Ios-6-600x375Although iOS 6 won’t be available on compatible devices until sometime this fall, the first beta build is currently available to developers. We’ve installed iOS 6 on our new iPad (64GB Verizon LTE model) and poked around with the new features.

Apps-wwdc-600But there was also some disappointment in the air. One thing many developers wanted to see but didn’t happen: a Siri API, the secret code that would let any developer create integration with the service. Apple announced many enhancements to Siri, including the ability to launch apps and several new languages. But a full API wasn’t on the docket.

Tim-cook-highlights-600Speaking about Facebook, Cook said he thought Apple’s relationship with the social network is “very solid” and that Apple could do more with the company. He encouraged people to “stay tuned.” Many read that as a hint that deeper ties to Facebook might be coming in iOS 6 — similar to how Apple integrated Twitter at the OS level in iOS and OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” — but Cook wouldn’t elaborate.

Siri-iphone4s-600Since the iPhone 4S began coming standard with Siri last October, the voice activated personal assistant has become a cultural phenomenon. Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel star in Siri-themed ads for the phone. A creepy iPhone case forces you to interact with Siri. A different project enables Siri to destroy your phone if it’s lost or stolen, and a viral video shows what happens when Siri goes psycho.

Samsung-remote-600iTV? Not in the cards yet, but to hold you over until Apple releases its TV, Samsung has a few ideas about how to re-invent the television. On Samsung’s new Smart TVs, you control your system with gesture, voice, keyboards and good old-fashioned buttons. And, unlike Apple’s mystery device, they’re on sale this month.

Samsung first showed off its Smart TV technology in January at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but you’ll be forgiven for missing it among the hundreds of daily product unveilings. We got some hands-on time with Samsung’s Smart TVs and can say they definitely open up a lot of potential. Whether people will respond to them is another matter.

Ipad-finger-600Here’s something to chew over. Imagine if everything we all think we know about the next Apple iPad — even its name: “iPad 3” — is wrong.

No one likes to be wrong, but all these “inside sources” and collected parts may not, in fact, add up to the sum of their parts—or to a product.

I have little doubt that we’ll see a new iPad. But I’ve noticed how the frenzy of rumors have led us all down more than a few rabbit holes in recent weeks. Most recently, CNBC reported that the big event would happen in New York. Apple has certainly held product launches in the Big Apple, most recently unveiling Apple Education Event (iBooks 2 and iBook Author) at the Guggenheim.

Google-tv-phoneLost the TV remote again? Don’t worry, says Google. In the future you’ll be able to verbally instruct your TV to turn off and on, change channel, and even flag the next rerun of Seinfeld for you — all using your Android phone as the microphone.

That’s according to a patent the search giant filed a week before Apple launched the iPhone 4S and Siri, the voice-based personal assistant. (Coincidence? Yeah, we think so.) The patent, uncovered by Patently Apple, describes a system of voice controls that connects to Google’s cloud services — meaning if you have no data coverage or Wi-Fi where the TV is, you’re out of luck.

The advantage of doing things that way, however, is that you can turn the TV on wherever you are, and choose something to fit your mood. So you could be pulling into the driveway and asking your phone to prepare a sitcom you can wind down with when you reach the couch. (We’re not sure exactly how much of a labor-saving advantage that confers, but if Google also has a patent that can tell your fridge to prepare a beer for you, we’re all for it.)

Ios-iphone-600A new report says Apple will push out an update to iOS in the coming weeks. Although not much is known about it, iOS 5.1 will add Japanese-language support for Siri, the digital voice assistant on the iPhone 4S, as well as a new lock screen that will make it easier to access the phone’s camera.

Boy Genius Report says it somehow got a look at Apple’s coming iOS 5.1 update, which it reports will be hitting the the streets around March 9. With the update, Apple continues to improve Siri, adding Japanese language support. The iPhone 4S has been available in Japan since October, but if the report is true soon its people will actually be able to the digital voice assistant. You might also want to get ready for a new wave of humorous viral videos surrounding Siri’s answers, possibly with more Manga references.

Osx-mountain-lion-600Apple just unveiled the next major upgrade to its core software, OS X. It’s called Mountain Lion, and it’s a doozy, bringing a lot of the features its customers use ever day on iPhones and iPads over to the Mac. Apple says Mountain Lion has 100 new features, from tiny details in the Safari web browser to wholesale changes in how instant messaging works.

Curious about what’s different? The general public will have to wait until summer to download the release for themselves, but in the meantime you can explore the Top 15 most important new features in the gallery above. Throughout all of them, though, you’ll find two distinct trends:

The continued migration of mobile features to the Mac experience.
iCloud playing a greater role on the Mac.

Siri360Ever since we got our iPhone 4S, we’ve been having a lot of fun with its built-in digital assistant, Siri. An excellent repository to all kinds of Siri tricks has been Now, there’s Life with Siri, an ebook that compiles the funniest Siri responses from the site, giving you plenty of fodder to show off your new iPhone 4S to your envious Christmas guests.

Jodi Dery, the author of the book, gave us permission to show you 10 of the funniest Siri dialogues, giving you a sneak preview of the Life with Siri ebook. We took a look at a copy of the book, and it’s not only a humorous source of Siri sarcasm and saucy rejoinders, but it’s full of useful info about what Siri can do and how you can use it.