The new Apple Music Voice Plan is a bargain at $4.99 per month, but it mostly limits you to using Apple’s Siri voice assistant for searches and playback. The Voice Plan has been met with some skepticism, but Julio Ojeda-Zapata thinks it’s a good option for casual music listeners.
iOS 14 promises a tight package of new features, many of which have existed in Google’s Android for years, while iPadOS 14 takes those features and mixes in a bit of Newton handwriting recognition. Egg freckles, anyone?
Adam Engst recently scheduled a Zoom call with colleagues on a non-profit board and had to apologize when one of them was irritated at ending up in Google Hangouts by himself for 10 minutes. The problem arose due to a confluence of issues with Siri and Google Calendar—read on to learn how to avoid similar embarrassments.
Do you know what happens when you invoke Siri and say “14”? After seeing numerous hits on our Web site for Google searches on that topic, Adam Engst spent some time suggesting numbers to Siri. He came up with some interesting results.
Adds the capability to capture audio from Siri and VoiceOver. ($49 new, free update, 14.1 MB)
When Apple released iOS 13.2 for HomePod last week, there were immediate reports that it—or resetting the HomePod after installing it—was causing the HomePods to become entirely unresponsive. The company is now pushing iOS 13.2.1 for HomePod to resolve that problem.
After a whistleblower revealed that Apple contractors were listening in on Siri conversations, Apple shut down the program and promised improvements. Here they are.
Apple took well-deserved flak in the press for having contractors listen to Siri conversations—and inadvertent initiations where people didn’t know they were being recorded. But Adam Engst suggests that we users should instead teach Siri about its mistakes.
Apple has temporarily suspended its Siri “response grading” program that had contractors listen in on Siri recordings. That’s good, but it’s unfortunate that it took media coverage to push the company to change its practices.
Apple has increasingly used its stance on privacy as a selling point, but The Guardian has revealed that, like Amazon, Apple lets contractors listen in on conversations held while Siri is active. The audio may be difficult or impossible to trace back to the individuals who are speaking, but Apple should still find a better way to improve Siri.
Apple News+ may be the main change in iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4 Mojave, but Apple has also added small features and options to a number of apps and technologies, including AirPlay, Apple Pay, Safari, and Screen Time. There are also a handful of bug fixes and a slew of security fixes.
Apple Music hasn’t changed much at all since Apple introduced it back in 2015, but Adam Engst has a few suggestions—some extremely easy—that could make listening to music through the service more enjoyable.
Siri takes a lot of flak, but it’s a lot more powerful than many people realize. If you haven’t been using Siri for much, these tips from “Take Control of Siri” author Scholle McFarland will expand your conversations with Apple’s digital assistant—and hopefully get Siri to do more for you.
It’s time to take a stand. We’re sick and tired of apps (Netflix!) and Web sites (CNN!) assaulting our ears and eyes with audio and video that starts playing on its own, without so much as a by your leave. Let’s fight back.
Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri, sat down for another interview to discuss her career and how she dealt with her voice suddenly being famous.