Monday, October 24, 2011

Reason for Female Voice on Siri

Siri is the personal assistant app on the latest version of the iOS offering of Apple, the iOS 5. The Siri app of the iOS 5 answers questions of users and provides suggestions using natural language processing.

However it would be interesting to note that the voice used for the Siri app of the iOS 5 sounds feminine.

According to report at CNN, the female voice is also used in a number of electronic devices aside from the Siri app of the iOS 5 and that there is a psychological basis for this.

In a number of countries, including the United States, the voice on the Siri app of the iOS 5 is female. However in countries like the UK and France the voice on the Siri app of the iOS 5 sounds like a male.

The sound of the female voice is reportedly much more pleasing compared to a male voice basing on scientific studies. Clifford Nass, a professor at Stanford University, identified a study which points to an affinity that begins in the womb.

The study revealed that fetuses would react to the voice of the mother although it would not respond to the voice of other females. The fetus would also have no reaction to the voice of the father.Nass added that it is more difficult to find a likeable male voice compared to a likable female voice. This is reportedly a deep-rooted fact that human brains have the tendency to like the voice of a female.

However the CNN report also pointed to history for the reason why a female voice was used for the Siri app of the iOS 5.

The voice of females was reportedly used on the navigation devices of fighter planes during World War 2 since it was distinctive among pilots who were males. Phone operators were also mostly female which resulted to get used to receiving assistance through the voice of a female.

Consumer research teams of automobile manufacturers also showed that most consumers preferred the voice of a female rather than a male.

This may have formed part of the basis why the voice of the Siri app of the iOS 5 is female.  So whenever users would ask questions for the Siri app of the iOS 5 to answer, users would expect to be answered with a female voice.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Synching with the iCloud Service Among Windows Users

Synching contacts, calendars, and other content of Windows users on the iCloud service Apple can take advantage of the iCloud Control Panel for Windows.  This control panel can be downloaded from the support site of Apple and would require around 40MB of space. Once it is installed users will find the utility in the Control Panel of the Windows OS.

Users can utilize the control panel in managing their content on their iCloud account. Aside from providing users the capability of synching their content, they will also see the storage space on the iCloud service that they are currently using.

When users tick off the checkbox for Contacts, Mail or the Calendars and Tasks, another account is added into Outlook. Instead of synching mail with the existing Outlook accounts of users, another email account is added into Outlook by the cloud-based service of Apple.

Once the content of the users are synched with their account, they will be able to check on it using their iOS devices. The Bookmarks checkbox on the control panel will allow users to synch their bookmarks using Safari or the Internet Explorer. Reports indicated that the Chrome and Firefox will not be able to utilize this function.

Another option available for Windows users of the iCloud is the Photo Stream option. This provides users with an option to select the folder where they wish to store content that come from Photo Stream. Users can also set a default action of where to upload any pictures shared using a device using the iCloud service.

Clicking the ‘Manage’ button on the iCloud storage section will allow users to see additional details about the space they are using on the iCloud service. They can also free up more space or they can purchase it.

Users who do not wish to spend for the storage of their content can delete any content that will not be needed anymore so that they will be able to maximize the use of the 5GB free storage on the iCloud service.

Clicking on the ‘Buy More Storage’ button will allow users to acquire additional space of 10GB, 20GB or50GB. The annual fee for additional space on the iCloud service is at $20, $40 and $50 respectively.
Some observers have hinted that the iCloud service is a useful tool for a number of users although there may still be some room for improvement.