As “Cortana” Approaches, Remembering Microsoft’s Other Digital Assistant: Ms. Dewey

msdewey & cortana Microsoft is apparently readying its own digital assistant called "Cortana," to take on Apple's Siri and Google Now. Hopefully, Cortana will see more love than Microsoft's other assistant that you have probably long forgotten about. Ms. Dewey. Ms. Dewey? She was an experimental interface launched in October 2006 for Microsoft's search engine Live Search (now called Bing). Actually, she was more an underground marketing campaign. She gained buzz because she was an assistant with attitude, if she had issues with what you searched for. Howard Stern? As this Marketplace report from the ti [...]


Apple Formally Introduces In-Car iOS Integration: CarPlay

Apple CarPlay Sounding more like a Google offering than one from Apple, the iPhone maker formally announced "CarPlay." The service was previewed last year and is being rolled out in vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo at the Geneva International Motor Show this week. Other car makers that are part of the program include BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan  and Toyota among a few others. CarPlay is built around calls, messaging, music and maps currently. Siri is the eyes-free/hands-free controller of the overall CarPlay experience, altho [...]


Would The Real Siri Please Stand Up: Susan Bennett Identified As Woman Behind Iconic iPhone Voice

siri-icon-logo While Apple won't comment, a CNN.com report has identified the voice behind iPhone's Siri as professional voiceover actor Susan Bennett. CNN reporter Jessica Ravitz said Bennett decided to come out of anonymity after The Verge released a video last month mistakenly claiming Siri's voice belonged to voiceover artist Allison Duffy. (Duffy responded to The Verge story on her website by saying she was "absolutely, and positively" not the voice of the iPhone voice application.) "I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally," Bennett told Ravitz when explaining why she is final [...]


Morning After iDay: iPhone 5C, Touch ID And iWork

iOS 7 There was no "iWatch." There was no Apple TV upgrade. There was no iPad or iPod refresh. However almost everything else about yesterday's iPhone event was predicted and endlessly discussed prior to the appearance of Tim Cook & Co. on stage yesterday morning in Cupertino -- even Touch ID, the new fingerprint biometric password substitute. Perhaps the one thing that wasn't correctly predicted was the pricing of the iPhone 5C. Wall Street Analysts and others had expected a much less expensive device for China and other emerging markets. They didn't really get it. The unlocked the 5C wil [...]


New Google Now Cards: Live TV, Music And Offers

Google Now graphic Earlier today, Google introduced some additional Now cards and functionality through an update to its Android search app (not yet for iOS). They extend to live TV, music and location-sensitive offers. Google announced the new features in a post on its Android Google+ site. Here's the list of new capabilities, available for Android 4.1 and above: Information about shows you're watching on your Internet-connected TV Saved offers when nearby a redemption location New voice action: play music from your phone or the Play Store Voice actions tips The most celebrated feature (already) [...]


Apple: iMessage, FaceTime More Secure Than Cell Phones

Apple logo Following the NSA-PRISM surveillance revelations last week and "direct-access rebuttals" by other major tech firms, Apple has released a similar statement denying that the government has unfettered access to its users' data. Apple said, "We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer content must get a court order." The company said it was "authorized [by the US] to share" and that in the past six months "Apple received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data. Between 9,000 and [...]


Siri Goes Bing, iRadio, iOS 7: Major Highlights From The Apple Keynote

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.31.07 PM Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage this morning at the Apple developer conference (WWDC). He's a man under pressure as many investors have turned bearish on the company. The Numbers Cook kicked the keynote off with a bunch of adoption and usage stats: The app store is 5 years old 375K iPad apps (vs. "just a few hundred from other guys") 900K apps overall 50 billion apps downloaded to date App developers have been paid $10 billion by Apple 575 million accounts with associated credit cards (more on that in a minute) 600 million iOS devices sold to date Cook said that Mac grow [...]


Apple Targets Samsung Galaxy S4 & “Google Now” With Amended Patent Claims

google-legal-law In the ongoing "war of the worlds" patent litigation between Apple and Samsung/Google, the Cupertino company has said it will amend its patent infringement claims to include the Galaxy S4. That's according to Foss Patents, which also reports that Apple asserts Google Now infringes two patents associated with Siri. Overall, there are five patents being asserted in the amended Apple pleadings (below). The Siri-related patents are U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 and U.S. Patent No. 6,847,959, which pertain to a "universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system." Apple is [...]


Google Now Arrives For iOS, Expands “Predictive Search” To iPhone & iPad Users

Google Now for iOS Google's "predictive search" service Google Now has finally arrived for iOS users, after being Android-only since it launched last June. Ironically, the ground-breaking service is now available to more iPhone and iPad users than Android ones, because on Android, only the minority with Android 4.1 or higher can access Google Now. We have full coverage of the roll-out on our sister-site Search Engine Land: iPhone & iPad Users To Get Google Now, As It Comes To iOS: News about the launch & how Google Now is part of the Google Search App The Amazing “Google Now” — When Google [...]


WSJ: Yahoo Wants Deeper Relationship With Apple

Yahoo + Apple Earlier in the week, I speculated that Yahoo might be able to follow Facebook's lead and create a Home-like proprietary software layer on top of Android. But, there would be risks in doing so. An alternative way to boost mobile usage and traffic might be to deepen an existing partnership with another operating system that has massive reach: iOS. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting this afternoon that Apple and Yahoo are having a conversation, with no deal imminent, to expand the amount of Yahoo content available to Siri and pre-loaded on Apple devices. According to the WSJ: But [...]


Watch Wars: Samsung Races Apple To Develop Wearable Computer

Pebble smartwatch [caption id="attachment_36725" align="alignright" width="324"] The Pebble[/caption] Consumers have only recently gotten used to smartphones and barely integrated tablets into their routines. Soon they'll be presented with yet another mobile device: wearable computers (watches) from both Apple and Samsung. There are other companies offering or developing versions of a "smartwatch" as well. One such device is the Pebble smartwatch (pictured at right), which raised a record $10 million through kickstarter. It integrates with the iPhone and Android smartphones. The anticipated Apple iWatc [...]


Report: Apple Talking To Foursquare About “Data Sharing”

foursquare-icon Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple and Foursquare were talking about a "data sharing" deal. According to the article: The talks, which took place in recent weeks and involve Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue, are the latest sign of Apple's plans to more tightly integrate local services into the iPhone and iPad. The discussions with New York-based Foursquare come as Apple has been talking to a number of companies that collect local data to improve its new mapping product. The maps service, released in September, has had a rocky reception and faces fierce competition from [...]


How Google’s New Search App For The iPhone Might Steal Searchers Away From Siri

Zooey Deschanel iPhone 4S Google's new Google Search app for iOS is now out, bringing with it a Siri-like quality of speaking to get answers and having them read back. The app is cool, but it can't do all the "assistant" things that Siri can. Then again, for many searches, the Google Search app can be much faster than Siri. That's something which might make Google, rather than Siri, the first choice for iPhone, iPad and other iOS searchers. The Zooey Deschanel Test The Google Search app and Siri are not the same in capabilities. Google is designed to help with searching; Siri can help with searching as well as d [...]


Live Blog: Apple’s iPhone 5 Launched With LTE, Starts $199

IMG_2877 Live from San Francisco, it's Marketing Land's live blog of the big Apple press event, where the new iPhone 5 will almost certainly be announced, along with new iPods, iTunes 11 and more. How can we say that so confidently? Well, 9to5 Mac spotted pages within Apple.com's own search results. While you can't get to the actual pages, they pretty much speak to these product coming out. The tech blogs have gone wild, though these were largely expected. What remains a mystery is whether we'll get the rumored iPad Mini. Another rumor is that this will be announced later this year. Stay tuned. [...]


Google (As Motorola) Sues Apple Over Patents, Seeks US Import Ban On iPhones, Macs

apple-google-featured Apple has been waging a proxy war with Google and Android through its global litigation with Samsung. Now the companies will be directly battling it out in a new action filed by Google subsidiary Motorola before the US International Trade Commission (ITC). Motorola filed and partly won a patent case before the ITC, prior to the Google acquisition. But this is the first case filed under Google ownership. The earlier Motorola ITC patent victory was based on a single claim related to wireless 3G standards. Motorola seeks an import ban on iPhones in that case. A final decision from the administ [...]


Siri Can’t Find Santa Claus, But Android Can

siri android santa Here's irony. Apple has been airing a nice TV ad showing Santa being helped on his Christmas Eve journey with the use of Siri. But while Siri can locate where Santa Claus needs to go, it can't help you find Santa. I noticed this when doing my annual round-up of Santa tracking tools. For fun, I tested asking "Where's Santa" by voice to both my iPhone 4S and my Droid Charge running Android 2.3: That's Siri on the left, saying "I don't know who 'Santa' is." On the right, Android interpreted my search as a request to find Santa on a map which, because of the way Google Maps For Mobile is [...]


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