ChatGPT shows off impressive voice mode in new demo – and it could be a taste of the new Siri

ChatGPT's highly anticipated new Voice mode has just starred again in new demo that shows off its acting skills – and the video could be a taste of what we can expect from the reported new deal between Apple and OpenAI.

The ChatGPT app already has a Voice mode, but OpenAI showed off a much more impressive version during the launch of its new GPT-4o model in May. Unfortunately, that was then overshadowed by OpenAI's very public spat with Scarlett Johansson over the similarity of ChatGPT's Sky voice to her own in the movie Her. But OpenAI is hyping up the new mode again in the clip below.

The video shows someone writing a story and getting ChatGPT to effectively do improv drama, providing voices for a “majestic lion” and a mouse. Beyond the expressiveness of the voices, what's notable is how easy it is to interrupt the ChatGPT voice for a better conversational flow, and also the lack of latency.     

OpenAI says the new mode will “be rolling out in the coming weeks” and that's a pretty big deal. Not least because, as Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has again reported, Apple is expected to announce a new partnership with OpenAI at WWDC 2024 on June 10.   

Exactly how OpenAI's tech is going to be baked into iOS 18 remains to be seen, but Gurman's report states that Apple will be “infusing its Siri digital assistant with AI”. That means some of its off-device powers could tap into ChatGPT – and if it's anything like OpenAI's new demo, that would be a huge step forward from today's Siri.

Voice assistants finally grow up?

Siri's reported AI overhaul will likely be one of the bigger stories of WWDC 2024. According to Dag Kittlaus, who co-founded and ran Siri before Apple acquired it in 2010, the deal with OpenAI will likely be a “short- to medium-term relationship” while Apple plays catch up. But it's still a major surprise.

It's possible that Siri's AI improvements will be restricted to more minor, on-device functions, with Apple instead using its OpenAI partnership solely for text-based queries. After all, from iOS 15 onwards, Apple switched Siri's audio processing to being on-device by default, which meant you could use it without an internet connection.

But Bloomberg's Gurman claims that Apple has “forged a partnership to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT into the iPhone’s operating system”. If so, it's possible that one unlikely move could be followed by another, with Siri leaning on ChatGPT for off-device queries and a more conversational flow. It's already been possible to use ChatGPT with Siri for a while now using Apple's Shortcuts.

It wouldn't be the first time that Apple has integrated third-party software into iOS. Back on the original iPhone, Apple made a pre-installed YouTube app which was later removed once Google had made its own version. Gurman's sources noted that by outsourcing an AI chatbot, “Apple can distance itself from the technology itself, including its occasional inaccuracies and hallucinations.”

We're certainly looking forward to seeing how Apple weaves OpenAI's tech into iOS –and potentially Siri – at WWDC 2024.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

OneDrive finally catches up to Google Drive and iCloud with an offline mode – here’s how to set it up

Microsoft OneDrive has finally introduced a feature long considered a staple of Google Drive and iCloud: an offline mode. The mode will be rolled out to students and professionals from today onwards, allowing users to save and edit work whether they have an internet connection or not. 

Offline mode for the web version of OneDrive will now let you open your files in the various sections of the program, like your shared folder and meeting views, as well as edit your documents, rename them, and sort them – all without needing an internet connection. 

All these changes will be ‘saved’ offline and implemented once you regain internet connectivity with your changes synced to the cloud. Files will be marked as ‘available offline’ as they are in Google Drive. 

How to set it up

If you want to use the new offline mode for OneDrive, you’ll need to install the OneDrive app on your Windows or Mac device. Once you’ve done that, you need to head over to OneDrive on your web browser of choice. 

You should be prompted to complete the one-time setup for offline mode, and voila! You’re all set! You should bear in mind that there are limitations on what you can and cannot do with offline mode at present. As MSPoweruser reports, offline mode only includes support if you have 250,000 files or fewer – hopefully, you do! – and the feature is currently only supported for OneDrive for work and school (although a wider rollout is presumably in the works). 

While long overdue, this is a great chance for Onedrive users who have to work on the go and make last-minute changes to work, and it helps take the stress off those unfortunate times when your Wi-Fi crashes and you worry about losing all your progress! Hopefully, this will tempt more people to try the file management program – now that it’s finally up to speed with basically every other alternative

You might also like…

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

YouTube TV’s sports-friendly Multiview mode is rolling out to iPad and iPhone

YouTube TV’s Multiview feature is reportedly rolling out to iOS devices, giving iPhone owners a new, more immersive way to watch sports.

News of this update comes from multiple users on the YouTubeTV subreddit claiming that they had just received the option on their smartphones. One person even shared a short video of their iPhone playing four different basketball games at once – well, one’s a commercial, but you can tell it’s basketball due to the ESPN banner. 

We don’t know the full capabilities of Multiview on YouTube for iOS. According to 9To5Google it can be activated from the app’s Home tab, however it “only works with select games,” and it doesn't have all of the same features as the smart TV version. 

Multiview on iOS apparently can’t show sports scores alongside a broadcast, nor does it have the Last Channel Shortcut to hop between recently viewed channels. There is a gap in performance, but regardless of what it can’t do, Multiview on mobile is still very useful to have, especially now during March Madness.

Availability

It appears this isn’t a limited roll out as a company representative told Reddit users the feature will appear in a patch that will be available on all iOS devices. You need to have YouTube version 8.11 installed to see the option. 

The feature is also coming to iPadOS, as another user claims to have the patch on their iPad Pro 12.9. Admittedly, it’s difficult to watch four sports games on their iPhone since the small screen shrinks each window considerably, but iPad owners should have a better viewing experience.

An Android version is apparently in the works, however it won’t be out for a while. The same representative said that the update will arrive within “the coming months” although it may arrive sooner than expected. One user claims to have received a notification after opening the YouTube app on their Android informing them of Multiview. But, when they checked, it wasn’t actually there. 

We reached out to Google asking them to confirm whether or not the iOS release will reach everyone or just a select few. We'll update this story if we learn anything new. 

Until then, check out TechRadar's list of the best iPhone for 2024 if you're looking to upgrade.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Google Drive is finally getting a dark mode – and this makes me happy

It looks like Google Drive could finally get a dark mode option for its web version, meaning perusing documents could become a lot easier on the eye for people who like their web pages muted rather than a searing while. 

This information comes courtesy of 9to5Google, which reports that one of its Google accounts received an update that prompts users to try out a “New Dark mode” so that they can “enjoy Drive in the dark”. The option to trigger this dark mode is reportedly under the ‘Appearance’ option in the Settings menu of Drive, but I’ve not seen this in either my personal Drive or my workspace Drive. 

However, from the images 9to5Google provided, it looks like the dark mode in Drive is rolling out bit by bit, and will be a fairly straightforward integration of the mode that one can find in Android, Chrome and other Google apps. No icons are changed in terms of design or color, rather the background switches from white to black, with text flipping to white – all fairly standard. 

There’s some difference in shading between the inner portion of Drive, where one will find documents and files, compared to the sidebar and search bar; the former is black, while the latter is slightly grey in tone. 

Is this a huge deal? Not really, but for people who work late into the evening, the ability to switch from light mode to dark can be a blessing on tired eyes. And having a dark mode can offer a more pleasant experience for some people in general, regardless of the time of the day. 

I’m definitely up for more dark mode options in Google services and beyond. Where once I thought dark mode was overhyped, I started using it on some of the best Android phones and my iPhone 15 Pro Max and haven't really looked back – it makes scrolling through various apps in bed more comfortable, though common sense would say you’re better of putting your phone down when in bed and picking up a book instead. 

My hope is that by bringing dark mode Drive, Google will better integrate dark options into more of its apps and services, especially in Gmail, which has a dark mode but won’t apply it to actual emails when using the web versions, which is jarring. So fingers crossed for a more ubiquitous dark mode from Google.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

The Apple Vision Pro comes with a Guest Mode dilemma – you can share the love but can’t keep the settings

Apple’s newly-launched Vision Pro comes with a guest mode, but it appears to be frustratingly limited. It seems that (rather reluctantly), Apple has included a “Guest User” mode to let users share their shiny new device with family and friends without having to give them access to your personal information and data. That said, if you hope it’ll be like guest modes on other devices we’ve become accustomed to, you’ll need to think again. 

While friends and family will be able to experience the magic of the Vision Pro on a user’s device, according to 9to5Mac the device won’t store any of their settings. This will no doubt be disappointing for anyone who got it hoping to be able to share it with a group – such as with the rest of their family. Also, Guest Mode will allow you to “share specific apps and experiences with family and friends,” which sounds like the ability to share may not extend to all apps.

So, guest users will only have limited settings and app capabilities, settings will not be stored from any sessions, and the Vision Pro won’t actually even save guest calibration data. If a guest wants to use a specific user’s Vision Pro other than their own, they’ll have to go through the process of calibrating eye tracking, hand scanning, and pairing ZEISS Optical Inserts every time.

An Apple Store staff member shows a customer how to use a Vision Pro headset.

(Image credit: Apple)

Possible concerns ahead for the Vision Pro

This isn’t due to a technical limitation either, Apple chose to have it be this way. If a friend or family member just wants to give it a spin and try it, this isn’t so bad. However, with a $ 3,500 price tag, some people probably bought it hoping to be able to share it with people they live with. 

This Guest Mode makes it tough to do so, and puts users and guests off of using it like this multiple times. As far as we know, that’s how things stand for now – you can have one main user account, plus the built-in Guest Mode, but there's no option to create separate accounts (guest or otherwise). 

While not totally unheard of for Apple, I can imagine this being disappointing news for some recipients of the Vision Pro. For example, the iPad doesn’t have guest-sharing specific features, but this doesn’t really hinder sharing the iPad with people, and a guest mode probably doesn’t add as much to it. To be able to use the Vision Pro at all, you have to at least calibrate it to your face and eyes, so it’s a different story. 

We await the Vision Pro’s arrival in US stores on February 2 and reviewers have already started posting their first impressions of the device. I can see this becoming a real drawback that users get vocal about  – but would it convince Apple to change the guest mode? Because this is a bold first-gen launch for Apple, users are willing to let its vision develop and give it a chance. Hopefully Apple doesn’t burn through that good will.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Meta is ‘working on’ its own version of Apple Vision Pro Travel Mode so you can use your Quest 3 on a plane

Meta might have been a big – perhaps even the biggest – player in the VR world for some time, but newcomer Apple is already giving it ideas for features to add to its Quest headsets, and the first of these could be the ability to use your Quest VR wearable while moving in a car or on a plane.

The reveal trailer for the Apple headset – which is finally set to launch on February 2, with Vision Pro preorders already having gone live (many Apple headsets are already being sold on eBay for extremely high prices) – showed off several use cases for the gadget. One of the examples was a person slipping the headset on while sitting in a plane seat, presumably so they could enjoy an immersive experience while traveling.

Using a VR headset while traveling – especially on a packed plane – sounds like a no-brainer. Rather than having to contend with movies displayed on a small screen on the back of the seat in front of you, you can enjoy them on a massive virtual movie theatre screen and forget that you’re crammed into coach like a sardine.

A woman wearing the Apple Vision Pro while on a plane with other passengers next to them.

(Image credit: Apple)

However, while the idea sounds simple, it’s rather tricky to pull off – as one disappointed Meta Quest 3 user discovered when they struggled to use mixed reality on a flight. On Twitter/X, user @afoxdesign posted a rather amusing clip of their Quest 3 menu floating off into the distance while trying to use the headset on a flight.

In a reply to the post, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth (@boztank) explained that the issue is caused by the plane’s movement throwing off the headset’s IMUs (inertial motion sensors). The sensors are picking up on the plane’s movement and acceleration, so your headset thinks you’re moving about and adjusts the position of virtual objects accordingly.

Encouragingly, Bosworth added that Meta is “Working on it” with regards to making it possible to use Quest headsets while traveling in a vehicle.

See more

Back in May 2023 Meta showed off a demo where a Meta Quest Pro was being used in a BMW, with the car’s own sensors keeping the headset's IMUs in check. Unfortunately, this solution wouldn’t work for low-tech vehicles or commercial planes, where it might not be the safest idea to give random people direct access to the airplane’s sensors.

Option two, then, may be to introduce a simplified travel mode in which these motion sensors are turned off. Instead, the headset would use scaled-back tracking data and reference points to enable stable versions of static experiences like watching a video or playing a game through the VR Xbox Game Pass app – becoming a headset version of the Xreal Air 2 and similar wearable AR display glasses.

We’ll have to wait and see what Meta comes up with, but with Apple offering a solution to the using-a-headset-while-traveling problem, and Bosworth saying that a solution is being worked on, we’re hopeful that Quest headsets will be usable on a plane or in a car in the not too distant future.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Desperate for dark mode with Microsoft’s Bing AI chatbot? It’s now here

Microsoft’s Bing chatbot and Bing search on desktop have just got dark mode, a feature that many folks have been keenly awaiting for some time.

Jordi Ribas, Microsoft’s CVP, Head of Engineering and Product for Bing, made the announcement on Twitter.

See more

As you can see, dark mode is rolling out over the next few days, so everyone should have it before the weekend.

Indeed, going by feedback to the tweet, many people are already using dark mode when chatting to the Bing AI (or using the Bing search website) on their desktop PC.

If you’re not sure whether you have the ability to turn on dark mode, just go to the Bing site, click the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines, top-right), and go to Appearance, where you’ll find light and dark modes (if available). There’s also an option to automatically use whatever system-wide choice you’ve made for the light or dark theme.


Analysis: Folks are over the dark side of the moon

This has happened earlier than expected, which is always good. Last week, we were told that dark mode was inbound for Bing AI (and search), but we were informed it would be here in a couple of weeks. It only took one week to appear, then, so Microsoft moved a bit faster than anticipated.

As you may recall, Bing AI also got the full rollout of Visual Search last week, so everyone now has that, too. This feature allows you to fling an image at the chatbot, and then get a reply imparting info on the pic (for example, if you have a picture of a historical building, Bing will tell you what – and where – it is).

You can combine that function with the chatbot’s image creation capabilities, too, and ask it to compose a similar image. (Say you’ve got a picture of a wolf in daylight, you could ask Bing to create something just like it, but at night with a full moon).

There’s an increasing amount of neat tricks that Bing AI can perform, though Google is speeding up its progress on Bard, too. The chatbot arms race is in full swing, for sure.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Another 2-year wait is almost over for Windows 11 users, this time for Paint’s dark mode

Windows 11 users are finally getting a Paint app with dark mode, as first promised way back by Microsoft – albeit this feature is still progressing through testing for the moment.

Microsoft let us know that an updated Paint app – version 11.2304.26.0 – is now rolling out to testers in the Beta channel, as The Verge spotted. It carries the dark mode among other features.

The Beta channel is the step just before the Release Preview channel in Windows 11 testing, meaning that the dark mode is now coming close to release.

As well as the dark mode – which will automatically be employed if you’ve turned on dark mode in Settings for Windows 11 – the new version of Paint will have an improved zoom feature. The latter allows for finer zoom adjustments, and custom zoom values (alongside the existing preset levels of zoom). Furthermore, there’s a capability that fits the image to the size of the screen (and its resolution) with a click. Nifty.


Analysis: Some swift progress (finally)

The pretty swift progression of the dark mode for Paint in testing, going from the Canary channel at the start of June – which represents the very earliest test builds of Windows 11 – through the Dev channel, and to Beta now, gives us hope that the app will get this feature soon enough.

It’s been a long wait, though – a very long one – because Microsoft actually promised this feature before Windows 11 even arrived on the scene. Since then, there has been lots of clamor to get dark mode added for Paint, but it really has taken some time. At least it looks like Microsoft is sprinting as it nears the finish line.

This isn’t the only instance of a feature taking forever to arrive in Windows 11, of course. Just this week, 3D-style emoji arrived in testing (Canary channel), another feature that was promised for the launch of Windows 11. So, these are both capabilities we’ve had to wait the best part of two years for.

Paint fans should check out some of the mods which have been floating around for the app of late, too – they’re pretty nifty indeed.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Google Meet to introduce an on-the-go mode for traveling meetings

Sometimes users need to walk around during a conference call and, understanding that reality, Google is currently working on a new mode for Google Meet called ‘On-the-Go.’ This mode transforms the video conferencing Android app’s UI into a much simpler one that’s better suited for traveling outside while on a call.

The concept behind this mode is to make walking while tuned into a Google Meet meeting much safer. It accomplishes this by creating a much more intuitive layout that, according to 9to5Google, “will disable your camera in the call and stop streaming video from other participants. You’ll also be greeted with a new layout with only a handful of large, easily-pressed buttons for Mute, Audio (to switch between Bluetooth, speaker, etc.), and Raise (your hand).”

You can check out screenshots showcasing how the new layout will look once enabled:

Image 1 of 6

on the go feature screenshot

(Image credit: 9to5Google)
Image 2 of 6

on the go feature screenshot

(Image credit: 9to5Google)
Image 3 of 6

on the go feature screenshot

(Image credit: 9to5Google)
Image 4 of 6

on the go feature screenshot

(Image credit: 9to5Google)
Image 5 of 6

on the go feature screenshot

(Image credit: 9to5Google)
Image 6 of 6

on the go feature screenshot

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

‘On-the-Go’ can be enabled in two ways: the first is by Google Meet detecting through your smartphone’s motion sensors that you’re walking, it will prompt you to switch to the new mode. And for the second method, you can manually enable the mode through the in-call menu.

Google currently hasn’t rolled out the feature to everyone just yet, but judging by the screenshots it’s most likely close to a public release.

Google Meet is getting even better 

Google has been working on making its video call application much more functional and intuitive to use. Both 2022 and 2023 have seen a host of changes to the UI, with 2023 introducing ones like added new features to the picture-in-picture mode, blocking video feeds from other meeting participants to more easily focus on the people you want, and using generative AI to create new backgrounds during meetings.

Back in 2022, Google added several other features like subject tracking to better focus on a participant, letting users mute and unmute themselves on the desktop version by using the spacebar, and automatically adjusting a participant’s mic input to avoid particularly massive discrepancies in volumes.

It’s good to see that the tech giant is trying to better its service, considering how many people rely on it for remote work. While these seem like minor improvements, quality-of-life changes to an application or service always add up in big ways and really help to enhance the user experience.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft gives one of its oldest apps dark mode in Windows 11

Microsoft is further improving the Paint app in Windows 11, with new changes coming through in testing including a dark mode.

The new version of Paint (11.2304.17.0) is rolling out to testers in both Canary and Dev channels (and the latter just got a new preview of Windows 11, as you may have seen, with a nifty change allowing for viewing smartphone photos on the desktop).

As mentioned, one of the big tweaks for Paint here is the addition of a dark mode, and the app will automatically use it if you’ve turned on dark mode in Windows 11’s settings. (Note that you can turn off the option to automatically switch, mind).

Microsoft Paint Dark Mode

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Another useful change comes with zoom controls. Microsoft has given users a higher level of fine-tuning with the zoom slider, and you can set a custom zoom value if needed. On top of this, a ‘fit to screen’ option is now present which will do just that – zoom to match the size of the app window.

In the blog post describing all the changes, Microsoft further tells us that it has overhauled ‘Image Property’ dialog boxes to match Windows 11’s modern design, and fit with the new backdrop for the Paint client.

Finally, we’re informed that there have been “many accessibility and usability improvements” to dialog panels throughout the app, with better access key support (keyboard presses for interface controls, rather than having to use a mouse) and keyboard shortcuts in general.


Analysis: Could bigger changes be in the pipeline?

Accessibility has been a major focus for Microsoft with Windows 11 for some time now, and again and again, we’re seeing either small tweaks or larger feature introductions coming through for the OS. Good stuff.

The dark mode looks smart and is another piece of the puzzle for those wanting this option throughout Windows 11, wherever they’re working.

Paint remains a popular app, so it’s not surprising to see Microsoft continuing to improve the software. Folks want more though (don’t they always), and we’re still seeing calls for layers to be introduced to the app.

If you remember, the addition of layers is something we’ve seen (in the early stages) from the modding community, and recently an innovative Paint hack brought in the ability to create simple animations.

Maybe – just maybe – those are features we might see Microsoft officially working on in the future. Who knows, stranger things have happened, and the software giant certainly appears keen to keep on motoring ahead with Paint improvements.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More