iPhone


New iPhone Feature — Humans Are Doomed

For an Apple event, it was pretty dull. Nothing terribly new and I wasn’t impressed with the new iPhone but the following just blew my mind but technology has certainly come a long way and it is certainly a bit freaky.

The following is from New York Times’ live blog of the Apple event earlier today discussing the new feature on the iPhone called Siri — a personal voice-control assistant that Apple purchased last year. I will try to find a video of it if I can, otherwise the text is plenty enough.

“We left one thing out,” says Mr. Schiller. “It’s about our voice.” This is the fruit of Apple’s acquisition of Siri, a startup that has been working on voice-control features. Siri is now a feature on the iPhone. “It’s an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done, just by asking.”

“Probably the craziest thing you can do is do a voice-recognition demo on stage, live,” says Mr. Schiller. “But we’re going to do it anyway.”

Scott Forstall, Apple’s iOS chief, is back on stage. He asks the phone, “What is the weather today?” The phone replies, “Here is the weather for today,” and displays the weather screen.

Mr. Forstall asks, “Do I need a raincoat today?” The phone replies, “It sure looks like rain today,” and shows the weather screen again.

“What time is it in Paris?” he asks. The phone replies with the time in Paris and shows a clock. “Wake me up at 6 a.m.,” says Mr. Forstall. “O.K., I’ve set an alarm for 6 a.m. tomorrow,” the phone replies. This is amazing. And freaky.

Apple’s set up a partnership with Yelp as well. “Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto.” The phone says: “I’ve located 14 Greek restaurants. Five are in Palo Alto. I’ve sorted them by rating.”

You can ask Siri for directions. It can read text messages to you. You can reply or ask it to read them again.

Mr. Forstall: “Do I have any meetings this Friday at noon?” Phone: “You don’t have any meetings on Friday at noon.”

Siri can schedule events in your calendar, read messages, take dictation, all by voice. You can create a reminder by voice. “Remind me to call my wife when I leave work,” says Mr. Forstall. Siri, based on previous conversations, knows who your wife is and uses geolocation to remind you when you leave a location. You can search Wikipedia by voice.

Apple has also linked up with Wolfram Alpha to provide data and definitions for Siri to access. “Define mitosis,” says Mr. Forstall. Siri generates and reads back a definition.

We are clearly headed to Terminator/HAL territory here. Humans are doomed. Deal with it.

Mr Forstall asks Siri, “Who are you?” Siri replies, “I am a humble personal assistant.”

That’s just chilling.

Jenna Wortham adds: Will this kind of personal assistant technology turn into the latest battleground between Apple and Google? Android has already baked several voice-recognition features into its software, including transcribing voice messages to text and letting users browse the Web using verbal commands. But Siri could help nudge the technology into the mainstream.

More voice recognition: Anywhere a keyboard appears on the phone’s screen, there will be a microphone button, so you can dictate anything. Siri will initially support English, French and German. It will be released in a beta version, with more languages and features added in time.

 

 


WhatsApp Messenger 4

I just downloaded WhatsApp Messenger on my Android.

It is a Smartphone Messenger which replaces SMS. This app even lets me send pictures, video and other multi-media!

WhatsApp Messenger is available for Android, iPhone, Nokia and BlackBerry and there is no PIN or username to remember – it works just like SMS and uses your internet data plan.

Get it now from http://www.whatsapp.com/download/ and say good-bye to SMS.

Although it is pretty convenient to use, it still is not the solution to everything. I have this on my phone but I will still rather prefer to email anyway.

The things I do like about it are the ability to group text, send images or other forms of media instantly to everyone in your group. Since this uses your data plan, it allows you to text/mms people at any number around the world.

If you have already downloaded the app, let me know what you think of it.


How To Enable MMS Through iTunes 2

It took a ridiculously long time for MMS to be enabled on the iPhone but it is finally here. Here’s how to enable it on your phone if you haven’t done it yet.

1. Download iTunes 9.0.1 (if you don’t already have it).

2. Connect your iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS to your computer and open iTunes.

MMS Carrier Settings

3. Once the iPhone MMS update is available, you will see the following message on iTunes: “An update to the carrier settings for your iPhone is available. Would you like to install it now?“. Click “Update Settings“.

MMS Carrier Settings Updated

4. After you click “Update Settings“, iTunes will show the following message: “Your iPhone carrier settings were updated successfully“. Click “Ok“.

5. Reboot your iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS. Hold down your power button until the Slide to Power off button appears, slide to power off. When your iPhone is off, press the power button to turn it on again.

You should now have MMS on your iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS!

Note: This won’t work on the iPhone 2G.

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Pokemon On The iPhone 3G? 5

I think a large market was missed by Nintendo when they decided not to develop some sort of a Pokemon game for the iPhone. It has been quite clear for a long time that the iPhone has become a gaming platform and Pokemon by no means is a graphically intense game that could not be played. You see the games (via roms) available through Cydia.

This guy over at “Loot Ninja” has obviously gone bonkers and if the editor-in-chief’s screen name (drunk pandas) is any indication, they must have obviously been intoxicated on something to make the following claim:

Pokemon on your iPhone is pretty interesting, but I think that this game is a bit silly seeing as the people that own an iPhone are not in the right age group to enjoy Pokemon.

I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind can state that? People with cell phones (including the iPhone) are getting it at a younger and younger age. You see kids as young as freshmen or sophomores in high school with the iPhone and you can’t say that that is not the “right age group”.

Pokemon was became a transcendent game when it came out in 1996 – which was 13 years ago! Let’s just assume that a kid was 10 years old (4th grade) when he started playing at the time the game came out. Today he would be 23 years old and I can tell you from personal experience, that a kid that young at the time would still be very interested in playing Pokemon for the iPhone.

I guarantee that I am not the only one who shares my sentiment. What do you think? Is Pokemon too childish for a mobile device that already has such games as “Wheels on the Bus” and “Toddler Flashcards” amongst countless other children applications that already exist. People need to get away from making excuses for why something should not be done and Nintendo should find a way of getting Pokemon on the iPhone — before I defect to the ways of Cydia and get it myself.

iPhone-Children


Apple Genius Bar Is Filled With Idiots 17

Usually I am all for buying things online and even talking to customer service over the phone or online instead of physically going to the store to deal with a matter. For some reason, when my headset for the iPhone stopped working I decided it would be a great idea to go to the store to get a replacement instead of trying to see whether they could mail it to me.

I walked into the Apple Store at Menlo Park Mall and was immediately greeted by a nice guy who asked me about my problem. I ended up going to the Genius Bar desk where I went on to describe that recently my right side of my headset stopped working. I probably could have lasted longer with my headset but that is also the side with the microphone that I use to talk on the phone so the problem escalated in priority for me. The first lady who looked at my headset went back to ask a “technician” whether this was covered in the AppleCare Protection Plan. On their own website, it clearly states that the plan “covers iPhone & iPhone Bluetooth hands-free headset and included accessories” which I think is fair to say covers my problem.

Initially, they tried to scheme me into admitting that I physically broke my headset by either stepping over or not “properly” using it. I was there with my brother where we both argued what is the point of the Protection Plan if it does not cover a simple problem like the headset? After being quite disappointed with the level of customer service I walked out and ended up calling Apple Customer Service before I even reached my car. The guys (Brian & Scott) on the other end were very friendly throughout the entire conversation. All he did was ask me about my problem, asked for my serial number and told me to wait 2 minutes while he asked someone whether he could help me out. 2 minutes later, he came back on the line to tell me that he was ready to mail me my new headset.

Since I was already out when I called, I asked him whether I could just pick it up at the store instead of him having to mail me and having to wait a couple of days before I could have this problem fixed. He told me some CS code or number and gave me his direct line in case the store employee gave me trouble.

I walked back in the store and lady that initially told me that I couldn’t have a replacement listen as I explained that I called Apple Customer Service and they issued me a code that I can pick up a replacement headset for free. A couple of employees including the manager there at the time looked me like I had 3 eyes on my face or was an alien or something. They seemed to have never heard of this number issued by Customer Service to customers. The lady took the phone number and the CS code and walked into the backroom saying she would be right back. About 10-15 minutes of waiting later, she walked out saying she could not reach the person and was only getting his voicemail. I took the piece of paper back from her, dialed the number myself and reached him immediately – which makes me question how much she really tried to reach the guy. So I ended up calling Scott and had the in-store manger talk to him as he explained what he had done for me.

After having this discussion, I thought my troubles would be over and they would simply just hand me a headset… and I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried.

Turns out even for a simple replacement, they needed me to schedule an appointment where they needed to fill out paper work for the replacement equipment and needed a “technician” to come out and replace the part for me. I just cannot believe that they needed a technician to issue me a new headset and somehow the person behind the Genius Bar couldn’t do a simple parts replacement. The manager tells me to wait until the next technician which he couldn’t give me an accurate estimate on how long it would take. He estimated it would be 10 to 15 minutes and after a 20-25 minute wait later, a guy named Dan who I presumed is the “technician” called me up, entered took my name/email/serial number and printed out a receipt along with my replacement.

So about one hour, two phone calls to Apple Customer Service and talking to five different Apple employees later, I painfully and finally got my replacement headset.