hands-on with Apple iPhone 4S: Siri is amazing! (with video)

“Apple’s decision to embrace artificial intelligence with its new voice-controlled Siri personal assistant was undeniably a good shout,” reports. “We could go on and on about how Siri-ously awesome Apple’s new iPhone 4S feature is, but it’s really something you’ve got to see for yourself.” also has a link to iPhone 4S unboxing photos, “shared by a German who ordered the device before it was even announced from, and took delivery of his iPhone 4S early.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Siri is nothing like those crappy voice recognition crap from Android and others. It’s a whole new level. It’s too bad the Android clueless “droids” are busy running around the net posting BS that they have the exact same capability. lol

    1. The only thing Android does well at voice in my experience is speech to text translation. I primarily use it for sending SMS when I’m driving. Works well for that.

      Voice Commands and the search function *converts* your voice into text and then uses that as a search phrase on or as a command on Android. That is *kinda* slick I guess but that is really all it does.

      Siri seems to me, from what I have seen, to take it a step beyond and actually try and make sense out of what you say.

      If Siri’s ability to understand and take action on what you say works then I think it will be in a league of its own vs. voice on Android. Esp if it can take action on apps or data on the iPhone itself. That will flat out rock.

      I’m an Android user and I don’t think the two are the same thing. Maybe most of the “we already have that” ranting on the web is just fanboi knee-jerk reaction without further study.

        1. I’m thinking it’s more to do with what it cost someone else. They pay someone to make glass for them, and that some one must have told them they could make the glass white and then failed to do so.

  2. I noticed each time a question was posed, the spinning gears indicating connection to the web were active. Are all communications (requests) with Siri processed via the Internet? What if it’s a question about information already on the device? Does the AI need to access external servers to function?

    If anyone knows the answers, I’d appreciate it.

    1. I don’t think all questions need the Internet but all the questions they asked did. Weather, texting, emailing, wolfram alpha. I think if you just asked it to play a song from the iPod, it shouldn’t need to connect to the net.

      1. You are right. Obviously, all the apps used in the demo connect to the web for data: weather, texting, wolfram, etc. But the Siri processing is done on the iPhone. The one area where Schiller made a point to state that Sire processing was being done on the server side was with dictation. That is done in the cloud and text is sent back to the phone for display. You will see a microphone icon as part of the keyboard when the dictation option is open. Not sure if this is required for things like email and messaging, but would probably be found in something like Pages or Evernote.

  3. Ummmm. Coooool! I think the amazing thing is how well it works in a noisy room. I guess that noise cancellation microphone helps. Screw you Apple for not making it available A) On the iPhone 4 and B) The iPad and C) The Mac. Would be so cool! Maybe once it’s out of “Beta”.

    1. I would bet with almost a 100% certainty that this is coming to the Mac soon. As for iPhone 4, I don’t think it’s powerful enough to run it nor is the iPad but the iPad 2 might.

  4. Vast majority of ordinary population will think this is a gross exaggeration and deceptive advertising. It is difficult for ordinary, non-Apple folk to accept that Apple now has the technology that brings 22nd century science fiction to everyone today.

    I can’t even begin to imagine the reactions of ordinary people when they actually start seeing this in person, and soon thereafter, using it themselves.

    Siri represents a profound shift. The digital age will from now on be measured as time before iPhone 4S and time since 4S (as in: 15 years b.i. or 22 years s.i.).

    It is impossible to overstate its significance. Just watch.

  5. What is most impressive to me is how it is capable of understanding the guy’s extremely rapid-fire colloquial speech, with rather poor pronunciation and swallowed syllables. In speech recognition technologies of today (obviously, except Siri), you have to enunciate your consonants and speak very clearly; otherwise, the results are absolutely hilarious (much like iPhone’s auto-correct on the keyboard…). If this thing can understand the guy in the video as flawlessly as it seems, it will understand 90% of the English-speaking population of the world.

    As for other languages, that remains to be seen…

    1. You’ll notice that some words came out with blue underlines, I think those were corrections. Siri seems smart enough to get what you mean and even correct what it hears based on what it thinks you meant to say, that’s fucking cool.

    1. Scott Forestall said the phone asked him who his wife was in a previous conversation the. It always remembers.
      S the first time you say, send my brother a text, it will ask for your brother’s name. If you’re brother is not in contacts, I imagine it would prompt you for his phone number and add him to your contacts as well.
      The phone they were using was a demo unit of some kind as the wife’s name was something Appleseed (a long time demo name used by Apple).

    2. The first time, it probably asks you. Once it ties the association to someone in your contact list, you’re set.

      Presumably, you could use nicknames the same way. Pretty cool.

    3. Hopefully, iOS 5 updated Contacts to have all the fields that Address Book on the Mac has. Mostly “Affiliate”.

      That has been a big thorn in my side. You would think Apple would at least match them up since they own both. The iPhone just ignores those fields.

      Anyone with iOS 5 testing, can you verify if fixed?

    4. It learns as you progress. But don’t let someone using your phone, asking the same question: “Call my wife…” because this phrase was specially tailored for you. It will not call his wife but your wife instead.

  6. I think it’s absolutely amazing that the guy just said, “What about San Francisco?” and Siri knew what he meant. He didn’t say “What’s the weather like in San Francisco,” just “What about San Francisco.” That’s downright incredible.

    1. Yeah they talked about it in the 4s presentation. Siri can follow along in a conversation. It knows based on the last thing they talked about that they still might want more weather info.

  7. What are the legal ramifications if “someone” instructs Siri to call your ex-boss and tell him: “You’re a f…… a… h…” Can he sue you? Or does he have to put your 4S on the witness stand?

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