Apple has taught Siri how to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for depressed iPhone owners. Previously Siri would only suggest nearby suicide prevention centers when a user told her that they felt like killing themselves, but now she will suggest calling the national prevention hotline, and offer to do the dialing for them. Siri will only read the 1-800 number to suicidal iPad and iPod touch owners, who can't place calls with their devices. Apple added the new Siri service via a server-side update on Tuesday.
Siri is going to be getting a lot of new features when iOS 7 is released later this year, but Apple must have thought this was too important to wait. However, Siri still won't dial 9-1-1 when asked to call for emergency services. That you still have to do on your own.
I decided to cut Siri out of my life a long time ago by installing Google Search on my iPhone instead. Using Google's voice search or the Google search bar is a lot easier than asking Siri three times for an answer she's just going to Google anyway. But no matter how much iOS users ignore her, the Apple voice assistant refuses to go away. Siri has decided to get a makeover, learn a few new tricks, and become a man. If that's not a cry for attention, I don't know what is.
Apple announced at its keynote that Siri will feature a new female and male voice and promised it will deliver faster results and check more sources like Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Not very exciting news if you ask me, however, Siri will also be able to return calls, playback your voicemail, and control iTunes Radio.
Apple revealed that Siri stores a user's data for up to two years. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told Wired.com that all queries are transferred to Apple’s data farm, where a random number is generated to represent the user. The user number is “disassociated" from the voice file after six months, but the voice data is kept for up to 18 more months for "testing and product improvement purposes".
You can find local movies, movie times and purchase tickets with your iPhone by simply saying "movies" after prompting Siri. To buy tickets through Siri you must have the Fandango app installed. You can download the free app here. Once it is installed, ask Siri for "movies", select the movie location and time you want, then tap "Buy Tickets". This will open the Fandango app which will allow you to buy advanced tickets for the movie you have selected.
You can disable the ability to access to Siri from your lock screen by navigating to Settings >> General >> Passcode Lock. Tap the Siri On/Off slider, under the Allow Access When Locked section, to turn it off. This will stop anyone from accessing Siri while your phone is locked.
One of the most frustrating things about Siri is having to restart when she doesn't understand your question, but there is a better solution than just hitting your Home button. You can manually correct Siri by using your device's keyboard. For example, if you are trying to locate "Dubai" on a map, and Siri searches for "goodbye", just tap the incorrect answer to open your keyboard. You can now use the keyboard to replace "goodbye" with "Dubai", then tap the "Done" button to resend the question. This is much easier than asking Siri the same question multiple times until she gets it right.
A new Dutch horror film called App aims to make cell phone usage in theaters socially acceptable by allowing users to interact with the movie via their smartphones. Moviegoers are encouraged to download a free app from the App Store which uses special technology to send messages and images to the audience in real time.
2CFilm, who produced the movie, is touting App as the first movie with a "second screen", and promises the film will stand alone for those who prefer to keep their cell phones turned off. However, the producers didn't explain what happens when people using the app start to receive outside calls or texts during the movie.
Apple's Maps manager Richard Williamson was fired after flaws in the mapping software "hurt" the iPhone 5, according to Bloomberg. Senior Vice President Eddy Cue fired Williamson, who oversaw the Apple Maps development, on Tuesday. Unnamed sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Cue is planning to “install a new leadership team” to oversee the Maps application, and is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts TomTom NV.
Apple has been criticized for ditching Google Maps for its own inferior mapping software. The Maps debacle didn't hurt iPhone 5 sales, but it did force Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a rare apology for an Apple product. The Apple Maps mess also prompted Nokia and Google to create rival mapping apps to be used with iOS devices. Nokia's HERE app is already available for download, while Google is expected to unveil its map application in the near future.
The latest major update to the iOS Apple Store app is here. Passbook integration was expected but Apple didn't stop there. Users of the app can now use Siri to get information about Apple products using voice queries.
Changes have been made to point-of-sale devices in Apple's retail stores to complement the additional functionality found in the Apple Store app. Passbook-ready digital gift cards came online just yesterday, and can now be purchased, gifted and used to pay for Apple products.
Google Search is getting rave reviews, and side-by-side comparisons have shown Google's voice assistant is much faster and sometimes more accurate than Apple's Siri. Jalbreakers who would like to kick Siri to the curb can do so by downloading the NowNow jailbreak utility from the BigBoss repo in Cydia. NowNow allows you to replace Siri by launching the Google Search app with an Activator function. To do so, just download the utility, locate the NowNow option under Settings and tap Activation Methods. You can then select the function you would like to use to activate the Google Search app. To replace Siri select "Short Hold" under the Home Button options. Holding the Home Button will now bring up the Google Search app instead of the Siri screen.