iOS: Using Siri to Find Apps, Books, and Music

4 hours, 54 minutes ago · · iObserver

iOS 8 icon

If you're new to the iPhone or the iPad, you may not know just how magical using Siri can be. Need directions? Easy peasy. Want to call someone? Done. In today's Quick Tip, though, we're going to cover a little-known feature: Using Siri to search the App Store, the iTunes Store, or the iBooks Store. Never before has spending your money been easier!

Siri Wants to Transcribe Your Voicemails

9:40 AM, Aug. 3rd, 2015 · · iObserver

iOS 10 may turn your voicemails into text

People like leaving voicemail but don't like listening to them, so Apple is working on a new feature that lets Siri become your own personal transcription service. Apple hopes to roll out what's been dubbed at iCloud Voicemail in 2016, which means come next year you won't have to listen to your friend's messages ever again.

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I like to say three random words when leaving Google Voice messages, like "shoe, carrot, penguin." Google Voice is horrible at transcribing that. I can't wait to try it on iCloud Voicemail.

Rachio Iro - The Smart Sprinkler Controller

10:30 AM, Aug. 1st, 2015 · · iObserver

Rachio Iro App Screenshot

Think home automation can only be used inside your home? Juan Collao explains how watering your lawn is one area you absolutely must automate in a smart, connected way. He has the device to do it with, too: Iro from Rachio.

How to Create Signatures in Mail.app in iOS and OS X

5:40 PM, Jul. 31st, 2015 · · iObserver

Mail.app Signatures Screenshot

Apple users can add personal signatures to their emails on both their Macs and their iOS devices. They can promote a cause or a product. Let everyone know how they feel about a particular topic, or just make the recipient smile. It's easy to set up, and Nancy Carroll Gravley shows you how.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Turning Off Reachability

8:56 AM, Jul. 31st, 2015 · · iObserver

Disabling Reachability for the iPhone 6

"Reachability" is Apple's term for how the screen slides down when you double-tap the Home button on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While that feature can be useful if you're using your device one-handed, it can also be a pain in the tuckus if you're constantly invoking it without meaning to! In today's Quick Tip, we'll tell you how to disable it completely.

How to Use Siri on Apple Watch to Create Immediate Countdown Timer

3:10 PM, Jul. 30th, 2015 · · iObserver

Apple Watch, Siri & countdown timer

Occasionally, when one is under severe time pressure, many crucial things have to be done, say, just before a meeting or big event. While one could change faces on the Apple Watch and bring up the chronometer and a timer, there's a much faster and more convenient way. Siri comes to the rescue.

New Patents Hint at Apple Texture-simulating Uber Stylus

10:50 AM, Jul. 30th, 2015 · · iObserver

Apple patent describes texture simulating ├╝ber stylus

For a company that said the only stylus we need is our finger, Apple sure has a lot of patents. It's patents describe what sounds like the ultimate stylus, complete with sensors and haptic feedback to simulate the feel of different textures.

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Apple has always been gernerally against styluses for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but there are places where they make sense. Specialized uses like art and drafting, for example, are far easier with styluses than our finger tips. Maybe Apple is working on bringing us an über stylus.

iOS: Deleting Siri’s Training Data

8:55 AM, Jul. 29th, 2015 · · iObserver

Reset Siri in iOS 8

If you're getting frustrated with Siri's inability to understand your commands, then you might want to try resetting the service on your iOS device. Siri learns how to better interpret your voice the more you use it, but if that training has gotten messed up (by, say, your kids playing around with your phone), then that could cause problems. We'll tell you how to wipe Siri clean in today's Quick Tip.