Siri

No ‘OK, Google’ on the iPhone? That’s a huge problem

Voicebots are all over my house right now.

I’m testing two different Alexa-powered speakers in my office. I use Cortana on a desktop, Siri on my MacBook and an iPhone 7 Plus, Google Assistant on a Pixel smartphone and the Google Home speaker, and both the Google Assistant and Siri on my television (thanks to the NVIDIA Shield and the Apple TV). I’m literally talking to bots all day, asking about the weather, the NBA Playoffs, and even obscure questions about Austria (where a few family members live). I’m known to suddenly say “OK, Google” during family meals when someone asks a question or makes a random comment. (Turns out, the Beauty and the Beast fable was published way back in 1740 and good old Tom Brady is the oldest quarterback in the NFL.)

Sadly, now that the Assistant is available for iPhone, I’m going to have to change my approach.

At a restaurant recently, I found out the hard way that the Assistant app doesn’t respond to “OK, Google” requests. It works exactly like any app on the iPhone that is not directly tied into the OS. That is, you can only talk to the iPhone by saying “Hey, Siri” to start a conversation. That’s not surprising at all. Android needs a few differentiators these days, right VentureBeat editorial team? Yet, the reason it’s sad is that there isn’t any reason to ever use the Assistant on iOS.

To do that, I’d…

How to Disable iOS 10’s Spotlight Search History

Spotlight search on iOS 10 now remembers your previous searches. If you tap the Spotlight search bar on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see a list of searches you’ve performed. Here’s how to clear that list—or hide it entirely.

First, open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap to General > Spotlight Search.

Disable the “Siri Suggestions” option here. This will hide…

How to Find Out if a Smarthome Device Works with Alexa, Siri, or Google Home and Assistant

Now that voice assistants are becoming extremely popular, many users who want to outfit their living spaces with smarthome products are probably wanting these products to be compatible with their voice assistant, whether it’s Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant (and Google Home). Here’s how to find out whether or not a smarthome device works with these platforms.

Look for the Badge on the Product Box

Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to see if a smarthome device is compatible with the voice assistant of your choice is to take a look at the product’s packaging and look for the badge that says what it supports.

Somewhere on the box you’ll find a small badge that says something like “Works with Apple HomeKit” or “Works with Amazon Alexa”. You may also just see the Amazon Echo logo, which also tells you that it works with Alexa.

However, keep in mind that some product boxes won’t have these badges printed on them even though they fully support Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. Philips Hue boxes, for instance, only have the HomeKit badge, even though they’re natively supported by Alexa and Google Assistant as well. Because of that, you may want to look for a second source.

Visit the Product’s Website

If the product box doesn’t mention anything about which voice…

How do you pronounce the weirdest emoticon on the internet? The debate continues to rage

It’s a question that’s more than three years old, but we’re still asking it today: How do you pronounce ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)?

Some questions, it seems, are nearly impossible to answer. This one has spawned a series of YouTube videos all striving for a conclusion to the debate. The meme simply refuses to go away.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), known as Le Lenny Face on 4chan, appears everywhere nowadays. It got its start in forums and message boards, where it was used to spam the original poster or the discussion in general. The meteoric rise of ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) on the internet led to this video.

The video features the Lenny Face dancing around in sync to the lyrics of “Booty Man” by Tim Wilson….