Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are you Siri-ous?

My contract with Fido is up soon, so with the introduction of the iPhone 4S, I decided that now is the time to upgrade and renew my agreement.

There are a lot of people disappointed in the new phone announcement, most people having expected that the iPhone 5 would be the next release. Alas - no - the 4S looks the same on the outside. Most of the changes to the new phone are on the inside. It is faster, has a better camera, higher resolution video (1080p) and some new features. But the thing getting the most Ooooo's and Ahhhh's is Siri.

Siri turns the iPhone into a talking and voice-activated personal assistant. You can make and change appointments, create reminders, send and receive text using voice and ask Siri questions as you would ask another human being. The video demo is mind-boggling. If Siri works as advertised, this will revolutionize how we use our phones. I've been wanting a feature like this for ages. It's a beta, which is great news. Because if it works this well now, I can only imagine what it will be like once it's out of beta and other iPhone apps can use it. People have already figured out how to post Facebook status updates using Siri, through the text message-to-status feature in Facebook.

Darlene said to me not so very long ago, "I hope one day you can tell your phone to remind you to do something in the future." As I left work today, I instructed Siri to remind me (once I get home) to tell Darlene that I can now do this. As I pulled up to my front door, Siri, realizing that I was arriving at my home address (it being duly plugged into my contacts), reminded me right on cue. Siri will also send and reply to email, text messages, check weather, create alarms, set timers and add or edit appointments and just generally 'shoot the shit'. It will also act as a dictation feature in a window where you would normally type text. For now.

I expect much more in the year(s) to come.

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