Improvements to iBooks in iOS 11 I’d like to see include barcode scanning and book playlists.
One of the features announced today at Google I/O 2017 is Gmail Smart Reply. It was first released in the web in 2015, as a way to let people send short, canned messages in email, similar to iMessage on the Apple Watch. Andrew Orr tells us it’s finally coming to the Gmail app on iOS.
Google is big on machine learning, and now it looks like the company has improved the AI capabilities of YouTube. Since 2009, YouTube has had the ability to add automated captions to videos. But now, YouTube’s machine learning has improved to the point where automated captions for sound effects can be auto-added, too. Right now, the captions are limited to [APPLAUSE], [MUSIC], and [LAUGHTER]. Over time it’s possible that YouTube will be able to add even more automated captions. This is a great accessibility feature that makes it easier for people with hearing impairments. The captions are available right now for millions of videos on YouTube, including the one below.
Today Pinterest rolled out a new visual search tool called Lens. It’s a feature found within the app that uses machine learning to classify real-world objects. Lens suggests items in Pinterest that are related to the object. Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp demonstrated Lens visual search to detect a pomegranate, and Pinterest showed him pins about pomegranate bread, sandwiches and helpful tips to peel the fruit. Along with Lens, the company introduced Shop the Look, a tool that identifies objects in pins that you can purchase, and gives you a direct link to buy. Right now it’s only available for five brands. Although currently in beta, Lens is sure to help usher in augmented reality.
Bryan is totally paranoid about the Internet of Things, and he isn’t at all happy about the idea of having an Amazon Echo or Google Home listening in on everything in his house. Jeff laughs at him. Once the guffaws die down, they talk about how and why Apple is getting crushed by these good enough devices.
Siri, as we’ve know her (or him), has been both a blessing and a frustration. The technology, when it works is brilliant, but when its limitations are exposed, it can be very frustrating. Our appetite for a stellar chatbot companion has merely been whetted, and we’re about to get it. From Apple. On its terms. With privacy.