Display Audio tech requires iPhone 5 or later
The 2014 Civic and the 2015 Fit will each get two forms of iOS integration, Honda has announced. The most significant is Display Audio, which will let users control functions like music, calling, and navigation through gesture controls on a built-in capacitive touchscreen. Connecting will require an iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c, and one or more of four new HondaLink apps: Connect, Navigation, Aha, and Launcher. Aha provides access to Internet audio including radio, podcasts, and audiobooks, plus Twitter and Facebook updates, and listings for nearby points of interest. Launcher is used to find and launch HondaLink-compatible apps. The official Honda apps are all free except for Navigation, which costs $60.
iOS mirroring still limited to 2014 Civic Coupe
Honda has officially launched Siri Eyes Free integration for a handful of vehicles. These include 2013 and 2014 models of the Honda Accord, and 2013 models of the Acura RDX and ILX. Eyes Free lets people trigger Siri through a button on their steering wheel, instead of having to reach for their iPhone to control functions like texting, music playback, or turn-by-turn navigation; it also shuts off the phone's screen to reduce distractions. To get the feature, car owners must pay for a dealer installation.
2014 Honda Civic Coupe to support iOS mirroring
The 2014 Civic Coupe will support iOS mirroring when it becomes available on December 4th, Honda has announced. The car has a 7-inch multi-touch display built into the dash, which people will be able to use to control an iOS device without having to use a mount or reach down. Honda adds that promised Siri Eyes Free updates for its vehicles will also be available in early December.
Investor tries to put rumors to rest
Wealthy investor Carl Icahn says he has no plans to push for Apple to buy out Nuance, according to a new Reuters report. Icahn spoke on the topic Monday, at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit. "That is something I would never micromanage and never even think of telling [Apple CEO] Tim Cook," he said. "It has zero to do with the fact that I'm involved with Apple."
Bluetooth device remotely activates Siri anywhere in the car
While automobile Siri integration is surging, late model cars with only basic smartphone compatibility are left in the lurch. Chargers are often inside a dash, making the phone's microphone inaccessible or other inconveniences. Additionally, many states have outright banned holding and using mobile phones without a hands-free device, making tapping the home button to access Siri illegal. Beanco's Mobile Home device is a simple Bluetooth peripheral for the iPhone which purports to enable Siri's use with any car's hands-free system. Does the device really enhance the Siri experience for older hands-free systems? Read our review and find out.
Feature integrated into Chevy MyLink
Siri's "Eyes Free" mode will be supported in several 2014 Chevrolet cars, GM has announced. These include the Camaro, Volt, Malibu, SS, Cruze, and Equinox. The technology will be integrated via Chevy's MyLink service. Earlier in 2013, the company's Spark and Sonic models were among the first vehicles to get Eyes Free support.
Apple using voice samples recorded in 2005
The original US voice for Apple's Siri has been identified as an Atlanta woman, Susan Bennett, according to CNN. Bennett says that she only discovered her voice was being used by Apple when a friend emailed her and asked if it was her voice in an iPhone commercial; not owning the latest iPhone at the time, she had to visit the Apple website to confirm the fact. She explains that the samples used were actually recorded in July 2005, over six years before Apple would announce its first incarnation of Siri, for the iPhone 4S. A different version of Siri existed earlier as an independent app, before Apple bought out its developer.
May hint at plans for Siri
The developers of Cue -- a personal assistant app -- have shut down the app's service, according to an official announcement. In a manner similar to Google Now, the app was able to scan a person's email, contacts, and files and pull out important details for a daily agenda. Cue is promising refunds for Premium subscribers, and says it has already deleted any personal data stored on its servers.
Patch fails to resolve lockscreen vulnerabilities
A newly-documented technique lets people bypass the lockscreen in iOS 7.0.2 and dial any phone number, not just emergency numbers. The method involves waiting for a notification, or forcing one by sending a text message or ejecting the SIM card. Once the notification pops up, a hacker has to swipe right on it while simultaneously swiping up on the Camera icon. While keeping a finger on the Camera icon, a person must then slide to unlock and tap the Emergency Call button. After dialing, hitting the Call button quickly two or three times should crash Springboard, but allow the call to go through once Springboard restarts.
Apple considers iOS 7 updates significant enough
iOS' native voice command system, Siri, no longer has a "beta" tag, a look at related pages on Apple's website reveals. All references to beta status appear to have been dropped both graphically and in text. Until now, Siri has carried the beta label since its arrival on iOS in October 2011.
Geolocation used to improve service
Apple is currently seeking patent protection for technology that is designed to improve speech recognition through location awareness. A Thursday filing titled "Automatic input signal recognition using location based language modeling." describes a system that automatically associates voice input with location-specific language models and geographic information such as nearby businesses and street names.
Apple downplays upcoming competition
Apple has updated Siri with a number of jabs at Google Glass, users note. Most commands for the Glass headset are issued through voice, and prefaced by saying "Okay Glass." Using that phrase in Siri, though, will now trigger one of several jokes about the device.
iPad support may have to wait for iOS 7.0.1
Although Apple is almost finished with the iPhone and iPod version of iOS 7, the iPad release is running behind schedule, sources claim. iPad support only arrived two weeks after the first beta, and developers continue to complain that it's more unreliable than when the firmware is running on an iPhone. "Chatter inside Apple" allegedly points to the possibility of holding back iPad support from the public until a v7.0.1 update sometime in late September or October, possibly in tandem with new iPad models.
Could hint that Apple wants to replace Nuance tech
An Apple office near the MIT campus in Boston is focusing on speech technology for Siri, word from industry sources suggests. The sources tell Xconomy that Apple has assembled a small group of significant people in involved in speech technology, and is working to expand that effort in the Boston area. Online job profiles for the speech team are said to point to the Siri connection.
Tech in new, beta iOS releases
Apple has changed the way Siri responds to suicide references, users have discovered. Until this week, the system would simply display the locations of nearby mental health facilities. In the US Siri will now ask people if they want to talk to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. On an iPhone, Siri can also ask to dial directly.
French, German voices too; more languages coming later
As expected, Siri will be given an upgrade in the forthcoming version set for iOS -- incorporating new services including Twitter, Wikipedia and Bing among other new sources. The interface will be reshaped to fit into the iOS 7 design aesthetic, with a "waveform" look that fades into view on a layer over the current content on the screen. The program will also now feature a new choice of voices -- a new female voice, or a male one if preferred -- with new voices for French and German users as well (and more languages in the works).
Tech enabled through ConnectedDrive service
All 2014-model BMW cars will support the Siri "Eyes Free" technology included in iOS, the luxury automaker has announced. The technology is being delivered through an update to BMW's iDrive platform. By pressing and/or holding a voice command button on the steering wheel, people will be able to trigger Siri without reaching for their iPhone. The same button will also be able to trigger S Voice on Samsung phones.
Confirms long-standing reports
Speaking earlier today at the ongoing D11 conference, Nuance CEO Paul Ricci confirmed that his company's technology is integral to Apple's Siri voice command system. "We are the fundamental provider of voice recognition for Apple," Ricci said in response to a question of whether Nuance was to blame for misheard Siri commands. The Nuance tech only handles voice recognition however, not any artificial intelligence demands.
Uses Siri-like voice for narration
Microsoft is airing a new TV ad for Windows 8 tablets targeting their main competition, the Apple iPad. The spot points out that the iPad is missing equivalents to Windows 8 features like Live Tiles and true multitasking, and that at $449, a 64GB ASUS VivoTab Smart tablet is far cheaper than a comparable 64GB iPad, which is $699. Narrating everything is a Siri-like voice trying to defend Apple.
Apple discourages complicated requests
Apple has run a server-side update to Siri, changing how the service responds to long commands, notes iLounge. If Siri judges that a request is too long, it will now reply with a quote from either William Strunk or Thomas Jefferson, in either case praising brevity of language. It's not clear exactly when the update was made, but it appears to have happened during the last week and a half.
Special version of Maps may appear on dashboard displays
With iOS 7, Apple wants to deepen in-car integration options for iOS devices, sources claim. Currently such integration is limited mostly to things like iPod input or Siri Eyes Free, which makes it possible to issue Siri commands with a quick-access button. Sources tell 9to5Mac, however, that Apple is working with car companies on new center consoles that could dock an iPhone and output an optimized, car-oriented version of Maps to a dashboard display.
Apple claims data anonymized, used to improve technology
All the requests people have made through Siri are being stored on Apple servers for a period of up to two years, says Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller. The statement comes in response to Wired inquiries about ambiguity in Siri's privacy policies, initially pointed out by American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Nicole Ozer. Muller insists that Apple is anonymizing the request data, and only collecting voice clips in order to improve Siri.
Voice assistant app for Android or iOS
Amazon has reportedly acquired voice-assistant app developer Evi Technologies, unnamed sources have told TechCrunch. The deal, which is said to be worth $26 million, is said to be focused on Evi's mobile apps for Android and iOS, which provide functionality similar to that of Apple's own Siri technology, though both parties have yet to make an official announcement.
Info, photo match earlier leak
An iPhone 5S expected this year will use a quad-core 1.2GHz A7 processor paired with PowerVR's quad-core SGX554MP4 graphics, and 2GB of LPDDR-800 RAM, says a DroidGator source allegedly working for Apple. The person has also supplied a photo of the device's motherboard, and claims that improving Siri will be a major focus of iOS 7. Every iPhone upgrade has been accompanied by a major iOS release.
May involved expanding Siri partnership, more mobile features
Apple and Yahoo are discussing ways to bring more of Yahoo's best features to Apple's iOS platform, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the two companies are already working together on various projects -- the default Stock and Weather apps on iOS devices are powered by Yahoo, its search engine is an option in Safari, and its sports stats are incorporated into Siri -- the idea may be to continue Apple's move away from Google services wherever possible. This may include expanded service offerings and more cooperation.
Firm claims Xiao voice recognition tech predates Siri
Lawyers for Apple appeared in a Shanghai court earlier today at the start of a lawsuit over the company's Siri voice command system, according to Agence France-Presse. Zhizhen Network Technology alleges that Siri violates a patent on voice recognition, used in the company's Xiao i Robot software, that dates back to 2004. Siri is said to have been first developed in 2007. After buying out Siri's creator, Apple folded the technology into iOS in October 2011.
New Sonic allows voice-activated calls, songs, texts, calendars
Chevrolet, the first automaker to bring Apple's Siri Eyes-Free feature to market, has debuted a new TV commercial that showcases the feature as an integral selling point for the forthcoming 2014 Chevy Sonic. The Sonic, the second production model with the feature behind the Spark, has an integrated steering-wheel button that activates Siri to allow voice control of several functions of iOS devices without ever activating the screen or relying on visual feedback. Nine other automakers will also be bringing out models that feature Siri Eyes-Free.
Judge had questioned whether it would proceed during appeal process
Judge Lucy Koh, who has been overseeing the primary US court battles between Apple and Samsung, ruled Friday to allow a second lawsuit against the Korean electronics giant to proceed -- despite expressing reservations on the idea while the appeal of the first Apple-Samsung trial is still being heard. Koh was apparently persuaded by filings from Apple's lawyers that the second case should go forward because of "ongoing" infringement and harm to Apple. The new case involves patents related to Apple's Siri voice assistant.
Allows music, calling, texting control
As promised, Chevrolet's 2013 Sonic and Spark cars have been updated to support Siri Eyes Free. The bridge is handled through MyLink, a touchscreen interface built into the vehicles. To use the function a person has to connect a cellular-equipped iOS device via Bluetooth; commands are issued by pressing a voice activation button on the steering wheel.
Apple could be well into smartwatch development
Lending further weight to Apple’s rumored plans for an ‘iWatch’, the company is said to have assigned up to 100 people to the project. An earlier rumors suggested that Apple might be experimenting with smartwatch-like device running the company’s iOS mobile operating system and using a new type of curved glass. The fresh rumor reported by Bloomberg would have Apple much closer to a potential product launch than previously thought.
Siri for iOS also slated to get more features
A new opening for a UI engineer at Apple indicates that the company has major plans for Siri, says AppleInsider. The person will be expected to work on the presentation of results in Siri's conversation view, integrating new apps and services into the voice command system. Apple describes Siri as "an entire miniature OS within the OS."
May integrate with HondaLink and AcuraLink
Honda has announced a slate of 2013 cars that will support Apple's Eyes Free feature for Siri. The technology will come as a dealer-installed option for the new Honda Accord, as well as for the Acura RDX and ILX. On the Accord it may be integrated with the company's new HondaLink console, whereas the Acuras will likely rely on AcuraLink. No prices have been revealed so far.
Update expands LTE support, tweaks Siri, iTunes Match
(Updated with security, Apple TV info) Apple has officially released iOS 6.1 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update is available through iTunes or as an over-the-air download, and makes several important tweaks. For instance, it enables LTE on the extended number of carriers Apple announced last week; an official list has been posted on the company's website.
Apple purchase killed deal
Siri -- the voice command technology in Apple's iOS -- was at one point set to become an exclusive to Verizon, a new report reveals. The Huffington Post says that in fall of 2009, Verizon signed a deal with Siri's then-independent developer for the project, with the goal of putting the technology on all of Verizon's Android phones launched during 2010. The deal was so far advanced that commercials were produced, but never aired.
Listing of supporting companies so far up to 10
Korea's Hyundai is joining the list of car makers supporting Apple's Siri Eyes-Free technology, according to a CES announcement. The company hasn't identified specific car models yet, but says that upcoming vehicles with dashboard consoles will get the technology. Using Eyes-Free requires a mobile device running iOS 6.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a pair of new patents. Of the two, the most significant may be Desktop widgets for presentation in a layer, essentially documenting the widgets dashboard users can pop up in OS X. The feature dates back to OS X Tiger, and grants quick access to a collection of simple but custom-picked apps like a calculator or sticky notes. The patent also mentions that widgets can be installed from an online repository, and/or fetch their source data from the Internet, such as in the case of a weather widget.
General Motors has announced that it will be the first car maker to integrate Apple’s Siri into its vehicles. The Chevorlet Spark and the Sonic LTZ and RS models will be the first to integrate Siri’s voice control capabilities via their built-in MyLink infotainment systems. The capability is dependent on owners having a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 or higher.
Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish versions planned
Apple is working on adding another six international translations of Siri, a job listing reveals. An opening for cloud services engineering interns became available on November 13th; candidates are expected to "join the team responsible for delivering Siri in different parts of the world for an exciting 6 month internship in Cupertino, California." Candidates must be "native or fluent" in Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Korean, Norwegian, and/or Swedish, and fluent in English. The requirement is telling since Siri still isn't available in Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish.
Guns also censored in China
Apple has pulled prostitutes from Siri search results in China, according to the Times of India. In response to user queries in the region, Siri will now reportedly answer with "I couldn't find any escort services." An Apple customer service representative tells the Times that that the censorship comes in response to "reports from our users."
Connection to Apple unclear, likely stock ownership
District Court Judge Gary Sharpe has recused himself from a lawsuit involving Apple's Siri technology because of his potential conflict of interest involving Apple. In removing himself, he cited the law that said "any conduct that would lead a reasonable [person] knowing all the circumstances to the conclusion that the judge's 'impartiality might reasonably be questioned' is a basis for the judge's disqualification." The judge's Apple connection to the case outside the courtroom hasn't been made clear.
Search exec hire could be meant to boost Siri's capabilities
Apple has reportedly brought on William Stasior, an executive at Amazon who runs A9, Amazon's search and search advertising unit. Stasior will now take over the unit within Apple dedicated to its Siri digital assistant. The hire is thought to be aimed at improving Siri's search capabilities, and observers note that it could signal a stronger move into Internet search for Apple, a company that has typically relied on third-party services to power search in its devices.
Documentation hints at Portuguese version of Siri
The iPhone 5 has been approved for sale by Brazil's telecommunications regulatory, Anatel, MacRumors reports. A notice is said to have been posted yesterday, and lists Foxconn plants in Brazil and China as assembly facilities. Still left out of the document, though, is when Apple might plan to launch the 5 in the region. Apple is aiming at having the phone in 100 countries by December.
Siri co-founder credited among inventors
A newly-published Apple patent application seeks the US rights to Siri, notes AppleInsider. The 51-page filing is simply titled Intelligent Automated Assistant, but illustrates software that "engages with the user in an integrated, conversational manner using natural dialog, and invokes external services when appropriate to obtain information or perform various actions." In explaining the purpose of the technology, Apple states that smartphones have numerous apps each with their own interface, which can allegedly be "burdensome to learn or overwhelming for users." A conversational voice command system is said to alleviate the problem.
Both voice control options flawed; need more work overall
According to tests by CNet, Apple's Siri voice recognition technology is still better than Samsung's S Voice, but both offerings "have a long way to go." Tests were performed with 12 commands that are a routine part of both program's capabilities, on either an iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S III in the same location, with time to parse and resolve the question not evaluated for purposes of the test.
Second Siri founding member to leave, no destination announced
One of the engineers who co-founded Siri and former vice president of engineering of the company has reportedly left Apple. Adam Cheyer departed recently after working in Apple's mobile software division, making it the second founding team member to leave Apple after former Chief Executive Officer Dag Kittlaus departed after Apple purchased the company.
Patent suit filed in Eastern District of Texas court
Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University has filed a suit in Texas alleging that Apple's Siri technology infringes two voice-to-text US patents it was granted in 2007 and 2010. The suit is the opening volley in what may become a wave of suits in the US, as the university claims to be examining whether similar voice recognition systems used by Google and Microsoft are infringing as well.
Uses Siri to navigate taxi ride, day planning
Apple has released another ad for the iPhone 4S and its biggest selling point, the Siri voice assistant. The new commercial stars film director Martin Scorsese driving into downtown New York City for a busy day, and using Siri to help him reorganize his schedule, check on traffic, and identify the whereabouts of a friend. The ad is the first to show Apple's "Find a Friend" app in action, pointing out that Siri can leverage the program in response to a question such as "where's Rick?"
LG Quick Voice assistant will launch in the US in 2013 as Q Voice
LG's Siri- and S Voice-alternative Quick Voice service that launched in South Korea in June is being renamed to Q Voice. The move brings it more in line with Samsung's offering, at least by name, and it will also reportedly be rebranded to better compete with it. The service will also launch in the US market with the new name sometime in 2013.
Voice tech does only modestly better indoors than out
Apple's Siri voice command system is still probably an inferior choice for searches versus Google text entries, according to a study by researchers at Piper Jaffray. Analyst Gene Munster and his team tested Siri first with 800 queries in a quiet room, without using headphones, and then with another 800 queries out on a busy Minneapolis street, but using Skull Candy mic-equipped headphones. Indoors Siri understood 89 percent of queries, accurately answering 68 percent of questions. Outdoors it faired slightly worse, with rates of 83 and 62 percent, respectively.
Chevy models to be among first to feature Siri
The Siri Eyes-Free feature that was first shown off at Apple's developer conference earlier this month will be appearing in future versions of Chevrolet's Spark and Sonic models. Sources tell GM Authority that the Spark and Sonic will be among the first cars to feature integration with Apple's digital assistant. The automaker has yet to confirm the news with an announcement, but one may be forthcoming within the next 12 months.