Trending November 2023 # Most Surprising Things You Can Do With Siri On Mac # Suggested December 2023 # Top 18 Popular

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While Apple’s Siri battles Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for the voice assistant throne, macOS users should look no further. Starting in 2023, Apple has baked Siri into every macOS version since Mojave, and you can also activate it on older Macs, too. While most of its features duplicate those on iOS, there are a few Mac-specific commands that could surprise you. Here are some of the most surprising things you can do with Siri on your Mac.

Finding Files or Folders

If you need to find a group of files, a folder or an individual file, just ask Siri. Sure, you could do this with Spotlight, but doing it with your voice is so much cooler. Say “Hey Siri, find PowerPoint documents created last week” or “Siri, show me photos from January 2023.” Siri will double-check your command and then take you right to your result.

Read Emails

The days of reading your own email are over. The days of having Siri read your emails to you are just beginning. To start this action, say “Hey Siri, read emails,” and you will see a preview of any unread emails. These emails appear within the Siri window, and if you tap on any of them with the mouse, you can jump to the email and respond. If you don’t take any action, Siri will continue to read through all of your unread emails, letting you hear the subject line, sender’s name and the date and time the email hit your inbox.

Google Web Searches

Google and Siri have been friends for a little under three years, enabling web searches right from the Siri window. All you have to do is say “Hey Siri” and proceed with your query. Search results are displayed within the Siri window and with a quick tap on any result, you can jump right into the web browser. What if you want to find photos of the new MacBook Air on the internet? Just say, “Hey Siri, find photos of the 2023 MacBook Air on the internet,” and you will see the top twelve searches from the Web.

Open Websites Drag Siri Results

Did you know you can drag Siri results directly into another macOS application or window? Let’s say you want to use one of the MacBook Air 2023 images you found via a Google search for a research paper. Find the image result through Siri, and you can then drag the image directly into a Pages document. You can do this with multiple applications and multiple search results.

About Your Mac

This macOS-only Siri query isn’t one you are likely to use very often, but that doesn’t make it’s any less helpful. In the event you want to know some information about your computer, Siri can help. Let’s say you need to know your Mac serial number to make an appointment at the Genius Bar. Ask “Hey Siri, what is my Mac’s serial number?” ” Alternatively, you can ask Siri how much storage you have, how much RAM or what type of processor is installed. Sure, you can go right to the Apple logo at the upper-left corner on the menu bar to find out of this information but doing it with Siri is so much more fun.

Open Applications

This one is as easy as it is fun. Asking Siri to launch the Safari browser is as simple as saying, “Hey Siri, launch Safari.” You can do the same with any installed application including Apple’s default apps and third-party applications. If you don’t have the application installed, Siri will direct you to the Mac App Store to install the application. It will even open the App Store directly to that page. You can also make your request a little more general and ask Siri to open the applications folder instead.

Control Basic Settings

Who needs to press the buttons to raise or lower the volume for music or movies anymore when Siri will do it for you? “Hey Siri, raise the volume.” Want to increase or decrease screen brightness? Want to activate or deactivate Bluetooth? Wi-Fi? You can do all of these tasks just by asking Siri.

Siri is full of charm and personality. While it doesn’t quite rank up there with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, it more than holds its own. For Mac users, it’s really your only choice, so getting to know these Siri surprises can make your day-to-day computing sessions a little easier and a lot more fun. What’s your favorite Siri tip?

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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Zapier Sms: 5 Cool Things You Can Do

Zapier’s automations allow you to receive alerts when specific conditions are met. The potential for these tools is nearly limitless and are utilized by people ranging from individuals that want to streamline certain aspects of their life to business owners with dozens of Zaps that all but run their business.

One of the most powerful features of Zapier is the SMS integration. Through this tool, you can send out SMS messages in response to a number of different situations and conditions. It’s particularly useful because of how wired people are to their phones. A study shows that 83% of millennials open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them.

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Compare that to how often emails get ignored and you have tremendous potential at your fingertips. If you’re looking for ideas on how to use Zapier SMS services, check out these options.

1. Receive Zapier SMS Alerts for Google Calendar Entries

Nothing is quite as awful as a last-minute reminder that you have a meeting or event that you have not prepared for. It’s too easy to ignore calendar alerts on your phone, and the email reminders often meet the same fate.

On the other hand, you can set up Zapier to alert you to upcoming Google Calendar events. Zapier monitors your Google Calendar for upcoming events and sends you an alert ahead of time so that you aren’t caught completely off-guard. 

For this to work, you will have to grant Zapier access to your Google Calendar account and connect a phone number through SMS by Zapier. 

2. Receive a Text When You Gain a Twitch Follower

You can create a Zap that will send you an Zapier SMS message whenever you receive a new follower on Twitch. This can keep your phone buzzing all evening long if you’re having a great run, but it’s also a good way to keep an eye on your follower count after you upload streams and are dealing with real-life chores.

You will need to connect your Twitch account to Zapier for this.

3. Receive Notices for Important Emails

If you’re the type to ignore your inbox because it gets full too quickly, connecting Zapier’s built-in email parser to an SMS messaging service can help. If you tell the email parser to monitor for particular keywords that would denote an important message (deadline, assignment, due date, etc.), then you can automatically detect these emails and receive a text alerting you.

A Zap like this helps you stay on top of your workload no matter how busy you are. It also helps ensure you don’t miss important emails just because they arrived in your inbox amidst a storm of spam.

4. Send a Text When You Upload a Video

If you are a content creator or an instructor, you might want to keep your followers or students updated when a new video goes live. While there is always the option to subscribe to a channel, a text message can be the personal touch you need to reach out to viewers.

Here is where it gets a bit tricky, though. While SMS by Zapier is a great tool for messaging yourself, you will need to sign up to one of the other messaging services on Zapier to send texts to numbers you do not own. Each of these services has their own set of guidelines, so make sure to familiarize yourself with them before you start.

You will need to create an account with the messaging service of your choice (Twilio is a good place to start), as well as link your YouTube or other video platform account to Zapier so that the messages will go out automatically. 

As a side note, you can use this same Zap in reverse to monitor specific YouTube channels for new content. 

5. Text Your Workout Partner When You Finish a Workout

It’s much easier to stay in shape when you have someone to work out and cheer you on, but it’s not always so easy to remember to let them know you worked up a sweat. If you want to keep yourself accountable to your gym buddy, you can do so by linking your workout app to Zapier.

Strava is a solid choice. Whether you ride a bicycle or go for a run, you can set up a Zap that monitors Strava and sends off an Zapier SMS when you finish an activity in Strava. This is a good way to keep your gym partner informed and motivate them to keep up. 

Zapier SMS Limitations

While Zapier’s integrated SMS service is powerful, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, Zapier can only send up to 15 messages per hour, and you can only send messages within the US and UK.

In addition, you can only send messages to numbers that are verified and fixed to your account. Messages are limited to only 153 characters in length, too–and any message going to the UK will be overridden with a UK number, regardless of its original number.

These protections are in place to prevent people from abusing the system and spamming messages to others. However, if you wish to reach out to people that are not on your list, you can do so through one of the other messaging services available on Zapier. 

Youtube & Voice Search: 4 Surprising Things To Know

Voice search is becoming a part of everyday life. For many consumers, posing a search query to their phone, tablet, smart speaker, or desktop with their voice, rather than typing it in, is now the norm.

Voice assistants are everywhere, and they’re only growing more ubiquitous. Research predicts that there will be eight billion digital voice assistants by 2023, up from 2.5 billion in 2023.

YouTube is part of Google, so it should come as no surprise that it’s begun to integrate voice search into the video platform. What may be surprising, though, is how the technology is shaping up and what businesses should know about it.

1. YouTube Voice Search Continues to Expand

When it started, YouTube’s voice search capabilities were pretty basic, but YouTube keeps rolling out changes that make the technology smarter and more appealing for searchers. Just last year, it introduced a feature where videos play automatically after a voice search.

Searchers can also now use voice to issue other commands on the YouTube platform. With voice, they can stop or play video, lower or raise the volume, and even scroll through channels they’re subscribed to.

The improvements to the technology speak to the broader consumer demand for both video content and voice search. YouTube reports that users watch over one billion hours of video each day on the platform. And as voice search is integrated into more smart devices over the coming years (like smart TVs), the intersection between voice search and video content will only continue to grow.

2. Metadata Drives YouTube Voice Search

Right now, the way that YouTube voice search displays content is based on text, rather than video content. YouTube isn’t able to pull the audio from the video or analyze the images to tell what a video is about. Instead, the search results are based on metadata.

The description you provide for your video, the keywords you select, the tags you put on a video, and even the file name of the video itself all affect how your content will show up for a given term. Thinking about long-tail keyword research can be helpful when you think about crafting your video descriptions and titles. Consider naming your video something that reflects the kind of query that would lead someone to that content.

For example, if you own a home remodeling business and have a video about the process of hiring an architect to assist in the redesign, consider titling the video something like “Do I Really Need an Architect for My Home Remodel?” That reflects the kind of question a relevant consumer might actually speak into their smart device, looking for a video to answer it.

It’s also a smart idea to add subtitles to your video content. While YouTube’s robots aren’t yet sophisticated enough to crawl the audio or visual content, they can read through closed captions and subtitles – another way to optimize for voice search.

3. Voice Search Is Now Possible on Your TV

A new update from YouTube allows consumers to use voice search when their smart device is synced up with their television. That means they can connect their smartphone or tablet to their regular TV, enter their voice search into the smart device, and see the desired video content on the big screen.

Six out of 10 consumers already report a preference for online video platforms over traditional TV, and YouTube is clearly looking to capitalize on that trend by making it easier than ever to access content on its platform from a television.

This is a great opportunity for you to think about how to create the type of branded content your audience might want to watch on a big screen. Don’t limit yourself to short videos light on information. Someone who’s going to sit down in front of their television to consume video content is ready to watch something meatier. You can create longer-form videos that do a meaningful deep dive into relevant concepts, answer your audience’s biggest questions, or present a comprehensive tutorial on a specific topic.

4. Search Technology Is Getting Smarter at Understanding Voice Commands

As YouTube expands the types of devices across which consumers can use voice search, it’s also training the technology to have a more nuanced understanding of the commands one can issue through voice. It used to be that voice search was limited to searching via title for video content, but that’s no longer the case. The “show me” feature now allows YouTube voice searchers to scan channels they’re subscribed to, look through trending videos, and more.

This means the technology can now distinguish between an ask for video content and a command for another type of action on the platform. By adding new features that make voice search more user-friendly on YouTube, the platform drives consumer behavior towards more voice-based video searches.

So what does all of this YouTube voice search mean for your brand? It means that video content is here to stay and that when you create that video content, you need to be optimizing that content to perform in voice search.

More Like This

The Definitive Guide to Voice Search

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Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

Three Things Missing From Most Enterprise Cloud Strategies

Thank you, “Captain Obvious.”  Even if you think calling IBM a neutral third party is a bit laughable, the study rings true to me.

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It’s clear that the use of cloud computing has a positive benefit on the bottom line of most organizations who invest in this technology. The problem is, most organizations don’t, and, those that do, invest in the wrong places.

It’s been my experience that many companies get cloud computing wrong. Although most on staff understand what cloud is and can do, the problems typically arise around implementation of this technology. Large issues do not get addressed, and thus many enterprises fail in the cloud.

The core problem is that some things are missing in enterprise cloud computing strategies, and these things are often not addressed or understood until it’s too late. My lot in life lately has been getting on airplanes and explaining this to many organizations that find their cloud strategies dead in the water, typically because they overlooked some fundamentals.

So, save yourself the plane fare. Here are three of the most overlooked items that go missing from most enterprise cloud computing strategies. As I explain them, count how many are missing within your own organization.

Cloud Governance, including both services and resources, is often overlooked. Why?  Few people understand it, and fewer still can write a plan.  This strategy provides you with the ability to control public and private cloud services, such as cloud-based APIs.  Also missing from the typical list is the ability to control resources, such as allocation and provisioning of storage and compute resources from public and private clouds.

While many in enterprise IT believe that they can just toss technology at this problem, such as the many cloud management platforms (CMPs) that are starting to emerge, you must first deal with the understanding and planning aspect of this type of governance.

Unfortunately, the P-word (planning) is about as fun as year-end budgeting, and most just avoid it altogether.  However, lack of planning means lack of the knowledge you need to select the right path to cloud services and resources governance. Thus, you’re just shooting in the dark. Unless dumb luck plays a part, you’re going to miss, and it will cost you time.

Training and hiring plan is typically missing, which means you’re not likely to have the necessary talent around when your clouds are up-and-running, or perhaps even when you’re designing and building them.  Things are changing, and chances are very high that you’ll need specialists in cloud security, cloud governance (see previous), as well as the brands of private and public clouds you leverage.

While many enterprises believe that you can hire on-demand, good luck in the emerging world of cloud computing. Skills are going fast, and for big money. Also, don’t give up on your existing staff. Make sure they have the training opportunities that will allow them to progress toward the mad cloud skills that you’ll need.

Operations planning is often an afterthought.  No matter how well you did your planning, architecture, and technology selection, when you go into production, there is little or no operations and maintenance.  Can you say, “Slow but sure death?”

Work with the ops teams to make sure there are enough people to monitor, fix, and maintain your new public and private clouds. Typically, those are not the people who currently run the data centers, and, back up one step, you do need to make sure the right skills are in-house through hiring and training.

Some of the new processes and technology that will be in place include governance (see above), identity-based security, performance management, and cost monitoring. Somebody needs to kick the servers when they go down, even when they are housed in Microsoft or Amazon data centers, thousands of miles away.

Cloud computing fails due to a lack of knowledge more often than it does because of some failure with the technology. Hey, we’re pretty new at this, so it’s to be expected in some cases.  However, as the IBM study points out, the future of the business is on the line, linked to your success with cloud computing technology.  This is not your average technology refresh; it’s a systemic change in computing as a whole, and should be given the right weight and importance.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

2023’S Most Surprising Car Has A Lesson For Evs In 2023

2023’s most surprising car has a lesson for EVs in 2023

In a year where I’ve driven supercars like the new Ford GT, six-figure hand-built exotica such as Rolls-Royce’s Dawn, and vehicles with horsepower by the bucketload, the car that stands out at the end of all that was a surprise even to me. Chevrolet’s Bolt EV is, on the face of it, a fairly unassuming little hatchback that just so happens to be electric, not gas-powered. It’s affordable, as electric cars go, but it has a surprise under the inoffensive sheet-metal.

That’s the range. Chevy and the EPA list it as 238 miles on a full charge of its 60 kW battery, but in my experience the actual potential is noticeably greater than the official numbers suggest.

During my time back in April with the Bolt EV, I was playing chauffeur to some visitors from the UK. At the time, I’d expected to be driving a very different car – the Ford F-150 Raptor, indeed, a supercar-meets-truck that also made a big impression on me, albeit for different reasons – but a last-minute swap meant it was the compact electric runabout on my drive instead. Honestly, I was concerned.

I knew my friends wanted to explore the Bay Area, but I also knew that refueling the Chevrolet wouldn’t be as straightforward as pumping premium unleaded into a Raptor – or any other gasoline car – would be. In the end, though, with little in the way of compromise to how I drove and four adults onboard, I could’ve easily gone 275+ miles.

Of course, mention the Bolt EV and someone invariably reminds you of the Tesla Model 3. Certainly, Elon Musk’s most affordable electric car is fascinating (like with most media, the automaker has been reluctant to allow me behind the wheel), but it’s also mighty rare. By now, Tesla intended the Model 3 to be rolling off its production lines at speed. Instead, what should’ve been a gush is a mere trickle.

That’ll improve, inevitably, but it’s hard to judge the Model 3 alongside more available EVs. Indeed, if you were to join the reservation line today, you could probably see out a 2-3 year lease on a Bolt EV before it was time to head down to the nearest Tesla dealership and pick up your new car.

Though the Bolt EV impressed me with its real-world range, trying to plan for that journey was hugely frustrating. Where Tesla makes it easy to see where the Superchargers are on your route, whether in the car, on your phone, or in your desktop browser, the Chevy did little to assist when it came to figuring out where I could’ve recharged had that been necessary.

There, then, is 2023’s challenge for EV automakers: joining up the dots. I’ve singled the Bolt EV out in particular, but really this is a problem that every electric vehicle suffers, bar those with a Tesla badge on the nose. Just because I’m forward-thinking enough to drive an EV, doesn’t mean I should also have to be an expert cartographer in order to charge it while away from home.

What’s important to highlight is that I don’t necessarily think this is a charger availability problem. I’m not suggesting that Chevrolet needs to invest in a homegrown, built-from-scratch charging ecosystem of the sort that Tesla has constructed. But, for all the technical prowess of cars like the Bolt EV (and, indeed, the under-appreciated Volt hybrid, which by all reports appears to be on the chopping block), it’s missing a key part of the range anxiety solution.

Certainly, there’s more to getting electric vehicles to mass adoption. A Bolt-based crossover – as, for example, VW will do with the I.D. CROZZ in 2023 – would be an obvious addition to Chevrolet’s range, and probably more palatable to American drivers than the Euro-friendly hatchback of the current car. The price delta between EVs and traditional gasoline vehicles still needs to be closed.

All the same, there’s low hanging fruit that could be picked while the engineers and designers work on such problems. The Bolt EV was the first all-electric car I could see myself realistically living with, but Chevrolet owes it to its zero-emissions drivers to take the frustrating homework out of recharging on the go.

What Business Can Huawei Do With The Us Companies

Huawei has been at unfortunate pawn in the political crossfire between the U.S and China thanks to trade conflicts for quite some time now. The recent ban has even compelled this major smartphone manufacturer to accelerate the development of its own operating system since Google has to block access to core services like the Play Store as well as any future OS updates to all Huawei phones.

Things are starting to look up though, especially after the G20 summit in Japan when Trump allowed for a conditional lift of the ban. US companies can sell products to Huawei as long as the Chinese manufacturer as part of the conditional and temporary ban lift.

What can be allowed as part of the Huawei Concession?

Major tech companies in the US are definitely heaving a sigh of relief over this temporary exception. For one thing, the Trump Administration is allowing temporary general licensing for products that don’t threaten the countries national security, though we cannot be sure what will qualify them as ‘non-threatening’. But here’s a look at the products that hopefully, won’t cause any issues.

Current users will still be getting an Android Q update for select Huawei phone. So if you’re using the Huawei P30, P30 Pro or even Huawei Mate 20 that was launched last year, rest easy. Huawei announced that current devices will see the launch of Android Q which is expected to arrive in the next few months. In fact, they already launched a developer version which is being tested on the Mate 20.

This update was guaranteed before the temporary ban list and it looks like they won’t backtrack anytime soon.

Access to Corning Gorilla Glass

Corning has a monopoly as the major supply of this heavy-duty display glass for major smartphone manufacturers. While the P30 Pro uses Aluminosilicate glass, there are older phones like the Mate 20 that still need this part. Since there is no absolute reason as to why a protective glass could pose a security threat, we’re going to assume that Huawei can still access Corning’s product, if they want to.

Access to Qualcomm Chipsets

Not that Huawei needs Qualcomm Chipsets any more thanks to its own Kirin 980 chipset which competes with Snapdragon 845 (currently the go-to processor for major flagship phones). But if ever Huawei decides to use a Snapdragon chipset or needs to retain this vendor for its older models like the P8 lite, it can still get access.

Access to audio chip’s front end module parts

The Huawei P30 Pro’s audio chip is assembled in China-based company HiSilicon. But the front end module of the chip that allows it to engage with mobile network signals is designed and manufactured by Skyworks, a semiconductor firm that operates from Massachusetts.

Also, the chip has an additional module that handles different radio frequencies which is made by Qorvo, a semiconductor firm in Greensboro, North Carolina. Losing business from these companies would have a direct impact on Huawei’s phones, not to mention the losses incurred by the companies themselves.

As of now, Huawei can still get these crucial parts.

Access to Flash Storage

Even though Huawei is working on its own Nano Memory cards, the P30 Pro’s 128GB flash storage is provided by Micron Technologies, a semiconductor specialist from Idaho.

In fact, Micron Technologies had to stop doing business with Huawei which meant a massive loss for both sides in terms of revenue. Since this technology won’t breach any privacy norms, they can resume business again.

From the looks of it, US companies will be on the ones who suffer the most if Huawei can manage an OS that can compete with Google. Most of Huawei’s technology and hardware is sourced in China and parts of Asia. Also, if they really have to, they will find a way to get everything they need elsewhere if the US decides to keep them on the ‘Entity list’.

The biggest loss will be faced by Americans because Huawei is a global company with major popularity and yes, they will take their business elsewhere.

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