases differ greatly between digital assistants and smart speakers." This is particularly true for Siri on HomePod, which performs well in certain areas but is largely limited to the amount of actions it can perform on the speaker itself. This led Apple's HomePod to become relegated to the "bottom of the totem pole" in an AI assistant performance test during Loup Venture's smart speaker research in February, with Siri answering 52.3 percent of 782 total questions correctly, across the same five categories as the new test. Loup Ventures grades each digital assistant on two metrics: "Did it understand what was being asked?" and "Did it deliver a correct response?" Questions came from

Last Siri Co-Founder, Tom Gruber, Retires From Apple

Tom Gruber, who served as head of Siri's Advanced Development group and was one of Siri's original cofounders, has left Apple, reports The Information. His departure from the company was confirmed by an Apple spokesperson, who told The Information that he was retiring to pursue "personal interests in photography and ocean conservation." Gruber created Siri alongside Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, releasing the original Siri as an app on the iOS App Store in 2010. Apple acquired Siri two months later, and Cheyer, Kittlaus, and Gruber all joined the company at that time. Kittlaus left Apple in 2011 and Cheyer left in 2012, and the duo teamed up again to create Viv, a new artificial intelligence project that was acquired by Samsung in 2016. Samsung used Viv to create Bixby, its current AI assistant platform. Gruber stayed on at Apple for several years after the other two Siri co-founders departed, but with his retirement, none of the original Siri creators are left at Apple. Apple's Siri team is going through a leadership change at the moment with the May hiring of John Giannandrea, former head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit. Apple just last week updated its leadership page to add Giannandrea, who is now serving as Apple's chief of machine learning and AI strategy. Giannandrea is leading Apple's AI and machine learning teams, and Apple has combined its Core ML and Siri teams under him. Prior to Giannandrea's hiring, Siri development was overseen by software engineering chief Craig Federighi, who took over from Eddy Cue in 2017. Apple

2018 MacBook Pro Models With Touch Bar Support 'Hey Siri'

Apple has confirmed that its new 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models feature support for hands-free "Hey Siri." From its website, emphasis ours:Featured on the 13- and 15‑inch models with Touch Bar, the Apple T2 chip includes a Secure Enclave coprocessor that provides the foundation for secure boot and encrypted storage capabilities. It also consolidates many discrete controllers, including the system management controller, audio controller, and SSD controller, into one. And the Apple T2 chip brings a familiar voice to MacBook Pro — Hey Siri is always ready to open apps, find documents, play music, or answer your questions.This means 2018 MacBook Pro users can say "Hey Siri," instead of clicking on the Siri icon in the macOS menu bar or tapping on the Siri button on the Touch Bar, to activate Apple's virtual assistant on the desktop. The functionality is enabled by the Apple T2 chip, first introduced in the iMac Pro and now included in the new MacBook Pros. The T2 chip integrates several previously separate components, including the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller, for expanded capabilities on the new MacBook Pro. For instance, the T2 chip's image signal processor works with the FaceTime HD camera to enable enhanced tone mapping, improved exposure control, and face detection-based auto exposure and auto white balance. On the MacBook Pro, the chip also authenticates and secures Touch ID and Apple Pay. The T2 chip also features a Secure Enclave coprocessor for secure boot and encrypted storage

Apple Updates Leadership Page to Include New AI Chief John Giannandrea

Apple today updated its Apple Leadership page to include John Giannandrea, who now serves as Apple's Chief of Machine Learning and AI Strategy. Apple hired Giannandrea back in April, stealing him away from Google where he ran the search and artificial intelligence unit. Giannandrea is leading Apple's AI and machine learning teams, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. He has taken over leadership of Siri, which was previously overseen by software engineering chief Craig Federighi. Apple told TechCrunch that it is combining its Core ML and Siri teams under Giannandrea. The structure of the two teams will remain intact, but both will now answer to Giannandrea. Under his leadership, Apple will continue to build its AI/ML teams, says TechCrunch, focusing on general computation in the cloud alongside data-sensitive on-device computations. Giannandrea spent eight years at Google before joining Apple, and before that, he founded Tellme Networks and Metaweb Technologies. Apple's hiring of Giannandrea in April came amid ongoing criticism of Siri, which many have claimed has serious shortcomings in comparison to AI offerings from companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google due to Apple's focus on privacy. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In 2018, Apple is improving Siri through a new Siri Shortcuts feature that's coming in iOS 12, which is designed to let users create multi-step tasks using both first and third-party apps that can be activated through

Siri at Center of Latest Patent Lawsuit Filed Against Apple

Arizona-based speech recognition technology company AVRS, short for Advanced Voice Recognition Systems, Inc., has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week, accusing the iPhone maker of infringing on one of its patents with its virtual assistant Siri, according to court documents obtained by MacRumors. The asserted patent is U.S. Patent No. 7,558,730, titled "Speech recognition and transcription among users having heterogeneous protocols." It was initially filed in 2001 but abandoned, refiled in 2007, and granted in 2009. Siri was first introduced alongside the iPhone 4s in October 2011. The complaint is very exhaustive and technical, but in simple terms, AVRS believes Siri's ability to process voice commands across multiple protocols and operating systems, such as iOS and macOS, infringes on its patented technology. AVRS claims that Apple has been aware of the patent since at least 2013, and that Apple has cited it at least 77 times in its other speech recognition patents and in other litigation. AVRS says it also sent Apple correspondence in 2015, but to no avail, as Apple allegedly continues its willful infringement to present day. AVRS has demanded a jury trial in Arizona district court, where it is seeking damages from Apple, in an amount no less than a reasonable royalty. AVRS says its speech recognition software was first introduced in 1994, but it does not appear to offer any products or services that incorporate its patented technologies on its website, so it is more than likely a non-practicing entity. "Our portfolio of intellectual property is

Apple Launches Beta Version of New Siri Shortcuts App for iOS 12

Apple today introduced a beta version of the Siri Shortcuts app that's been designed for iOS 12, which developers can request access to through the Developer Center. The Shortcuts beta is being handled through TestFlight, with a "Request" option for access available after logging in to the Developer Center. After clicking the button to request access, Apple says selected users will be notified shortly via email if they're permitted access. Siri Shortcuts is based on the Workflow app that Apple purchased in 2017, allowing users to create multi-step shortcuts using third-party apps, which can then be activated using a Siri voice command. So, for example, you can create a shortcut to do something like turn on the thermostat at home using the Nest app, text your roommate that you're on the way with Messages, and open up the Maps app with directions home all with a single "I'm going home" Siri command. Shortcuts are deeply customizable, with third-party apps able to expose a series of quick actions to Siri that can be incorporated into Shortcut recipes. When iOS 12 was introduced, Apple said a Shortcuts app would be available in the fall, but it wasn't clear if a beta version would be available. Right now, in the iOS 12 beta, a limited number of Shortcuts can be created within the Siri section of the Settings app, but the Shortcuts app will be required for full functionality. According to Apple, the initial beta of Shortcuts will have limited actions, no iCloud syncing, and some missing actions. Shortcuts are also not able to open apps when run from Siri

Apple's Senior Siri Director to Discuss Natural Language Processing at AI Frontiers Conference

Apple's senior director of Siri, Alex Acero, will speak at the AI Frontiers conference in San Jose, California, this coming November. The event brings together specialists in the fields of robotics, natural language processing, virtual assistants, autonomous driving, and more, with speakers from the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber. As part of a panel exploring the role of personal assistants, Acero will about how deep learning informs the way Siri works on Apple devices. From the AI Frontiers online schedule: Siri brought personal assistants to the mainstream after its introduction in 2011 in the iPhone. Deep learning is powering many components in Siri: trigger word detection, large vocabulary recognition, text-to-speech, machine translation, and natural language understanding. In this talk I will show a few examples of how deep learning is used in Siri.Also on Acero's panel are Amazon Alexa director Ruhi Sarikaya and Google research scientist Dilek Hakkani-Tur. Acero arrived at Apple in 2013 after spending two decades at Microsoft, where he oversaw research into computer vision, speech, neuro-linguistic programming, machine learning and translation, amongst other areas. His work on Siri takes in speech recognition, speech synthesis, and machine translation. The AI Frontiers conference takes place from November 9 to November 11. For more information on the event and scheduled speakers, check out the AI Frontiers website.

Apple Announces World Cup Content Coming to Siri, Apple TV, News, App Store, iBooks and More

Apple's personal assistant Siri has been updated with support for sports ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, Apple announced today. Sports support for Siri in the nine new countries expands Siri sports information to a total of 35 countries, including the United States. Specific to the World Cup, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, and Mac owners can ask Siri questions like: When does France play Australia? What teams are in group A? Who is on the England squad? Who won the Argentina-Iceland match? In addition to expanding Siri sports support, Apple also plans to highlight football (soccer in the United States) apps and games throughout the month. Features will include tips on taking the perfect football photo and how to "get your football fix" on social media. Highlighted apps will include FOX NOW and BBC Sport, while featured games will include FIFA Mobile and PES 2018. The TV app on Apple TV and iOS devices will feature World Cup coverage via FOX NOW in the United States and TSN and RDS in Canada, with fans able to follow their favorite teams through the TV app's Up Next feature. Apple also plans to feature World Cup content in the News app through Eight by Eight magazine, and in Apple Music with featured playlists for each of the 32 participating nations. Podcasts will include a "The Beautiful Game" World Cup editorial collection, as will iBooks, with Apple highlighting World Cup-related podcasts and book selections. The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off later this

Gene Munster Shares WWDC Predictions: Beats Product With Siri Integration, Improvements to AI and AR

Ahead of next week's Worldwide Developers Conference, Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster today shared his predictions for the features and services that Apple will unveil during the event. Munster expects Apple to debut new Siri, AR, AI, and Digital Health functionality, including a Beats-branded accessory (presumably a speaker) that includes Siri integration, much like the HomePod. Some of Munster's predictions have been previously covered in rumors shared by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, but Siri integration in a lower-cost Beats product is a new prediction. We expect Monday's keynote to be highlighted by extending the reach of Siri (most likely adding new domains, opening HomePod to more capabilities, and integrating Spotlight), along with additional AI tools (new Core ML extensions). We also anticipate new features around digital health (privacy and device management) and ARKit (development tools). Expect Siri integration with Beats. Collectively, these announcements advance the ease of use and intelligence of Apple's mobile and desktop experiences.According to Munster, Apple may be planning introduce a $250 Beats-branded product that will offer Siri integration similar to the HomePod, allowing Apple to "advance its digital assistant ambitions" with a more affordable option. Apple currently sells a Beats Pill+ speaker for $179.95, and the device has not been updated in some time. Apple is going to announce a new "Decade Collection" at WWDC according to a Best Buy leak, but that collection is limited to existing headphones in new colorways and does not

Researchers Demonstrate Subliminal Smart Device Commands That Have Potential for Malicious Attacks

Researchers in the United States and China have been performing tests in an effort to demonstrate that "hidden" commands, or those undetectable to human ears, can reach AI assistants like Siri and force them to perform actions their owners never intended. The research was highlighted in a piece today by The New York Times, suggesting that these subliminal commands can dial phone numbers, open websites, and more potentially malicious actions if placed in the wrong hands. A group of students from the University of California, Berkeley and Georgetown University published a research paper this month, stating that they could embed commands into music recordings or spoken text. When played near an Amazon Echo or Apple iPhone, a person would just hear the song or someone speaking, while Siri and Alexa "might hear an instruction to add something to your shopping list." Or, more dangerous, unlock doors, wire money from your bank, and purchase items online. The method by which the students were able to accomplish the hidden commands shouldn't be a concern for the public at large, but one of the paper's authors, Nicholas Carlini, believes malicious parties could already be making inroads with similar technology. “We wanted to see if we could make it even more stealthy,” said Nicholas Carlini, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in computer security at U.C. Berkeley and one of the paper’s authors. Mr. Carlini added that while there was no evidence that these techniques have left the lab, it may only be a matter of time before someone starts exploiting them. “My assumption

Google Says Assistant Works With Over 5,000 Smart Home Devices, HomeKit/Siri Around 200

Google this morning posted a story on its Keyword Blog that highlights the ongoing growth of its AI helper, Google Assistant. According to the company, the Assistant now works with "every major device brand" in the U.S., meaning that it can connect with more than 5,000 smart home devices, up from 1,500 in January. This growth period saw media and entertainment queries increase by 400 percent, with Google users taking advantage of "OK Google" commands on Android TV, smart TVs, and Chromecast. Another popular area for Google is security cameras like Nest's products, including the Nest Hello doorbell. When someone rings the doorbell, Nest can communicate a chime to Google Home, play a livestream on Chromecast, and then users can respond to their visitor on their smartphone. Google also laid out plans for Assistant expansions later this year, including placing the Assistant on DISH Hopper receivers, Logitech Harmony remotes, smart door locks from August and Schlage, security cameras from Panasonic, and alarm brand support from ADT, First Alert, and Vivint Smart Home. Over the past year, we’ve made great progress ensuring that the Google Assistant can work with all types of connected devices, and now every major device brand works with the Assistant in the U.S. Just how many devices is that? Today, the Google Assistant can connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home—up from 1,500 this January. That includes cameras, dishwashers, doorbells, dryers, lights, plugs, thermostats, security systems, switches, vacuums, washers, fans, locks, sensors, heaters, AC

Survey Finds Early Adopters of iPhone X Very Satisfied With All Features Except Siri

A survey conducted by research firm Creative Strategies last month has found that the iPhone X has a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate, primarily among early adopters of the smartphone in the United States, as noted by John Gruber. The total includes 85 percent of respondents who said they are "very satisfied" with the iPhone X, which Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin said "is amongst the highest" he has ever seen "in all the customer satisfaction studies we have conducted across a range of technology products." 12 percent of respondents said they are "satisfied" with the iPhone X, while three percent were unsatisfied to various degrees. Of course, the higher the "very satisfied" responses, the better a product probably is. For perspective, research firm Wristly conducted a survey in 2015 that found the original Apple Watch also had a 97 percent overall customer satisfaction rate, but a lower 66 percent of respondents were "very satisfied." Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone X has a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate on the company's first quarter earnings call, citing a study by 451 Research, but Creative Strategies said its own survey had a significantly higher number of respondents that led to a more balanced number with room for slight variance. Creative Strategies surveyed 1,746 respondents to be exact. The research firm informed MacRumors that respondents were profiled as early adopters based on a series of upfront questions about purchasing habits. On a feature-by-feature basis, the iPhone X saw very high satisfaction rates in all

Apple's Siri Learns New Jokes

Apple appears to have recently updated Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and HomePod with a slew of new jokes to tell. Based on reports on Twitter and from MacRumors readers, the new jokes started rolling out earlier this month. When you ask Siri a question like "tell me a joke" on an iOS device, Mac, or the HomePod, Siri has dozens of fresh responses to share with you. "What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup? Anyone can roast beef." "One night, I paid $20 to see Prince. But I partied like it was $19.99." "I taught a wolf to meditate. Now he's Aware Wolf." "What do you call a labrador that becomes a magician? A labracadabrador." "What do you call a talking dinosaur? Thesaurus." "What do cats like to eat for breakfast? Mice Krispies." With the humorous new additions, Siri's joke repertoire has expanded significantly, and you need to ask for jokes several times before hearing a repeat. Siri also appears to have new knock knock jokes, accessible by asking Siri "knock knock." Apple updates Siri on a regular basis with new content in an effort to instill the personal assistant with personality and expanded capabilities. In February of 2017, for example, Siri promoted the LEGO Batman Movie with a series of funny responses to the query "Hey Computer," and when Pokémon Go was released, Siri was updated with several Pokémon-related responses. Siri is often criticized for shortcomings in comparison to AI-based offerings from competing companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, which is said to be due to Apple's heavy focus on

Apple Hires Google's Chief of Search and Artificial Intelligence

Apple has snapped up John Giannandrea, who today stepped down from his position as the head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit, reports The New York Times. According to Apple, Giannandrea will run Apple's overall "machine learning and A.I. strategy," reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. In an email sent out to employees and obtained by The New York Times, Cook had high praise for Giannandrea. "John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal," he said. "Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear." Giannandrea's hiring comes as Apple has recently faced criticism for Siri, the AI-based personal assistant built into products like Macs, iPhones, iPads, the Apple TV, and the HomePod. Many believe Siri has serious shortcomings in comparison to AI offerings from other companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google due to Apple's heavy focus on privacy. The Information, for example, recently shared an in-depth look at Siri and how it has become a "major problem" for the company due to rushed development and poor communication between teams. At Google, Giannandrea, a senior vice president, was involved in the push to integrate artificial intelligence throughout Google products, including internet search, Gmail, and Google Assistant. Prior to joining Apple, Giannandrea spent 10 years at Google, joining the company following Google's acquisition of Metaweb, a startup where he worked as a chief technology officer. In recent years, Apple has been

Apple to Prevent Siri From Reading Hidden Notifications on Lock Screen in Future Software Update

Apple has confirmed it will fix a privacy issue in which Siri can read aloud hidden lock screen notifications from many apps on iPhones. In a statement provided to MacRumors, Apple said "we are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update." It's quite possible the fix will be included in iOS 11.3, which remains in beta testing, but Apple may elect to address the problem with a minor update such as iOS 11.2.7. As reported by Brazilian website MacMagazine earlier this week, users can simply ask Siri to "read my notifications" and the assistant will read aloud the contents of notifications, including ones that are hidden, from a wide selection of apps. Siri's behavior becomes a privacy issue because it can read aloud messages and emails from third-party apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Gmail, even if an iPhone is locked and notifications are hidden. This violates the trust of users who expect that their notifications cannot be read by others. MacRumors has reproduced this issue on an iPhone X running both iOS 11.2.6 and the latest iOS 11.3 beta, but we can confirm that it does not affect iMessage. However, the issue did partially affect Apple's stock Mail app, as Siri was able to read the subject line of an email we sent as part of our testing. Lock screen notifications are hidden by default on iPhone X, meaning the contents of notifications are concealed until a user authenticates with Face ID. The setting isn't turned on by default on other iPhones, but it can be enabled in Settings > Notifications > Show

Former Apple Employees Reflect on Siri's 'Squandered Lead' Over Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

The Information has published an in-depth look at how Siri has transitioned from one of Apple's most promising technologies into a "major problem" for the company. The article includes interviews with a dozen former Apple employees who worked on the various teams responsible for the virtual assistant. The report claims that many of the employees acknowledged for the first time that Apple rushed Siri to be included in the iPhone 4s before the technology was fully ready, resulting in several internal debates over whether to continue patching up the half-baked product or start from scratch.Siri's various teams morphed into an unwieldy apparatus that engaged in petty turf battles and heated arguments over what an ideal version of Siri should be—a quick and accurate information fetcher or a conversant and intuitive assistant capable of complex tasks.The team working on Siri was overseen by Apple's then iOS chief Scott Forstall, but his attention was reportedly divided by other major projects, including the upcoming launch of Apple Maps. As a result, Forstall enlisted Richard Williamson, who was also managing the Apple Maps project, to head up the Siri team. According to the report, several former employees said Williamson made a number of decisions that the rest of the Siri team disagreed with, including a plan to improve the assistant's capabilities only once a year. Williamson, in an emailed response to the report, wrote that it's "completely untrue" that he decided Siri shouldn't be improved continuously.He said decisions concerning "technical leadership of the

Siri Co-Founder Suggests Apple is 'Looking for a Level of Perfection They Can't Get' With Assistant

Since Siri's introduction in the iPhone 4s in 2011, responses to Apple's AI assistant have often weighed towards the unfavorable side, most recently in several HomePod reviews that specified Siri as one of the biggest downsides of owning the speaker. This week, Siri creator, co-founder, and former board member Norman Winarsky added in his own commentary about the assistant's current state, saying that he didn't think this is where Siri would be at this point (via Quartz). In 2008 Siri began as spin-off of SRI International, where Winarsky was the President, and eventually launched as an app for iOS in February 2010. Two months later Apple acquired Siri, and just over a year after that introduced it within the iPhone 4s, shutting down the standalone app shortly thereafter. Seven years later, Winarsky said that Siri's capabilities have fallen short of his earlier predictions for where he thought the assistant, and Apple's development, would end up. Specifically, Winarsky's comments focus on what Siri's intention was "pre-Apple" versus where the assistant is today. According to the co-founder, Siri was originally meant to be incredibly intelligent in just a few key areas -- travel and entertainment -- and then "gradually extend to related areas" once it mastered each. Apple's acquisition pivoted Siri to an all-encompassing life assistant, and Winarsky said that this decision has likely led Apple to search "for a level of perfection they can't get." But part of it is also likely because Apple chose to take Siri in a very different direction than the one its founders