Why Apple didn’t include Siri in OS X Mountain Lion

“Apple’s latest OS X update, Mountain Lion, adds a slate of new features, nearly all derived from iOS 5,” Christina Bonnington reports for Wired. “There’s one big omission, however: Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, does not make the migration from mobile to desktop.”

“Now, technically, Siri isn’t a part of iOS 5,” Bonnington reports. “It’s marketed as the most game-changing feature of the iPhone 4S (which runs iOS 5), and Apple has remained mum on whether Siri will ever be ported to other devices.”

“Clearly, Siri is Apple’s most celebrated user feature. And, clearly, there’s interest to see it appear on other Apple devices,” Bonnington reports. “But porting Siri to Mountain Lion desktops would pose several challenges. Apple was smart to leave it out of the latest desktop update, and here’s why.”

• Microphone logistics
• Location detection
• Hands-free voice control isn’t needed
• Limited use cases
• Always-on data

Read more about the five points listed above in the full article here.

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Washington’s Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

51 Comments

    1. I’m pretty sure George Washington was born on February 22nd, 1732. Even though I was present at the birth, many historians continue to document this day as the birth of our first president. MDN… maybe you’re making a political statement about President’s day… or perhaps you just got it wrong.

    2. George Washington is doing back flips in his grave over what the Kenyan with the phony social security number and his comrades are doing to the US. This November we will vote them out and prosecute them.

      Looking forward to Siri everywhere!

            1. It’s kind of subtle, so instead of scolding everyone who missed it, I’ll just explain why it was racist.

              Mentioning someone’s race, when that person’s race has nothing to do with the conversation, is racist.

              So unless George Washington was famous for hating Kenyans or something, Ned was being racist.

              Another example:

              “I saw John – who’s black – buying milk at the store yesterday.”

              What does John being black having anything to do with seeing him buy milk at the store? Why did you stop in the middle the sentence to point out he was black? Just like the Barack Obama being Kenyan comment, it served no purpose other than to draw attention to his race, for no apparent reason, other than the sake of pointing out that his race is different than other people’s.

            2. It has to do with him not being born in the US and having a phony Connecticut social security number and hiding his college records that would be a good reason for bringing up Kenyan. And he is Kenyan. Are all people from Kenya one race?

              What about all of the hate crimes committed in the MSM news when the race isn’t mentioned??

            3. gcaptain5,

              Look in the mirror and more importantly at the US. You are the one in need of meds. Smedley, like the majority of us, is obviously very concerned about what is being done to the US. We are all very happy it is an election year to correct this mess.

        1. Not a fan of Obama, that said, I agree this comment was pretty red-neck. Obama is the legitimate President of the USA whether you like it or you don’t. He deserves respect that the title grants him, whether President Bush haters gave him the same courtesy or not.

          Civility is sorely lacking in politics and in public life and I would like to see it return. It’s perfectly fine to disagree with Obama on his policies, there is no need to sound like a mouth breathing Cro-Magnon just because you don’t share his political ideology.

          1. “Obama is the legitimate President of the USA”. That statement is still to be debated. Why won’t he show his college records (and why has he spent millions hiding them) and how did he wind up with a Connecticut social security number????? His grandmother states she was in the hut in Kenya where and when he was born…….

  1. “Hands-free voice control isn’t needed”

    EXCUSE ME!! What!? I think Christina has lost it on this point (the others are valid, this one- not so much). I would LOVE to be able to dictate text to my Mac, to open files/apps, to print, etc all without ever touching the keyboard or mouse. Hello? Can you say “Star Trek”? There, I thought you could. 😉

    This point is a rationalization. Mark my words: once Siri hits the desktop- look out, there REALLY won’t be any stopping the Mac…

    I should add that there may be a point she didn’t mention: bandwidth access to Wolfram’s software. This is likely the bottleneck- but I’m sure they’ll find a solution…

    1. The Mac has had voice control since the ’90s, but I found that after the initial novelty value it was quicker and easier to control things with the mouse/keyboard.

      Maybe Siri’s AI will make all the difference …

      1. I agree.
        Hands-free voice control isn’t needed . . . yet.
        Until it is fine tuned for a desk/lap-top it would be just a novelty at this point.

        Apple will get around to it. But for now, they are busy working on getting Siri out of beta and rewriting it for the bazillion different languages this planet uses.

  2. Unfortunately these arguments also apply to the Apple TV probably limiting the usefulness of Siri as it is currently envisioned. Fortunately Apple envisions things most of us don’t.

    1. I don’t think so. It seems to me Siri could be used to control AppleTV – using the microphone in the iPhone 4s, iPad 3 (or newer models) in your hand. This approach would solve microphone issues AND minimize interference from others in the room. There may be no need to install Siri software or hardware on the AppleTV.

  3. Location data is available — most Macs are on WiFi, and can already be located via Find My Mac. Voice control may be different needs for a desktop/laptop v. an iPhone, but certainly opening email/dictating messages, replying to Messages (since it’s in beta now), and otherwise controlling your Mac would be very useful.

    I think Siri just isn’t part of Mountain Lion yet because Siri is still in beta, so why add complexity when it’s not necessary.

  4. The real reason – iCloud on iPhone 4S syncs all the things we do on Siri with our Macs… no need to have it on the computer when the things I use Siri for are synced through another device.
    not to say they might not add it later as there is always room for one more thing 😉

  5. I don’t think any of those points are valid.

    Macs have location services.
    My Mac has an always on Internet connection.
    Macs have mics built in and they are fine for voice use.
    I don’t know how one could say it had limited uses. Use it just like on the phone. “What’s the weather?”
    Hands free would be great.

  6. The technical reasons why its not there make sense.
    (I never cease to be amazed by the people who just say: well all they have to do is just order up a “technical breakthrough” as if you can get those at the McDonalds drive-thru. Those who say that have obviously never designed or built anything—-that was a success)
    But back to my point.

    I would think though that Siri could be a basis for an Apple search engine. Then the Google problem could just go away.

  7. Also the small problem with Nuance already having products for the Mac in that area… so Nuance would be providing the technology to a company producing a free alternative to their own product that they SELL… yeah, that might spark a FEW debates…

  8. Why do people write these articles with all of the scientific analysis of Madam Zelda, the local palm reader? I can only surmise they love the company of other naysayers, and must have the world’s shortest memories and largest egos.

    “The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things.” ~ San Francisco Examiner, John C. Dvorak, 19 Feb. 1984 ~

    “Why the iPad will fail to win significant market share.” ~ By Donovan Colbert, February 23, 2010 http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tr-out-loud/why-the-ipad-will-fail-to-win-significant-market-share/1666 ~

    “Oh, you should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about.”
    from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
    (quote based on “The Microbe” by Hilaire Belloc)

  9. I want a talking computer just like Star Trek but I can see Siri won’t happen until it is out of beta.

    Can’t wait because Apple made a better tablet than the ones on Star Trek.

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