I have to admit, when Siri was first announced for iOS, I was intrigued. While she’s not an AI by any stretch, it’s difficult not to grow a little attached to her. I find myself even keying the mic again to say “thank you” after I have her set my alarm for me.
Well, now it looks like everyone’s favorite personal assistant is getting a little better, as WWDC just announced a few new features for Siri. iOS 8 will allow Siri to be triggered hands-free using the command phrase “Hey Siri.” She can also recognize songs via integration from Shazam and even purchase said content directly from iTunes, making it easier than ever to own that new song you just fell in love with. Finally, she can also handle dictation in 22 new languages.
Continuing the Clash of Clans style motif that has worked well for so many other titles of this ilk, Sensei Wars isn’t exactly a particularly original title but it is one that comes with an original element – namely the ability to control a samurai in combat. As is commonly the way, players take time to build up a village; developing it to be independent and strong, while also cultivating a fearsome fighting force to fend off opposition. Things are well balanced here with resources gained from mines and farms, with such gains leading to the option to build new institutions and train up an army of warriors. Timers litter such progress so expect to be waiting around from time to time in order to reap any significant gains. –Jennifer Allen
The joy that can be had by playing Joe Danger is a tricky one to quantify. Anyone who’s played it on a console or PC can confidently say that it’s terrific fun, though. It was the kind of terrific fun that didn’t entirely translate when first coming to iOS in the form of Joe Danger Touch, thanks to touch controls that didn’t quite work as well as expected. That’s all gone when it comes to Hello Games’s latest release, Joe Danger Infinity, with everything feeling that bit sharper and better. –Jennifer Allen
Fun Town for Kids is an interactive app for young children with a city theme where one can scroll back and forth through a charmingly stylized urban landscape; exploring fourteen mini-games found in store fronts and other areas that line this busy street. The different brightly colored shops in Fun Town allow one to sort coins into like piles in a bank or help out in the candy store as a customer will choose, with the aid of an illustrated speech bubble, specific candy while also including fun photos of real candy such as candy canes and gummy candies – details that children will have fun with. –Amy Solomon
Siri has been the integrated iOS go-to virtual assistant for some time now, but despite it becoming the most talked-about client it still tends to have some – albeit slight – depersonalization issues. Speaktoit promises to rectify this by offering users a fully interactive experience by using natural technology language to answer questions, search for information, follow basic commands, and connect the user with a whole network of various web services including Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and more. –Lucy Ingram
If there is any game genre that really hooks me it’s a great detective game. From Phoenix Wright to modern greats like LA Noire, there’s just something exciting about becoming invested in a thought-provoking mystery. The best element of these light-hearted episodic detective adventures is the host of interesting characters that one will happen on along the journey, and Detective Grimoire is a great example of this. –Lucy Ingram
Nothing beats loading a game and hearing the age-old drawling quips of a protagonist I have come to know and love over the years. It has been a while since I’ve played a game that made me feel the way Duke Nukem 3D did; as a young teenage girl getting kicks out of a game that was clearly not designed for someone of my age. That said, it paved the way for my descent into a passion for video-games, and I’ve not looked back since. –Lucy Ingram
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If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Kaizin Rumble sees the player slip into the heels of a Great Leader, evil women who lead armies of creatures known as Kaizin. Being evil, the evil empire the player is part of specializes in hunting down and exterminating heroes. From Kick-Ass style guys in red leotards, to actual bonafiled heroes Great leaders travel the world to crush anything that is good. What this boils down to is a series of strange levels where the player makes their way through each area by spinning a slot machine. Matching symbols causes different events to happen, such as finding money or, most commonly, initiating combat. Combat is a very shallow affair. Attacks are as simple as just tapping on the card to be used and the spinning the slot machine to see what happens. –Allan Curtis
Ninja Hero Cats mixes two of the most popular things on the internet, Ninja and Cats. How could it go wrong? Ninja Hero Cats has a very simple Angry Birds type story. A group of cats who just happen to be ninjas are about to enjoy a meal when suddenly a tentacled mass appears out of the floor and steals it. The cats jump into the strange portal left behind to retrieve their food and an epic battle against hundreds of hostile creatures ensures! –Allan Curtis
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed Joe Danger Infinity, Archangel, Battle Supremacy, simian.interface, and Lost Toys, played with the SteelSeries Stratus, picked the best games of December 2013, and cracked the Detective Grimoire case with a complete walkthrough. All that, and loads more, here.
Recent versions of iOS have made your voice a much bigger part of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch usage experience. Now, it’s possible to use your voice to do many commands with Siri, and to type things out with your voice. Here’s how to use iOS’ voice actions, available on iPhone 4S & 5, iPad 3, 4, & Mini, and iPod touch 5th generation.
Siri is very easy to use. Call up Siri by holding down either the home button or the play/pause button on your headset remote. Siri can respond to a variety of commands, most of which can be seen by tapping the (i) after the “What can I help you with?” text. This shows all the commands that you can speak to Siri, including actions as diverse as sending tweets and getting sports scores.
Siri’s options can be configured by going to Settings->General->Siri. Here, it’s possible to change the language, the default info that Siri will work with, and to enable Raise to Speak.
The other big feature is the ability to type with your voice. Just tap the microphone button next to the space bar, and say what you need to say. Enunciate clearly for the voice recognition to be more accurate. If a word may have multiple possible interpretations, a blue squiggly line will appear underneath the text. Tap the word to get alternate suggestions.
Now, saying the name of a punctuation mark will generally add that in to the sentence you’re speaking. This is especially annoying if you want to talk about how awesome the Jurassic period was. In many cases, using the word “period” in a sentence will default to the punctuation, but if you see that blue squiggly line underneath the preceding word and the punctuation, then you can tap that and a new suggestion that includes the actual word “period” should be suggested. Sometimes the voice recognition will intelligently actually put down the word “period” but it varies on a case-by-case basis.
Finally, do you want to use large capital letters to get people’s attention, but just don’t have the heart to convey your anger through your fingers? Just enable caps lock by double-tapping the Shift key before enabling voice typing.
Hopefully these tips have helped you use the speech-to-text functionality of iOS.
Mercedes Benz has announced that it will use Apple’s Siri voice activated personal assistant software currently available on the iPhone 4S to drive its new “Drive Kit Plus” system that will allow drivers to access and control their iPhone apps with their voice while driving. “Drive Kit Plus” will be integrated with Mercedes Benz Digital Drivestyle system which transmits and formats iPhone screens to in-car screens.
Using “Drive Kit Plus” drivers will be able to control their music, change radio stations, send texts, make phone calls, update their Facebook and Twitter accounts, or even control their Aupeo Personal Radio. “Drive Kit Plus” will also integrate with Garmin GPS systems to provide drivers the ability to find directions and routes through voice commands.
This new, Siri-powered feature is slated for a debut at the 82nd International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland on March 8th and will make Mercedes Benz the first auto manufacturer to integrate Apple tech into their in-car systems.
He spoke not to me, but to my device,
And Jeff quickly asked Siri if I had been nice.
Her answer was good, so he connected Wi-Fi,
And filled my gadgets with even more apps to try!
His work here now done, he gestured with a wave,
And called for his assistant, the jolly Rob LeFebvre.
But I heard them exclaim, as they logged off for the night,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
Siri, the app that is billed as your personal assistant, was bought by Apple recently. While no official announcement has been made, the proper FTC merger announcement making it all but official.
Siri is a voice controlled app that interfaces with lots of web based services providing you access t data like movie show times, events, local businesses, etc. Take a look at this demo video of Siri to get an idea of the power of the app:
My guess is that we’ll see Siri integrated into the OS to replace the less than stellar Voice Control. It would make great sense to increase the quality and the features of Voice Control. Hopefully we’ll see this in iPhone OS 4, but if not I’d expect it quickly after in an update.
Go ahead and grab Siri and give it a preview right now. How would you like to see Apple use this technology on the iPhone?