Apple Inc. faces a Dutch antitrust probe into whether it favors its own apps over rivals, weeks after music streaming service Spotify Technology SA asked the European Union to investigate the phone maker.
I think I already know the answer to that one. Take a look at this App Store story, in which Apple recommends apps for managing your vinyl collection and suggests Apple Music as an alternative to owning wax. Why aren’t there any other music streaming services in this section?
It’s worth to talk about issues that matter and send feedback whenever necessary. Apple listens! Not every change is immediate, but it’s not like nothing changes at all either.
As David Barnard noticed, Apple added another subscription confirmation alert, which appears on the screen after authenticating with Touch ID. This change will definitely help users to avoid dodgy apps that try to scam users with subscriptions.
It’s great that Apple Maps shows the Air Quality Index alongside current temperature. It’s a pity that such a piece of basic information is not available in all countries because of how much it differs from temperature. It’s the same for Apple Watch. Take a look at the first frame of this animation. If you think you’ll be able to take a quick glance at your watch to check current air quality conditions, you may be out of luck. I didn’t find a list of countries for which iOS does display the AQI – this site doesn’t feature it – but it definitely doesn’t work in Poland. Bummer.
Or rather, how employees of companies that created smart speakers listen to you.
Amazon.com Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.
But it’s even better – not only Amazon’s does that.
Apple’s Siri also has human helpers, who work to gauge whether the digital assistant’s interpretation of requests lines up with what the person said. The recordings they review lack personally identifiable information and are stored for six months tied to a random identifier, according to an Apple security white paper. After that, the data is stripped of its random identification information but may be stored for longer periods to improve Siri’s voice recognition.
Despite recordings they review lack personally identifiable information, it’s still a no-go for me, and I don’t see a smart speaker standing on my table anytime soon. Especially that software tends to not always work as it should be.