• Tech Talk 4 Geeks: Siri For Mac

    Tech Talk 4 Geeks: Siri For Mac

    The newest version of Apple TV has a lot of cool advanced features. Chief among these is Siri integration, which we’re betting a lot of people still don’t know how to use. Here then are 17 things you can do with Siri on it. Each of Apple's all-day Tech Talks will include morning sessions focused on the Apple TV's capabilities, designing apps, creating interfaces, integrating the Siri remote and game controllers,. The latest Tweets from Tech Talk 4 Geeks (@TechTalk4Geeks). The Official Twitter Account for Tech Talk 4 Geeks!

    For anyone looking for another reason to not buy HomePod, Apple and Amazon announced today that. Starting the week of December 17, you'll be able to ask Alexa to play a song using Apple Music. It's almost poetic that Apple Music as the most popular music streaming service in the U.S. Is available on one of the most popular smart speakers. But it does speak of Apple's position on HomePod. Amazon won't sell HomePod because it's technically a competing product, which is being generous calling it that.

    I've lost almost any reason to buy a HomePod with this news. IHeartRadio has been the Frankenstein of music streaming. It tried AM/FM streaming, Pandora style-streaming, and Apple Music-style streaming all at the same time, but ended up failing. With iHeartMedia filing for bankruptcy, Apple is taking a look at buying a stake in the group Source:. My opinion will vary based on how Apple implemented this, but I think it would be good for Apple to have some stake in iHeartMedia. I live in Arizona for university, but I enjoy listening to old fashioned AM/FM radio from California.

    I can listen to it through iHeartRadio, but I don't enjoy using their app. I think if Apple took iHeartMedia's stations and put them into the Apple Music's radio section, they could strike gold. Asking Siri to play a specific station with HomePod would certainly intrigue me more. Android users would have more incentive to download the Apple Music app and listen to their favorite stations at no cost. IHeartMedia, though bankrupt, could do a lot for Apple. According to Apple via, the iPhone XR has been outselling the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max everyday since the device's launch. This is a clear indication that the cheaper price point is good for Apple.

    Now, a lot of people are interpreting this as iPhones are doing fine. Which is weird because this came from an Apple's VP of Marketing. Apple would never admit the iPhone is doing terrible. To say the iPhone XR is outselling the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max is like saying a turtle is faster than a snail. This doesn't mean that the rumors of cutting iPhone XR production is false. The latest device that can unlock your iPhone has arrived. Earlier this year, there was the GrayKey box, which was advertised to law enforcement.

    Now we have DriveSavers, who have that can unlock an iPhone marketed towards consumers. It works on iOS, in addition to Android, Windows, and Blackberry products. While Apple may patch out this device's usability, it's doubtful a company like Blackberry would, so it would still have some use. The device is priced at about $3,900 and is for device owners only.

    In early August, Apple became the world's first trillion dollar company. They went under $1 trillion earlier this month and now they have lost the most valuable company title to Microsoft, at about $814 billion Source:. That's a pretty big fall from a trillion. Many believe that the fall is due to the mediocre sales of the latest iPhones. I hope this helps Apple realize that their logo on a product does not guarantee sales. Sales are earned, and it's clear that the latest iPhones were not deserving of the same sales as some other iPhones. As I have mentioned earlier this week, Apple is not known for great Black Friday deals.

    Now, their Black Friday shopping event is taking place. You can get various Apple gift cards depending on which product you get. This is a horrible deal, especially when considering the deals available from major retailers this year.

    I think, at the very least, we should get gift cards on price tier. But instead, Apple uses gift cards as incentive to clear out their products taking up too much stock.

    The iPhone XS has sold horribly, but there is no gift card available. Gift cards would be great for newer products because you can use the gift cards to buy accessories for the product right on the spot. Older products typically have less accessories, depending on the product. I hope we can get better deals in future years. Ever since the first rumors of the iPhone XS, we've heard rumblings that the iPhone X would be discontinued. That was true, but could now be reversed.

    The iPhone X could be put back into production and we can attribute that to the poor sales of the iPhone XS and iPhone XR Source:. If true, we could see a lower priced iPhone X that may be able to entice customers.

    The iPhone X is a fine smartphone. I personally love mine without taking a second glance at the iPhone XS. So, if Apple sold this phone a few hundred less than the iPhone XS, many people might consider it instead of the iPhone XR.

    A while back, Amazon and Microsoft teamed up to bring Alexa to Microsoft's smart speaker and Cortana to Amazon's Echo line. While this isn't a collaboration of any kind, Google has now used the Siri Shortcuts feature in iOS 12 to make it possible to activate the Google Assistant from Siri. Update the Google app on your iOS device and follow the 'Add to Siri' prompt. You should be able to use the phrase you use for Google Assistant. If you pick 'Hey Google,' you would essentially say 'Hey Siri, Hey Google.' Apple has had a rocky streak in recent years with their holiday ads. So, I'm glad they've turned that around this year with a pretty good ad.

    It's called 'Share Your Gifts' and it does a good job connecting the 'creativity' theme Apple has been promoting recently. Consistency is key here. This ad centers around a girl who keeps her artistic creations to herself, until her dog accidentally lets her papers fly out of her window for the world to see. This ad does a lot right that previous ads do not. If you write a lot of emails, you know the feeling of instant regret when you forget to add an attachment to an email you've already sent.

    If you can relate, Gmail has you covered. I don't know how long this has been a feature, but I encountered the message below the other day. I mention an attachment in my email and I forgot to attach one. Google notices this and prompts me if I still want to send the message. Think the 'your message doesn't have a subject' reminder, but it's actually useful. All in all, this is a handy little feature that can go a long way. Apple is notorious for not having great Black Friday deals, but at least we can look to other retail giants for great deals on Apple's latest products.

    If you're looking for an exhaustive list, I recommend checking out on them. That being said, there are a few deals I wanted to point out. The regular iPad is getting cheaper and cheaper, which makes it a steal when it goes on sale. The 32 GB 9.7-inch iPad will be available starting at just $249.99 (usually $329.99) at Target and Walmart. For 128 GB, Best Buy has it available for $329.99 instead of $429.99. The 9.7-inch iPad is great in that it just works.

    It gets the job done. A lightweight, portable device that does everything you expect from an iPad. And it's still well supported, despite being thrown in the shadow with the new iPad Pro. The HomePod is getting a much needed discount at Best Buy. It will be just $249.99 instead of $349.99. While this is still relatively expensive for a smart speaker today, it certainly looks way better by comparison to the MSRP. I did mention earlier that I don't recommend HomePod in its current state, but for anyone who really wants HomePod and can't hold out until a cheaper model is released, this is certainly the time to buy it.

    Overall, you can't expect too many great deals for Black Friday after Apple announced so many products just now. Unless they're older deals, you'll have to pay full price for the shiny new gadgets that have hype around them. There is a very clear difference in the naming of the iPhone during the Steve Jobs era and the Tim Cook era. Up to the iPhone 5s, the naming of the iPhone was very simple and clear.

    IPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S. I could order any way and it would be very clear which model is the superior model. Let's move on.

    IPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone Xr. You can slowly see the naming degenerate, especially with this last year. The introduction of the 'Plus' naming makes sense, but many will remember how ridiculous the name 'iPhone 6s Plus' sounded when it first released. That was nowhere near where we are today. But the pattern is still there. Number model, S model.

    The S model is obviously superior to the number model, so evolution is still clear. Apple did change the styling of the S and made it lowercase for some reason.

    Then, we just go from iPhone 7 to iPhone 8. But then, we skip the iPhone 9 entirely, and go to iPhone X (pronounced 'iPhone Ten'). Furthermore, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X were all released in the same year. In addition, there's no iPhone X Plus, so if you wanted the larger iPhone we have in the iPhone Xs Max today, then you'd be out of luck. Now let's move to the twisted present.

    IPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr. I cannot bring myself to call it the 'iPhone Ten-S' for whatever reason, but that terrible name aside, we randomly drop the 'Plus' for 'Max' for next to no reason. But now we have the iPhone Xr.

    The iPhone Xr actually uses a 'stylized lowercase R' which makes it look like a capital letter, but it's really lowercase, which is an entirely different can of worms. The iPhone Xr is technically the latest iPhone, so you'd expect it to be superior to the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. But it's cheaper. Oh, so it's the budget model? Well, yes and no. The screen is bigger than the iPhone Xs by a considerable amount. There is no sense of any linearity with these iPhones. There was a time where it was outstandingly clear which iPhone was the best.

    Back then, you could easily say that iPhone was the best smartphone period. But now, I realize that marketing is the real field that everyone should be pursuing, because now we know some team got paid a lot of money to create the 'iPhone Xs Max' name. I got a chance to try the new Apple Pencil the other day. The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was the difference in just holding it.

    The original Apple Pencil had this weird heft that doesn't belong in a pencil. This pencil is much lighter, and it doesn't feel like you're waving around a lightsaber every time you draw a line with it. The other difference is the material.

    The original Apple Pencil had a glossy texture. If I were to describe the new texture used, I would call it 'synthetic wood.' My point is, it felt way more like a pencil, rather than an overpriced stylus.

    I didn't use it enough to see how useful it would be in normal use, but I can imagine that it's an essential for iPad Pro users.

    PrintThe earbuds that we know today have a long and storied history but came into their own when Apple introduced them with the earliest iPods in 2001. That was also the year that Bluetooth enabled products started to reach consumers. Since then, the combination of those two products has continued to evolve and the Jabra Halo Smart is the latest example of how far we have come in personal wireless listening.

    Apple Tech Talk Scorecard Pros Cons Easy Set Up Controls can be confusing Comfortable to wear Wind can interfere with conversations Good sound quality Very short charging cable Jabra Halo Smart – Unboxing The Jabra Halo Smart is a new entry in the growing category of Bluetooth headsets. In the box is the Jabra Halo Smart headset, a USB to micro-USB charging cord, 3 sets of extra eargels (X-small, small and large) to help provide an individualized fit, a Quick Start Guide and some paperwork covering product registration, warranty and a warning guide. The main unit, which is worn around your neck measures 5.6” long x 5.6” wide x 1.4” deep and weighs a mere 1.34 oz. The cords for the earbuds themselves add an additional 8.3” to the overall length. The earpieces contain magnets that allow you to clip them together or attached them to corresponding areas on the sides of the main neckband.

    The Jabra Halo Smart is controlled by use of buttons located on the lower portion of the neckband. On the left side of the neckband is a “Voice” button to place and answer calls. Just below the Voice button is the built-in microphone.

    On the right side are buttons for volume up and volume down. In the center of those two is a “multi-function button.

    More on that in a moment. The neckband has two “flex zones” that allow you to shape the Jabra Halo Smart to your individual size for a more custom fit.

    The included lithium-ion battery is rated for 17 hours of talk time and 22 days of standby time and can be fully charged in about 2 hours. You charge the battery by lifting up the rubber cover on the neckband and connecting the micro USB cord. The battery status is displayed by a single LED indicator on the inner edge of the neckband. You can also hear the status of the battery by tapping the Volume up or Volume down button when you are not listening to music or on a call. What You See What You Hear What It Means Green LED Full Battery 50-100% battery Yellow LED Medium Battery 20-50% battery Red LED Low Battery 20% or Below battery The Jabra Halo Smart User Guide recommends that you use the included Micro-USB cord to charge the unit but given that the included cord is only 12.2 inches long, you will need to be right next to your computer or have a very accessible AC charger available. We would have liked to see a longer cord included to make access to charging easier. Jabra Halo Smart Set-up Setting up the Jabra Halo Smart was quick and easy and out of the box, the device is set to provide voice prompts as you go through the Bluetooth connection process.

    To pair the unit to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, follow these simple instructions. Go into Settings Bluetooth so that your iDevice is in Discovery Mode. Ensure that the Jabra Halo Smart is off, and then press and hold the Multi-function button for 5 seconds, until the LED flashes blue. If you are wearing the headset, you will also here a voice-guided announcement which will guide you through the rest of the process. Once the pairing process is done, you will see the Jabra Halo Smart appear in the Bluetooth Device list on your iDevice. Select it and the pairing process is completed.

    We connected the Jabra Halo Smart to several iDevices and had no problems with any of them. The Jabra Halo Smart can be paired with up to 8 devices and connected to 2 at the same time. This would be very convenient if you and a friend are watching a movie on an iPad or want to listen to music at the same time.

    As a final step, we downloaded the Jabra Assist app from the Apple App Store. Perhaps we expected too much but we were disappointed at how little the app really did. Jabra Halo Smart Test Results Most of the functions of the Jabra Halo Smart are controlled by the multi-function button, either alone or in combination with the other buttons on the headset. We found it difficult to remember all of the combinations for the things we could do but suspect with a little time and practice, these would become more familiar. Here are just some of the different functions. Turn on headset Press and hold the Multi-function button for 3 seconds Turn off headset Press and hold the Multi-function button for 5 seconds Play or pause music Tap the Multi-function button Answer or end a call Tap the Multi-function button Reject a call Double-tap the Multi-function button Turn Voice Guidance on Press and hold the Volume up and the Voice button for 3 seconds.

    Turn Voice Guidance off Press and hold the Volume down and the Voice button for 3 seconds. Rpg games for mac. Reset the headset Simultaneously press and hold the Volume up and the Multi-function button for 5 seconds and then restart the headset. There are still others but we think you get the idea. We would have liked to see some of these functions offloaded to the Jabra Assist app but found that to be little more than a reference guide. The option to “Connect new Jabra device is just a series of static screen shot with step by step instructions for pairing the headset to your iPhone. Of course, that information could have easily been included in the User Guide which by this time you have probably already downloaded and reviewed.

    We think there is an opportunity to make this app much more useful and would like to see Jabra expand it in the future. Minimal app functions and confusing buttons aside, the Jabra Halo Smart is first and foremost intended to make music listening and phone calls enjoyable and for that, it works well. Overall, we found the sound quality to be clean with adequate volume although we did experience some breaks in the music, even with our iPhone just inches away from the headset. This in spite of the fact that the headset is rated for an operating distant of 10 meters (33 feet).

    The neckband is comfortable and the buttons are generally well placed and easy to feel on either side of the neckband although we sometimes couldn’t remember which buttons were on which side. Tapping the “Voice” button (on the right side of the headset), when not on a call brings up Siri and we were able to make calls with a typical Siri voice command as well as play music just by speaking the request. Even while outdoors, the voice commands were easily recognized.

    In addition to answering and ending calls, the headset can handle multiple calls but all of that is controlled by the Multi-function button. Our instinct was to try and control them through the Voice button since that is how you launch Siri. We think using the Voice button for the call related activity would eliminate some of the confusion we felt with the Multi-function button. Call quality was generally good and people on the receiving end of the call said that the speech was clear and easy to hear.

    In situations of very high wind there was some interference from wind noise but that was to be expected. The magnetic earbuds is a nice feature since placing them together pauses your music.

    Our only real complaint about the basic operation was that we often forgot to turn off the headset when we were done with our call or music. Granted, with a 22 day standby time that probably won’t be much of an issue but we would like to have an auto-off feature, which perhaps could be adjusted through the Jabra Assist app. The Bottom Line The Jabra Halo Smart is a comfortable Bluetooth headset that not only allows you to listen to music but also seamlessly manages your phone calls and Siri.

    We found the sound quality to be excellent although perhaps not as clear as the Apple earbuds. Of course, the main feature of the Jabra Halo Smart is the freedom from wires and for that, it works very well. With an MSRP of $79.99 it is at the higher end of the price range for similar items but Jabra is a well-known brand and makes quality products. The Jabra Halo Smart is available from.

    Tech Talk 4 Geeks: Siri For Mac