Ex-Apple employees dish out dirt on Siri; vision for the virtual assistant lost with the death of Steve Jobs

As we’ve pointed out before, Siri has been losing ground in the virtual assistant race, surpassed by Alexa and Google Assistant. Last weekend, we told you that Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky blames Apple for taking what was originally devised as a travel and entertainment concierge app, and turning it into a digital helper for all iOS users. This morning, a published report contains comments from former Apple employees commenting on Siri.

The report gives the late Steve Jobs credit for having the vision to put Siri on the iPhone. Apple purchased Siri on April 8th, 2010 for $200 million, …

Siri co-founder says Apple is asking too much of its virtual assistant

When Siri debuted on the Apple iPhone 4s back on October 14th 2011 (tap on the above video), it gave Apple a huge lead in the virtual assistant race. And while Apple has improved Siri over the subsequent seven years, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are considered the top two virtual assistants currently available. Ironically, Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky says that the problem is that Apple is asking Siri to be too many things to too many people.

According to Winarsky, before Apple bought Siri on April 8th, 2010, the plan was to use the virtual assistant as a travel and entertainment …

New VR headset Moto Mod, the Motorola Virtual Viewer, surfaces

As Motorola works to officially unveil the next-generation modular Moto Z3 series, we could see a whole slew of new Moto Mod accessories for the entire line going back to 2016’s Moto Z lineup. A new tweet disseminated today by prolific tipster Evan Blass, reveals that one of the next Moto Mods will be a VR headset named the Motorola Virtual Viewer. Blass leaked an image of the box and the actual headset.

It would appear that the Virtual Viewer will be a Daydream headset, and the phone will connect to the device inside the front of the VR viewer. That would seem to be the case judging from …

Google to add new languages and features to Google Assistant as the virtual helper goes global

Google announced today that its digital virtual assistant, Google Assistant, is taking its act on the road. And by on the road, we mean that Google has plans to make Assistant available to consumers all around the world. Already offered in eight languages, by the end of the year Google Assistant will be available in more than 30 languages. 95% of the eligible Android devices worldwide will be able to install Google Assistant by the time 2018 comes to an end.

The first new languages to support both the Android and iOS Google Assistant app over the next few months will be Danish, Dutch, Hindi, …

Siri finishes last in test against other smart speaker virtual assistants

A smart speaker is made up of a speaker and a virtual assistant. Apple finally got around to launching its HomePod smart speaker yesterday, and while it delivers what users are calling a premium audio experience, the device is apparently falling short in the virtual assistant department according to a test run by a venture capital firm named Loup Ventures. The test featured four virtual assistants including Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana.

In a report released on Saturday written by former Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, it was disclosed that the …

Wrapping up 2017 for tech's surprise personality of the year, virtual assistant Alexa

What a year 2017 was for Amazon’s virtual personal assistant Alexa. The success of Alexa this year went hand-in-hand with the success of the smart speaker category in general, and the Amazon Echo line specifically. In addition, Alexa was also spotted on other non Amazon products. For example, owners of the HTC U11 flagship phone can choose between Alexa and Google Assistant when they have a task that requires the use of a personal assistant. Alexa can also be found on the Huawei Mate 9 and on any Moto Z phone that is sporting the Moto Mod Speaker with Amazon Alexa accessory.

This year, Alexa …

5 of the best virtual pet apps that will scratch that Tamagotchi itch

Remember Tamagotchi? The cute little virtual pets that we used to have on a key chain as children? They were quite fun to take care of, especially if your parents didn’t allow a real pet in the house. Of course, it was quite annoying when you had to clean up after it in three o’clock in the morning, but you sometimes get that with a real mischievous cat, so it only added to the experience.

Well, Tamagotchi toys are now making a comeback, yet not a lot of people, be it children or grown-ups, would want a separate device to carry around, just to have a virtual pet.

Luckily, plenty of …

Apple ARKit app lets you record Mannequin Challenge style videos with virtual objects


While some developers working with ARKit are trying to figure out how to make augmented reality apps for productivity, even more are using it to let us have fun in new ways. 

That’s definitely the idea behind a new app from Ataru Tou called MagicMovieCamera, which lets you place various virtual objects in real spaces and then record yourself reacting those objects. 

What is this good for? Why an enhanced version of the Mannequin Challenge, of course. Or maybe even pretending you’re Neo in The Matrix.

MagicMovieCamera with ARkit! Real time Time stop!!just like DIO’s THEWORLD!! #MagicMovieCamera #ARkit #jojo #Iphone8 #CG #vr #IOS11 #AR pic.twitter.com/7ynh5zgs8B

— ATARUTOU (@ADARUTOU) August 28, 2017 Read more…

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Devices featuring Alexa and Cortana will be able to swap virtual assistants

With 2017 arguably the year of Alexa, the virtual personal assistant category itself was in the news often, thanks to the emergence of smart speakers. The relatively new device, led by Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, has branched out into the latest new “smart” tech product that could end up under many Christmas Trees and inside Chanukah gift boxes this holiday season. Each smart speaker utilizes a virtual assistant. The Amazon Echo uses Alexa, Google Home has Google Assistant, the Invoke features Cortana and the Apple Home Pod is equipped with Siri.

This morning, Microsoft and Alexa announced …

Righty: the SMS-based virtual assistant that makes the case for AI – Human partnership

AI technology is blooming, largely thanks to the increase in computing power that’s also widely available to the masses. The average smartphone today is powerful enough to run reasonably complicated AI and machine learning algorithms that would have taken desktop-level computing power just a few years ago. Established technological powerhouses like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft – as well as budding entrepreneurs – are in on the action, looking to leverage AI to add more value to their products and help improve our quality of life.

Righty is a startup found by two high school students …