Siri Gets Song Recognition, 22 New Languages and Touchless Wake Command

Siri may have been the star of Apple's WWDC keynote presentation in 2011, but the personal voice assistant only got a slight mention near the end of the company's iOS 8 preview this year. Apple quickly touched on Siri's new song recognition talent and a few other features, before moving on to the new developer tools in iOS 8.

Siri Song Recognition

iOS 8 users will be able to access Shazam's popular audio recognition database by asking Siri, "What song is playing". The voice assistant will then identify any song playing in the background and offer users the chance to buy that song through iTunes. This new feature comes as no surprise since Bloomberg leaked it back in April.

How to Make Siri Always Listen for Commands

The computer that always listens for voice commands used to be the stuff of science fiction. Google has already initiated Ok Google as a code word to listen for further commands on Android devices, and now iPhone users have the jailbreak tweak OkSiri. Normally, Siri requires a long press of the home button to start listening. With OkSiri installed, an Activator gesture tells Siri to be ready for a custom code word.

iOS 7 jailbreak Siri listening

Once installed, the first step is to define the code word that will invoke the main Siri screen. By default, this word is set to Ok Siri under Settings -> OkSiri. To change the work or phrase, enter the text and then activate and deactivate Siri the traditional way. With the code word configured, the next procedure requires assigning an Activator gesture to OkSiri. This makes it possible to switch the listening mode on or off.

Where is Siri's Back Button?

Siri may have improved a lot since its launch in 2011, but the lack of a "back" button on some of its results can be infuriating. This especially true when you're searching for places such as local restaurants. There is a back button on the "Details" page for each individual restaurant that takes you back to your original query, but there is no way to go back once you have accessed the Maps app for directions.

Siri Back Button

It seems like a no brainer that you should be able to return to the original Siri results without having to ask the same question over and over. However, this does not work anytime you leave Siri to open a separate app. You can however get back to your original search results by following these instructions:

New Patent Suggests Siri Will Soon be Able to Search Photos

Apple's overhauled Photos application that debuted with iOS 7 earlier this year introduced automatic photo sorting by date and location. A new patent application that surfaced at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday suggests that Apple wants to improve upon this idea by allowing users to tag photos and search for them using Siri.

Siri photo search

The patent, entitled "Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching," describes how the idea works in its abstract: "The electronic device provides a natural language text string corresponding to a speech input associated with the digital photograph. The electronic device performs natural language processing on the text string to identify one or more terms associated with an entity, an activity, or a location. The electronic device tags the digital photograph with the one or more terms and their associated entity, activity, or location." That is basically a long-winded way of saying that you


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