Along with Apple News’ 2020 coverage of the election, Apple added functionality to Siri so she can answer your election questions.
Jennifer Jolly wrote an article wondering if Siri was spying on her because she began to see ads in Spanish after her husband began speaking Spanish at home, within “earshot” of her iPad. The answer is, of course, no. In her buried lede she tells us that she had just moved to a predominantly Spanish-speaking part of Oakland California. It seems reasonable to me that you would see Spanish ads in a Spanish area. Although I’m sure the device’s language is a factor. We did have news last year that contractors listened to some snippets of Siri recordings, but that was to improve the service and not sell ads. Meanwhile, if you turn on Limit Ad Tracking in Settings, your advertising identifier is zeroed. After that, location becomes one of the big factors in advertising.
And Apple says it engineers its devices to protect user privacy. When it comes to Siri, which is integrated in nearly every Apple device, the assistant is designed to activate only after the wake word (“Hey, Siri”) or a waking action is completed, Apple says.
Andrew Orr and John Martellaro join host Kelly Guimont to discuss the tech lab built by SDNY, and Andrew’s Apple Card and AirPods tips.
Announce Messages with Siri is a feature with certain Apple headphones where Siri reads your incoming messages and lets you reply with voice.
Walmart Voice Order lets customers add items to their cart via voice. The company announced a partnership with Apple that includes Siri.
Yesterday Apple released the iOS 13.2 software update and one of the features it brought was the ability to turn off Siri grading.
The spot stars John Kransinski using first generation Siri to get answers and find things, and it was posted by Sam Henri Gold.
The latest Apple betas like iOS 13.2 have a feature that lets you delete your Siri audio history in settings.
In addition to offering an explicit opt-in, Apple has promised that only employees, and not contractors, will be involved in reviewing the audio clips. However, this doesn’t stop the automated text transcriptions of your Siri requests from being transmitted to Apple, irrespective of whether you opt-in or -out, although they will pseudonymized and dissociated from your Apple ID. What’s more, these transcripts could be reviewed by employees and contractors.
I’m glad that Apple is adding this feature, and given its privacy stance I’m surprised it’s a feature we don’t already have.
Dave Hamilton and Andrew Orr join host Kelly Guimont to discuss apps vanishing from App Stores, and how Siri can now use third party apps.
Apple said that later this year an iOS update will enable Siri to work better with third-party messaging apps. If you use the assistant to send messages, it will default to whatever message you use the most, instead of defaulting to iMessage or Phone. You can currently use third-party apps with Siri but you have to specify “Send this message via WhatsApp.”
For example, if an iPhone user always messages another person via WhatsApp, Siri will automatically launch WhatsApp, rather than iMessage. It will decide which service to use based on interactions with specific contacts. Developers will need to enable the new Siri functionality in their apps. This will be expanded later to phone apps for calls as well.
Apple didn’t mention the HomePod on stage yesterday, but Benjamin Mayo reports that a product refresh will appear later this fall.
A new forthcoming feature is called Ambient Sounds. This will allow users to easily play white noise sounds on their HomePods, including ocean waves, birdsong, rainstorms, and more. Right now, users are forced to AirPlay from another iOS device to easily play relaxing background audio on HomePod. Ambient Sounds will make this a first-party feature, fully integrated with Siri.
If Apple ever comes out with a cheaper HomePod, I’d probably buy one just for the ambient sounds.
Charlotte Henry and Dave Hamilton join host Kelly Guimont to talk about the latest web interface from Apple, and voice assistant points of view.
Nike is releasing a new edition in September called Adapt Huarache, and they can be controlled via Siri and Apple Watch.
Apple published an article promising to improve Siri privacy by making changes to its grading program, along with firing contractors.
Some Apple users are seeing smarter web answers when they use iOS Spotlight Search and Siri.
The new web answers appear to be a further expansion of this technology. If the statistics are not readily available from the knowledge database, it seems Apple is now using algorithms to crawl websites and find possible responses to questions.
I think this is great, and it might be the first front-facing results we’re seeing from Apple’s hiring of John Giannandrea.
John Martellaro and Charlotte Henry join host Kelly Guimont to talk about the leaked TV+ Pricing and the latest AI hire at Microsoft.
Andrew Orr and Charlotte Henry join host Kelly Guimont to talk about a couple of PSAs for Apple folks and how Siri and Spotify might team up.
Spotify and Apple are reportedly in talks to allow Siri to play content from the music streaming service, despite an ongoing antitrust battle.
John Martellaro and Adam Christianson join host Kelly Guimont to talk about Siri’s grading program and the end of John’s MacBook repair saga.
On the same day that Apple pauses Siri grading, a Germany privacy watchdog ordered Google to stop its human review of voice snippets.