iPhone 4S Siri: Facts & FAQs

Are you impressed about iPhone 4S personal voice assistant, Siri? In the previous post I made, we get to learn some of the coolest iPhone 4S features. Here, we’ll get to know more about this new iPhone feature by reading some cool facts and FAQs of Apple’s Siri.

apple iphone 4s siriWhat is Siri

Siri is the newest and hottest iPhone feature available in iPhone 4S. Also known as the talking voice-activated personal assistant, it lets users to use their own voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and many more. With Siri, you can perform any task you wanted to do by interacting with your phone just like talking to another human being. It improves user’s overall phone experience by easing the burden of manually using the phone’s touch screen and most importantly, saves time.

History of Siri

Long before it’s integrated with iPhone 4S, Siri was first conceived when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Defense’s innovation arm, hooked up with SRI International.

In the year 2003, DARPA awards SRI with a five-year contract to create an “enduring personalized cognitive assistant” and invested $150 million for the project. Under SRI, the project was named CALO (Cognitive Agent that Learns and Organizes). On January 2008, Siri, one of the consumer-branded products inspired by the CALO project, spun out of SRI as its own company and raised several million dollars in two (2) years as funds.

siri assistant
iPhone App: Siri Assistant

Feb. 4, 2010: Siri launches an app for iPhone called Siri Assistant. The app lets you to talk to your phone and have it find and make plans for you. The app improves with repeated usage and better understands your requests over time.

March 28, 2010: Apple acquires Siri for an undisclosed sum just two months after its public release. Some members of the Siri team move to Apple.

Oct. 4, 2011: Apple announces Siri, a virtual personal assistant for the iPhone 4S.

Now that Siri has been officially integrated to iPhone 4S, the original iPhone app, Siri Assistant, will now retire and stop functioning after October 15, 2011, making Siri a sole feature of iPhone 4S.

FAQs about Siri

What devices are Siri available on?
Siri is a feature exclusive to the iPhone 4S. Apple did not say whether the feature would be available on the iPad 2, which uses the same dual-core A5 processor.

what is siri

What languages does Siri work with?
Siri supports English, German and French voice input. Apple said more languages would be added over time.

Does Siri need an Internet connection?
Yes. The service uses Apple’s servers to process your queries and return relevant results, so you will need a working Internet connection on your phone, either 3G or Wi-Fi.

What can Siri do for me?
You can ask Siri to set a reminder for you, send a text message, get weather reports, set calendar appointments, send e-mails, search through your contacts, set alarms and timers, or get directions. Reminders and tasks are location-aware through the new Reminders app in iOS 5, so you can ask Siri to remind you to pick up your dry cleaning when you leave work.

Do I need to use specific phrases?
No. Siri understands what you say, as well as what you mean. It’s context and location aware. So, for example, if you ask Siri for “Any good pizza around here?” Siri will detect your location and reply “I found several pizza restaurants near you” and arrange them by their Yelp rating. If you continue asking “How about burgers?” Siri will remember you just asked about restaurants and will show you the relevant listings.

Can Siri read texts and e-mails to me?
Yes. When you receive a new text or e-mail, you can ask Siri to read you the message aloud.

Can I dictate texts or e-mails?
Yes. You can ask Siri, for example, to “Text Tom I’ll be five minutes late.” Siri will then display the text on screen for your confirmation before it is sent. The same method can be used for e-mails.

Can Siri do Google searches?
Yes. You can ask Siri to search the Web via Google for any search terms. Because the queries are processed through Siri’s servers, Apple will be able to see what searches are being done through its services, including your location.

FAQs source: PCWorld

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