iOS 7.1 makes British Siri more human, and female!

iOS 7.1 makes British Siri more human, and female!

Richard Devine:

iOS 7.1 brought many things for many people, but for us British folks Siri got a noticeable update. Until now, we’ve been given only one choice for how Siri sounds over here; the robotic sounding male. With iOS 7.1 a few regions, the UK included, got improvements to the quality of the voice feedback. Oh, and we also got a female voice for the first time ever!

It seems like a small thing, but the changes have made interacting with Siri should you be using UK English as your language more enjoyable. And I don’t know, but I’ve always thought of Siri as a more female entity anyway, so it’s good we get that choice now as well!

Agreed. I’ve always thought of Siri as a female entity ever since her introduction in the U.S. I will be testing Siri in the next couple of weeks to see if the service is more reliable now that there has been an update. Head over into Settings on your iPhone or iPad and try the new voice for Siri..

Watch the iTunes Festival from SXSW

Watch the iTunes Festival from SXSW


Apple has had an iPhone and iPad app for the iTunes Festival in London and the SXSW edition is no exception. Recently updated, the official app is the best way to keep up with all things iTunes Festival related wherever you are. It’ll show a countdown to when each days headline acts take the stage, but you’ll also see local timings for when everyone else starts their slots.

It’s available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and requires iOS 7.

This is an underated service from Apple. Everyone loves music, so tune in at anytime to stream or play the latest live performances from the top artists who are perfoming this month. Download the app for iPhone or iPad here or watch via your Apple TV.

Apple TV 6.1 update makes it easier to hide unwanted channels

Apple TV 6.1 update makes it easier to hide unwanted channels


After updating, users can hide icons by holding the select button, causing icons on the screen to jiggle. Once activated, users can press the play/pause button on their remote to bring up a menu that allows users to hide the icon.

After a channel has been hidden, users can reactivate it through the Settings application.

iOS 7.1 Makes the iPhone 4 Snappier

iOS 7.1 Makes the iPhone 4 Snappier

Jordan Golson:

As Ars notes, iOS 7.1 may well be the final major iOS release for the iPhone 4, as Apple generally removes support for the last generation of iPhones when it releases a new operating system each year. Ars says iOS 7.1 makes the experience good enough that using the iPhone 4 is no longer “unbearable”, but that there are “unmistakable” benefits to moving to a faster phone.

If you have an iPhone 4, this update is a welcome one but bear in mind you should start thinking about upgrading it soon.

Apple releases iOS 7.1 with multiple improvements

Apple releases iOS 7.1 with multiple improvements


FaceTime call notifications are now synced via iCloud, so that they are automatically wiped on all devices when you answer a call, and the iPhone 5s’ camera can now be set to take HDR photographs automatically. There are also new ‘more natural sounding male and female voices’ for Siri in various languages, including UK English. And in Calendar, Events are now displayed in Month view.

There is a noticable speed increase as well when jumping in and out of applications, random crashes have apparently been fixed and subtle changes have been made to the user interface. A worthy update and as others have commented, 6 months overdue.

On your iPhone and or iPad, go to Settings, General, Software Update to commence the update if it hasn’t already prompted you to.

The Wello iPhone case that detects your vital signs

The Wello iPhone case that detects your vital signs

Susie Ochs:

The new Wello, from tech company Azoi, looks like a smartphone case—because it is a smartphone case. But embedded in that case is a plate with sophisticated sensors that can detect your vital signs in less than 30 seconds—all you have to do is press a button on the side of the case, and then hold your smartphone.

Your fingers line up effortlessly with sensors on the back and top of the case. Those sensors gather data that the software algorithms can extrapolate to around 20 vital signs, including your heart rate, ECG, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood oxygen, respiratory rate, and temperature. “We do all of this with clinical accuracy,” Azoi CEO and founder Hamish Patel told TechHive. “It’s really the first of its kind.”

Wello transmits the data it monitors via Bluetooth LE to an app on your Android or iOS smartphone. And you can monitor data for multiple users.

All that data is sent via Bluetooth LE to a mobile app, which Patel says will support iOS and Android at launch. The app will pull data from other fitness devices too—Fitbit trackers will be supported at launch, and Patel says that the company can add more devices thanks to open APIs.

This is where Apple is rumored to be heading with their apparent impending iWatch type device. Not a case for your iPhone per se, but it does open up possibilities for companies to get involved, designing cases and apps and wearable devices because all signs are pointing to this as to where we are heading.

Enable 2-Step verification on popular web services

Enable 2-Step verification on popular web services

Stephen Hackett:

Between losing an iPhone, never-ending security issues, and the NSA, having an account accessed by an outsider is more likely than ever. While having a good password is critical, enabling 2-Step Verification is a great way to ensure data you’ve stashed in an online service like Gmail or Dropbox is limited to your eyes only.

In a nutshell, 2-Step systems work like normal log in systems, but after entering your user name and password, the system in question will send your phone an SMS with a unique PIN. Only after entering the PIN are you allowed in:

A great reminder to take the time to enable this for your online services that support it. It seems every week there is a popular service that gets compromised and asks users to reset their passwords – Comixology is the latest one to suffer. So take the time to do it, protect yourself and sign up for any services that support this in the future.

Here are the links for more information for the most popular services;