Apple's unveiling of iPhone 4S might have disappointed many who had been anticipating iPhone 5. However, Siri, the voice assistant feature in iPhone 4S, has caught the imagination of customers and reviewers.
Siri is touted as an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. Siri understands the context, allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, says Apple.
Siri is the product of a startup that Apple bought last year, and though it sounds like the kind of voice control system that a lot of other mobile handsets offer, the company says it is a lot more powerful.
Even in the unveiling presentation, Apple dedicated a significant amount for showing the extent of Siri's ability to interpret requests and respond. Do I need a raincoat today? incites a robo-female voice to reply: It sure looks like rain today, as Scott Forstall, Apple's mobile software executive, demonstrated.
Siri is also claimed to be smart about using the personal information you let it access. Siri helps you make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, search the Internet, find local businesses and get directions. Users can also get answers, find facts and even perform complex calculations just by asking, according to Apple.
Phil Schiller, Apple's marketing executive, called Siri the coolest feature of the new iPhone 4S.
David Pogue of the New York Times says Siri is crazy good, transformative, category-redefining speech recognition.
According to Bloomberg's Rich Jaroslovsky, it is vastly better than rival phones with voice commands.
To access Siri, users will have to hold down the home button for a few seconds and the application will be activated. It works quite well, and it can do a lot of things, even more than Google's Voice Control can.
iPhone 4S was unveiled on Oct. 4 and available in stores on Oct. 14. With a two-year contract, iPhone 4S costs $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model. Apple-listed prices for a contract-free phone in the United States are $649 for the 16GB model, $749 for 32GB and $849 for the 64GB.