Apple in Your Eye
A few days after Thanksgiving, some gangly punk tried to mug me as I stepped off the C train. My iPhone 4 flew up like a basketball toss and the screen cracked on the concrete. I managed shove him off, but short story shorter it was an excuse to upgrade and I am now the slightly lost owner of an iPhone 5 when Google Maps won’t load.
Naturally, the first thing I did after unboxing was fool around with Siri. Had Apple’s “intelligent assistant” inched any closer to artificial intelligence since it launched? Turns out, it’s still pretty easy to reach the limits of her utility, so the only thing left is to try to find questions that might serve up an Easter egg or human-ish response.
Hot on the heels of the rumor that some terrible, unfeeling parents have named their newborn Hashtag comes the news that names from Cupertino are the latest thing. The parenting website BabyCenter has released stats on the popularity of various names among the parents registered on the site, and The Next Web reports that Apple has increased its popularity 15 percent as a girl’s name. Siri (apparently a real Norwegian name) increased 5 percent. And among the lads, Mac jumped 12 percent.
Hang on–the littlest Yahoo’s name is Macallister, which you’d presumably shorten to Mac. What are you up to, Marissa Mayer?
Nathan Fillion, hunky star of the beloved-but-taken-too-soon TV series Firefly (and also Castle, we suppose?) appeared on Conan last night. And it seems the main thing he could talk about was how much he loves his iPhone 5. He loves his iPhone 5 more than you love your mother, spouse and/or labradoodle puppy.
And what’s more? That little bundle of chips and Gorilla glass surely loves him back. He gushed to host Conan O’Brien: ”It’s pretty, it’s tiny and it’s light and it’s so smart and it loves me, obviously it loves me.”
Some poor Yahoo employee made a Marissa Mayer Hope poster. We are embarrassed for everyone involved. [Twitter]
Actually, Mitt Romney’s face is following you around the Internet–and it’s freaking most people out. [New York Times]
“Keep this movement going. Keep this movement tweeting.” – A really weird music video by Kim Dotcom that you should watch ASAP. [YouTube]
The Wall Street Journal is confused about who invented the Internet. [Ars Technica]
Martin Scorsese is in Apple’s newest star-studded Siri commercial, and naturally it’s set in a cab cruising across Manhattan. [9to5 Mac]
Okay, we confess: We’ve never owned an iPhone and are head-over-heels in love with our Galaxy Nexus. But even the most hardcore of Apple fanboys have to concede that Google’s new Android update, Jelly Bean, looks pretty sweet. Google Now seems like an easy way to seamlessly integrate your phone’s functionality into your every day schedule. Plus, the UI tweaks make the whole Android experience much sleeker and prettier.
Oh, but that’s not all. Jean-Louis Nguyen, a director of biz dev at GOOG, posted a video (to Google+, of course) of the beta version of Jelly Bean responding to over 40 voice commands. The phone gets it right every damn time. Even obscure requests like, “Where is that museum with Egyptian stuff in San Jose?” It’s pretty impressive.
Zooey Deschanel’s girlish wiles have been used to hawk everything from cotton to cosmetics in the past. But now Apple is employing the hipster darling to sell you on the notion of upgrading to a robotic assistant on that computer in your pocket. So what if the iPhone 4S doesn’t have 4G, did you see those lashes??
While we refuse to believe Ms. Deschanel’s apartment is anything but the paragon of DIY domesticity (she uses Siri to remind her to clean), rest of the spot goes for the obvious signifiers of the star’s retrograde appeal (i.e. Elvis and all-American comfort food).
Apple in Your Eye
“Siri, find me a lawyer in Cupertino.” Over 100 enterprising and quite jaded iPhone 4s users are suing Apple for advertising campaigns that include “misleading and deceptive message.”
Represented by law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, Brooklynite Frank M. Fazio is part of a class action suit seeking $5m in damages from the Silicon Valley behemoth. “In the commercials, all of these tasks are done with ease with the assistance of the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature, a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri,” Mr. Fazio alleges in the lawsuit, filed in California federal court last week.
The merits of Apple’s Siri have been philosophized and considered and critiqued. And now, they will (basically) be dramatized.
Apples and Androids
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder & CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Apple last week announced its quarterly earnings and the entire tech industry let out a collective gasp and then promptly went into a swoon. Apple’s now overtaken Exxon as the world’s most valuable company and has almost $100 billion in cash reserves. Thats higher than the market cap of 474 of the S&P 500 companies. Apple’s been very careful when it comes to spending its cash. Expect it to continue the trend of locking in a better deal on components in its supply chain boosting its own profit margins and increasing prices (and scarcity) for competitors. Also expect it to snap up important IP that can provide a generational leap to advance core features of its hardware (camera, screen, battery, memory, CPU). Beyond that (‘n all the cool wearable computing rumors), one of the things thats imperative for Apple to do (if its not doing it already) is to finally build its own search engine. Here’s why.
IN WHICH APPLE FIXES SOMETHING
On Tuesday, we noted that while iPhone voice-activated assistant Siri can’t help you find an abortion clinic in New York City—once called The Abortion Capital of America by New York magazine—it can help you find a gun store downtown, in a city with some of the most restrictive gun controls in the country. Apple didn’t respond to our query of why this was, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally spoken on the matter.