These days a lot of our digital assistants can be activated using our voice and a trigger phrase. This is good because it no longer requires us to press a button to activate it, but at the same time, it has created some privacy issues, as per a report from the Guardian who claims that Siri accidentally overhears us more than we’d like.
Apple was the first to the market to launch a digital assistant for our smartphones. However, the feature did not exactly work as advertised at launch, and the fact that it was closed off to developers meant that Siri was extremely limited in its use. This led to competitors such as Amazon and Google to pull ahead of Apple in the digital assistant market.
At the moment, most of the major tech companies have their own digital voice assistants. Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, Google has Google Assistant, Microsoft has Cortana, and Samsung has Bixby. Unsurprisingly, Facebook now wants in on the action and according to a report from CNBC, they have heard from their sources that the company is indeed developing its own voice assistant software.
When it comes to the digital assistant space, Siri is clearly behind the likes of Google Assistant and Alexa, both of whom are commanding pretty large market shares, largely thanks to their smart speakers. However it seems that Apple has plans to help improve on Siri with their latest acquisition.
If you use Waze on your iPhone, you might be interested in the latest update to the app in which it finally adds support for Siri Shortcuts. What this means is that with Siri Shortcuts, users will be able to record shortcuts for their drive home, drive to work, drive to their favorite locations, and more, all with a simple voice command to Siri.
These days there are certain things that you should not joke about if you don’t want to get into trouble with the law. For example joking about having a bomb on board an airlines could get you kicked off the flight and arrested. More recently a 13-year old boy was arrested after telling Siri he wanted to shoot up a school.
With iOS 12, Apple introduced Siri Shortcuts which was basically the company’s take on the Workflow app that they had previously acquired. Siri Shortcuts allows users to create shortcuts for certain actions, kind of like macros. The best part is that anyone can create a Siri Shortcut and share it with others.
We’ve heard that Apple could be working on a new set of AirPods. It is anyone’s guess as to what these new AirPods could feature, but if there is one feature that has more or less been confirmed, it would be support for the “Hey Siri” command where users can speak to Siri directly from the AirPods without having to tap on them.
#CES2019 – A couple of years ago, the headphones scene was very different. We were mostly treated to wired headphones that did pretty much what it was intended for. However these days with digital assistants being more commonplace, and with handset makers ditching the headphone jack, it is a very different scene.
Amazon was definitely “late” to the digital assistant scene, choosing to launch Alexa years after companies like Apple, Google, and even Microsoft entered the fray. However it seems that despite being late, Alexa has quickly caught up thanks to Amazon’s launch of the Echo smart speakers and also making Alexa available to developers very early on in the game.
There are a variety of voice options for users to choose from when it comes to Siri. These voices also vary from language to language, and it seems that in the case of the Hebrew version of Siri, the voice actress behind the voice, Galit Gura-Eini, is suing Apple for using her voice without her permission, which apparently has made her say undesirable things.
There are a variety of smart speakers in the market today, although for the most part it is dominated by the likes of Amazon and Google. Both companies have the advantage of having a large number of third-party companies adopting their tech, but does that mean that they are better?
Thanks to Siri being a voice-activated digital assistant, it means that users can get it to activate and perform tasks without needing their hands. In the case of Beau Austin, the 4-year old managed to get Siri to call 999 to help his mom who had fallen unconscious due to the side-effects of her morning sickness medication.
One of the new features Apple introduced in iOS 12 is Siri Shortcuts. This allows users to make shortcuts that can perform multiple actions at once, like a macro. For example you could create a shortcut that lets you enter expenses without having to launch a separate app, all from a widget on your home screen.