Siri: The Name Steve Jobs Hated but is Remembered as His Legacy

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Although Apple former CEO Steve Jobs saw great potential in Siri even as a standalone app, he hesitated in keeping this name when integrating the software into the iPhone as a virtual assistant, said Dag Kittlaus, Siri co-founder and former CEO.

As Network World and Apple Insider reported, Kittlaus spoke at the Chicago startup even Technori Pitch and told the audience how he came up with the name Siri, and how Jobs hesitated to keep it, but could not find a better alternative.

'Beautiful Woman Who Leads You to Victory'

According to Kittlaus, Siri means beautiful woman who leads you to victory in Norwegian, and he was actually saving this name for his future daughter. I worked with a lady named Siri in Norway and wanted to name my daughter Siri and the domain was available. And also consumer companies need to focus on the fact that the name is easy to spell, is easy to say. His first child turned out to be a boy, so Kittlaus ended up saving the name Siri until the time came to name his software.

Jobs Not Only Hesitant to 'Siri' Name, but 'iMac' and 'iPod' as well

Jobs reportedly wanted a different name for the software, even though Kittlaus kept pushing to keep the name Siri. Failing to find a better alternative, Jobs ultimately gave in and Apple's new virtual assistant in the iPhone 4S ended up named Siri. According to Network World, Jobs was hesitant to the names iMac and iPod as well.

Currently exclusive to the iPhone 4S, Siri soon became widely popular worldwide. The sassy virtual assistant does not only support voice commands, but also is highly intuitive and can understand questions as well. For instance, a user could get information about the weather simply by asking Siri whether to take an umbrella or use sunscreen.

The Story Behind the Siri Acquisition

In addition to telling the story behind Siri, Kittlaus also reminisced about how his company came to be acquired by Apple, and how Jobs got in touch with him. Three weeks after we launched I got a call in the office from someone at Apple that said, 'Scott Forstall wants to talk to you and he's the head software guy.' And I said sure... Only it wasn't Scott that called it was Steve. And Steve never announces where he's gonna be and what he's gonna do because there's too much commotion around it. So he said, 'Dag, this is Steve Jobs, said Kittlaus, cited by the Network World.

Steve Jobs reportedly invited Kittlaus to his house the next day, and after a three-hour surreal conversation about the future, the rest became history. Siri, now integrated into the iPhone 4S, is one of the most highly praised features of the smartphone, and people are expecting the iPhone 5 to feature the software as well. Jobs may not have liked the name Siri, but it is remembered as his legacy.

(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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