Google Assistant got a bit of an upgrade on iOS this week with the introduction of support for Siri shortcuts. Now you can record a phrase like "OK Google" within Siri, and then have that phrase open the Google Assistant app on your phone.
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While Apple and Google play well together in some areas - such as the multi-billion deal that makes Google the default search on iOS - they are on less friendly terms in others. Apple and Google, and a few others, are locked in a pitched battle to dominate automation through smart assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google's platform. But an update to the iOS version of Google's Asistant proves that where there's a will, there's a way to bring enemies together.
By design, changing the volume on Apple’s AirPods requires either using the volume buttons on your phone, or using Siri to increase or decrease the volume. While your iPhone adjusts the volume in six per cent increments, Siri adjusts the volume in 12–13 per cent increments. Obviously that reduces the number of times you need to request a volume change, but it also removes fine-grained control. How do you get it back?
If talking out loud to Alexa (or your digital assistant of choice) feels unnatural, you're not alone. I've had Siri for as long as she's been alive, yet I can count on one hand the number of times I've spoken to her. It's always seemed easier to open an app on my iPhone or type in a Google query and get exactly what I'm looking for, rather than navigating a line of verbal questioning that eventually leads to my desired answer — or not.
Amazon has managed to make Alexa the brand people think of when it comes to digital voice assistants, but the Google Assistant is the smartest of the bunch according to a new study. With that said, they all have serious shortcomings - particularly when it comes to responding to questions - that the industry has yet to iron out.
iOS: One of the first things you'll want to do with any new iPhone is train Siri to recognise your voice - it's also never a bad idea to retrain Apple's AI assistant if she's giving you trouble. Your first instinct is probably to hold your iPhone in your hand (or even up to your mouth) while you go through the training process, but you're actually better off putting the device down and taking a few steps back first.
One of the most useful things you can do with Siri on your iPhone is dictate a text message and send it to a friend, but that can also reveal one of the most annoying flaws about Apple's software assistant: Siri really sucks at pronouncing uncommon names. Thankfully, there's a solution if you're tired of hearing Siri mispronounce the same names over and over.
While Apple's WWDC conference is supposed to be all about software and developers, the company decided to use the event to unleash a swag of new hardware. Highlights include the iMac getting a massive power boost with a new iMac Pro, another iPad Pro and the new HomePod which is Siri's answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Laptop users get lots of love too, with processor and SSD performance boosts for the entire Macbook range. And, as expected, new versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS were also announced with the line between the Mac and iPad becoming even more blurry. Here are the chief announcements.
Ever get epic ideas while you're in the car? If so, you've probably struggled to figure out how to jot down those ideas without swerving into oncoming traffic. It can be a distraction for sure, but one Redditor has a useful suggestion that involves one of our favourite tools: IFTTT.