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Apple Wants to Drop ‘Hey’ From the ‘Hey Siri’ Wake Phrase: Report

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Apple Wants to Drop ‘Hey’ From the ‘Hey Siri’ Wake Phrase: Report


Apple is said to be working on changing the wake phrase for its Siri voice assistant, and will change the phrase from ‘Hey Siri’ to simply ‘Siri’. This will make it much easier to invoke the voice assistant on supported devices once implemented, but the change is said to be a technically challenging one since it involves AI training and a lot of engineering work, as per the report. More words in the phrase usually makes it easier for voice assistants to understand the invocation of the voice assistant, so implementing this properly will be a challenge for Apple.

The report comes via journalist Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter on Bloomberg, and states that Apple has spent the past several months working on shortening the wake phrase. Siri has for long supported voice invocation through a wake phrase, which has thus far been the familiar ‘Hey Siri’. The company is now working on making the phrase ‘Siri’, similar to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, that is invoked by simply saying ‘Alexa’.

Longer phrases are typically less prone to errors, and shorter phrases might be said differently according to languages and accents across the world. Apple is said to have factored these challenges into its work, and is already testing the simplified phrase with company employees. If all goes to plan, we could see Apple products, including those on iOS, macOS, WatchOS, tvOS, and HomePod devices, work with the simplified ‘Siri’ wake word.

A significant challenge for voice assistants is miscues – phrases that sound similar to the main wake phrase tend to wake the devices and have them listen for commands. This is a frequent issue for smart devices and smartphones that have always-on microphones, as it can cause devices to react even when no response is expected. Shorter wake phrases typically increase the chances of these miscues, but are admittedly a lot easier for users who frequently use them. Siri serves as the default (and in some cases, only) voice assistant on many of Apple’s devices, including the HomePod mini and Apple Watch range.


Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Amazon Prime Day 2024 Sale Deals on Echo, Fire TV Stick and More

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Amazon Prime Day 2024 Sale Deals on Echo, Fire TV Stick and More


Amazon Prime Day 2024 sale will start in India on July 20 and will last through July 21. A variety of items will be available at discounted rates, considerably lower than their usual prices. Products like personal electronic items such as smartphones, earphones, tablets and more will be available at lower prices, as well as with some lucrative bank and exchange deals. Some of these offers will also be available on smart home appliances like speakers, streaming devices and more.

Amazon Prime Day 2024 sale deals on Amazon products

Amazon announced in a press note that a number of its self-branded smart home appliances will be available at significantly discounted rates during the upcoming Amazon Prime Day 2024 sale. People can get Fire TV Stick, Echo smart speakers with Alexa support, and other Alexa smart home combinations with up to 55 percent discount.

Customers can buy the Amazon Echo Pop at the lowest effective price of Rs. 2,449, while the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) can be bought at the lowest effective price of Rs. 3,999. These are currently retailing in the country at Rs. 3,999 and Rs. 8,999, respectively. Offers and deals on the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation) can bring down the effective price to Rs. 8,999 during the sale. This is currently priced in the country at Rs. 13,999.

The e-commerce site is also extending offers on combo deals on Amazon smart home products. An Echo Dot (5th Generation) and a Wipro Simple Setup 9W LED Smart Bulb can together be bought at a price of Rs. 4,749, while the combination of an Echo Dot (4th Generation) with clock and a Wipro 9W LED smart colour bulb can be purchased at Rs. 3,749 during the upcoming sale.

People can also get the Echo Pop alongside a Wipro Simple Setup 9W LED Smart Bulb for Rs. 2,749 and the Echo Pop together with an Amazon Smart Plug at Rs. 2,948.

During the sale, customers can also get the Fire TV Stick at the lowest possible price of Rs. 2,199, down 56 percent from its usual price of Rs. 4,499. The Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite can be purchased at the lowest effective price of Rs. 1,999, while the Fire TV Stick 4K can be bought with a 43 percent discount at Rs. 3,999, down from its retail price of Rs. 5,999. Interested buyers can also get smart television with inbuilt Fire TV with discounts of up to 50 percent.



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Apple HomePod Mini Introduced in New Midnight Colour Option in India

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Apple HomePod Mini Introduced in New Midnight Colour Option in India


Apple’s HomePod Mini has been unveiled in a new colour option. The speaker was initially unveiled alongside the iPhone 12 series in October 2020. It comes with a light-emitting touch panel on top which allows users to control volume and supports Ultra WideBand (UWB) technology. It is powered by an in-house S5 chipset and an additional U1 chip to enable UWB support. The smart speaker is compatible with an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, as well as car speakers with the CarPlay function.

Apple HomePod Mini colour options, price in India, availability

The Apple HomePod Mini, priced at Rs. 10,900, has been introduced in a new colour option named Midnight. Apple says that this variant is made with 100 percent recycled mesh fabric. It will be available for sale in India, the US and 30 other countries worldwide starting July 17.

The new colourway is similar to the Space Grey option that the HomePod Mini initially launched with. After the new Midnight shade was unveiled, the online listing of the speaker did not display the grey option. Therefore, the new colour option seems to have replaced the grey one.

Alongside the new Midnight shade, the Apple HomePod Mini is also currently available in the India in blue, orange, white and yellow colourways.

Apple HomePod Mini specifications, features

The Apple HomePod Mini is powered by the Apple S5 chipset and an additional U1 chip to enable UWB support which allows it to track other Apple devices for media controls as well as interacting with other smart home devices. It also sports a touch-sensitive light-emitting panel on top which allows users to control the volume of the device.

The HomePod Mini allows people to use the Intercom feature to send messages from one unit to another. It is compatible with an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, as well as car speakers with the CarPlay function. The smart speaker is equipped with Siri but the requests to the voice assistant are not associated with an Apple ID. 



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JioTag Air Launched in India With Support for Find My Feature on iPhone

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JioTag Air Launched in India With Support for Find My Feature on iPhone


JioTag Air was launched in India as the successor to JioTag – Reliance Jio’s Bluetooth-enabled tracker, on Tuesday. One of the key new features of the device is its compatibility with Apple’s Find My network Feature which enables iPhone users to locate lost or stolen items such as keys, luggage, wallets, and even pets – items that are prone to get misplaced. It becomes the latest product launched by the company, following the debut of the JioFinance app last month.

JioTag Air Price in India

JioTag Air is available for purchase in India at an introductory price of Rs. 1,499 via JioMart, Reliance Digital, and Amazon India. The device comes in three colour options: blue, grey, and red. Buyers can also avail cashback while making the transaction via CredUPI, Paytm, and select credit cards.

JioTag Air Specifications

JioTag Air supports two tracking apps. On Android, it can be used with the JioThings app, whereas Apple users can use it in tandem with the Find My network app on devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac – a feature which its predecessor wasn’t equipped with. Alternatively, the JioThings app can be used on Apple’s platforms too via the App Store. However, only one app can be used at a time with the JioTag Air.

It is compatible with iPhone models running iOS 14 or later, and Android smartphones on Android 9 and later firmware. The tracker is equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 and comes with an in-built speaker that can play sounds in the 90-120 dB range. In terms of dimensions, it measures 38x38x7mm and weighs 10g.

The Bluetooth tracker also gets support for Apple’s Lost Mode that allows the user to automatically receive notifications on a paired Apple device when a lost device is located within the network. It comes with a 12-month battery, with an extra battery and a lanyard also bundled with the JioTag Air in the retail box.


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