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A more natural voice for Siri in iOS 11
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A more natural voice for Siri in iOS 11 

Show Notes:

Samsung has announced the release of the Galaxy Note8. The Note8 is the successor of the Galaxy Note7, which was recalled because of defective batteries that caused fire.

The new phone comes with a dual-lens camera, animated messages, and expanded note-taking.

The Note8 offers significant improvements over the last Note and has “infinity display”. This display is already in the S8 which makes the screen size bigger by reducing the bezel, surrounding the display. So, the Note 8’s screen will be bigger than the Note7 without feeling bigger due to the reduced bezel.

With the Galaxy Note8, the new App Pair feature lets you create a custom button on the Edge panel that will let you launch two apps in multi window mode. So you can watch a video while messaging your friends, or dial into a conference call with the number and agenda right in front of you.

This new device is among the most expensive smartphones, starting at about $1,299. The iPhone 7 for example, starts at about $899 and the S8 at $1,034.99.

Siri

With iOS 11 coming in the next few weeks, Apple has released a research paper giving details of the methods that they are using to make Siri sound more natural, with the help of machine learning.

For iOS 11, the engineers at Apple worked with a new female voice actor to record 20 hours of speech in US English and generate between 1 and 2 million audio segments, which were then used to train a deep learning system.

The team noted in its paper that test subjects greatly preferred the new version over the old one found in iOS 9 from dating back from 2015.

Apple TV losing ground

Parks Associates sampled 10,000 homes in the US which had at least one streaming player. In their findings, they noted that Roku jumped year-over-year from 32 per cent to 37 per cent,

which is a foothold that none of its competitors can quite match. But Amazon is also gaining ground and moved up from 16 per cent to 24 per cent.

In the case of Apple, it fell year-over-year from 19 per cent to 15 per cent marketshare. Consumers seem to be favouring the aggressively priced streaming sticks and boxes from Roku and Amazon over the comparatively more expensive Apple TV.

TECH BYTES

It looks like the next iPhone will be announced on September 12th. A recent report from Mac4Ever states that it confirmed with telecom companies that Apple should hold a press event on September 12.

Every September since 2012, Apple has been holding press conferences to announce its iPhones. So, if you’re thinking about buying a new iPhone right now, you should wait a few weeks. It is expected that Apple will be releasing the final version of iOS 11, three different iPhones, the new version of the Apple Watch and an updated Apple TV.

Facebook has rolled out a new feature to its mobile app on both iOS and Android that now allows you to set up a 360 degree photo as your Facebook cover. The new feature lets you capture a 360-degree photo with your Facebook Camera that you can share on your timeline or even use it as your cover photo.

And finally, Google might be unveiling both the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 on October 5. This date lines up with last year’s announcement of the original Pixel handsets which took place on October 4.

 

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