Ap­ple makes Siri smarter and rolls out soft­ware improvements

7 Days in Dubai - - TECH TALK -

Ap­ple is work­ing to make its iPhone and other gad­gets smarter, re­spond­ing to com­peti­tors’ re­cent moves by build­ing more ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence into its Siri dig­i­tal as­sis­tant, photos, maps and other on­line ser­vices. The tech gi­ant kicked off its an­nual soft­ware con­fer­ence by an­nounc­ing new soft­ware fea­tures for the Ap­ple Watch and Ap­ple TV, as well as un­veil­ing a new de­sign for the Ap­ple Mu­sic ser­vice. It’s also ex­tend­ing Ap­ple Pay to the web, so users can pay for pur­chases made on their Mac com­put­ers us­ing the fin­ger­print au­tho­ri­sa­tion on their iPhone or Ap­ple Watch. Most of th­ese new fea­tures won’t ar­rive un­til the au­tumn. Ap­ple’s wise­crack­ing dig­i­tal as­sis­tant will play a larger role in the com­pany’s prod­ucts. On Monday, Ap­ple an­nounced that Siri will be com­ing to Mac desk­top and lap­top com­put­ers, where it can lo­cate files and per­form other feats. Siri will also gain new ca­pa­bil­i­ties with Ap­ple TV, where it will let you launch live TV view­ing with voice com­mand and search YouTube and the iTunes store for videos. Per­haps more im­por­tant, Ap­ple is let­ting Siri work with ap­pli­ca­tions made by other com­pa­nies. The change will open up new ways for Siri to help iPhone own­ers get things done more quickly.

Ap­ple’s AI improvements aren’t re­stricted to Siri. An up­date to the iMes­sage app, for in­stance, will rely on ma­chine learn­ing to au­to­mat­i­cally sug­gest ap­pro­pri­ate emoji to place along­side texts. It will also show graph­ics and thumb­nails of the in­for­ma­tion con­tained in a web link and au­to­mat­i­cally play on­line videos when they’re opened by a re­cip­i­ent.

Other changes were more aes­thetic. The mes­sag­ing app, for in­stance, will let users al­ter the size of the bub­bles sur­round­ing the text to help con­vey the feel­ings un­der­ly­ing the words. An ex­pres­sion of love might get a large bub­ble while a mes­sage of con­do­lence might be shown in a very small one. The fea­ture is sim­i­lar to an up­com­ing Google mes­sag­ing app called Allo. Both are ex­pected in a few months.

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