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.
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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.
Siri and Google Assistant basically do the same thing: they're mobile "digital assistants" that can be used to effortlessly set reminders, access apps, get directions and answer random questions via voice command. This infographic from product reviews site Zlated compares both products in a series of pitched tests, ranging from memory to affability.
Mac: Siri's on the Mac now, but exactly why you'd use it is still a mystery for some people. How-To Geek points out that one handy thing you can do with it is easily pull up images, then drag and drop the results.
Mac: Not a fan of Siri in Sierra? The Siri icon appears in both the menu bar and the dock, but thankfully OS X Daily points out that it's easy to hide away.
Siri is the landmark new feature in macOS Sierra, but unfortunately you have to click the icon or a keyboard shortcut in order to talk to your computer. Since "Hey Siri" is one of the best features on iOS, this is a bummer. Good thing you can hack it into your Mac too.