Will better mics improve Siri?

New iPhone hardware sounds promising.

I’m conflicted about Human’s AI Pin, the recently revealed mobile computer that uses chat to interact.

On the one hand, having a smart AI assistant on you at all times has got to be the computing model of the future: I can see that one day, we will likely all have a smart, chatty assistant about our person.

On the other hand, I’m not sure Humane’s screenless device is what people want. I suspect they’d rather have a clever AI assistant built into their phone (and/or headphones), which they can easily chat to.

Of course, Apple already has this in Siri — the notoriously unreliable AI.

But change is afoot. Tim Cook has said several times that AI is “absolutely critical” and Apple is already busy integrating ChatGPT-like smarts into Siri.

Now the company wants to upgrade the microphones in the next iPhone to enable better interaction with the AI assistant.

Better mics means you should be able to interact with Siri easily in noisy environments and at a distance, and maybe even when your phone is tucked away in a bag or pocket. The mics on HomePods are already freaky good: Imagine that coming to iPhone.

Also in today’s newsletter:

  • Back in 2016, Facebook talked about adding end-to-end encryption to its Messenger app. It finally happened. Mark Z will no longer be able to spy on your chats!

  • Samsung's Studio Display competitor is getting a hefty discount on Amazon.

  • Apple TV+’s upcoming space thriller Constellation looks promising and boasts a stellar cast (boom! boom!).

  • A clever tinkerer figured out how to upgrade the un-upgradeable memory in Apple silicon: See the X (tweet) below. Time to break out the soldering iron.

  • Surprisingly, readers of this newsletter don’t seem much interested in a big-screen iPad Air: See yesterday’s poll results below.

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

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One more thing ...

I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

— Steve Jobs, 2011.

Today’s poll

Will better mics and generative AI fix Siri?

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Results from yesterday’s poll: Are you interested in a big-screen iPad Air?

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