At Apple's recent World Wide Developer Conference, one of the tent-pole items was the inclusion of additional features for intelligent voice recognition by its personal assistant app Siri. The latest version of Siri for iOS 9 makes it possible to make casual, undetailed commands while looking at contextual information on your iPhone. Here's a brief overview of machine-learning algorithms and how it relates to language.
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One of the handier new abilities of Siri is to ask it to identify songs using Shazam. That said, if you don't make a note of that song at the time, you'll probably forget it again in the future. Cult of Mac points out that you can check your Shazam history in iTunes.
Siri seems to get new powers all the time, but it's still not useful unless you're really hooked into Apple's apps. If you want to add some new commands and don't mind a slow response time, GoogolPlex is a clever little hack that let you control all sorts of things from Spotify to a Nest thermostat.
Siri sees something of an upgrade in iOS 7, including new male and female voices, multiple new languages, and some smarter commands (not to mention a few more jokes). If you'd rather speak to your iPhone or iPad in your own language, or have a male virtual assistant instead of a female one, here's how to make the change.
iOS: Siri can be frustrating when it doesn't understand you correctly. If Siri doesn't get it right the first time, you're stuck repeating yourself into your phone and looking like a fool. However, as Redditor ThatIsPrettyGood points out, you can correct Siri by tapping the speech bubble and editing it.
iOS: Astrid, one of our favourite to-do apps, now features full Siri integration. You can ask Siri to remind you of something and have it directed right to your Astrid to-do list, which you can then see on your phone, tablet or on the web.
iOS (Jailbroken): Siri is a fine assistant if you're using all of Apple's default software, but it doesn't support third-party apps. AssistantEnhancer is a jailbreak tweak that adds a bunch of new commands to Siri, including the ability to control third-party music apps including Spotify and Pandora.
We've shared quite a few DIY tips for automating your home, but YouTube user Elvis Impersonator takes it a step further, controlling everything in his house with the help of Siri and a Raspberry Pi.
We're happily using Google Maps on our iPhones, but find it frustrating that using Siri to ask for directions with anything other than Apple's default app requires a bit of work. Software blog Addictive Tips found a clever workaround: you only need to say "via transit" after your request and Siri will offer other routing options.