Siri is originally a personal assistant application brought to the iPhone firmware, particularly the iOS 5, and it works in a way in which iPhone users can ask for a reminder, send SMS or email, ask about the weather, ask for a place and direction, set a meeting, ask for a number, set an alarm and timer, and among other things. Before Siri was made as an integral part of iOS yet exclusive to iPhone 4S, it’s actually a third-party app that has been in the App Store for months. Apple pulled it off before the iPhone 4S announcement.
Technically, Siri utilize the user’s voice, analyze it using what is called in Artificial Intelligence as a “natural language processing”, and returns an answer or recommendations it finds from the iOS itself as well from web sources like Yelp and WolframAlpha and other web services. This technology is not new; just that it’s exciting to note it has been integrated to iOS and made available on devices like the iPhone 4S.
Watch this video to see Siri in action.
So back to the question: Is Siri on iPhone 4S Available in iPhone 4 and iPad 2?
The answer is NO; or perhaps, not yet. I’ve actually watched the entire event last night (through the streaming link from here) and Phil Schiller said Siri is still on beta and is exclusive to the iPhone 4S. In fact, if you just didn’t skimmed the dedicated page for Siri at Apple’s website – there’s a footnote which reads “Siri is available in Beta only on iPhone 4S and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.” While still on beta, Siri is localized in the US, UK and Australia, French and German, and will even work in Canada.
But why is that so? You’d ask. That’s probably because Siri is CPU-intensive that it would require chipsets like the Apple A5. iPad 2 is powered by the same A5 chipset, but why is Siri just for iPhone 4S? You’d ask again. Though the exact reason is still unclear, I come up to think that Siri is a deal breaker for an iPhone 4S. If you stick to iPhone 4, you won’t get Siri.
Just a related note though, Siri may be available in future software update following iOS 5; however, there’s no guarantee iPhone 4 or the iPad 2 will have it until we realized there’s another iDevice coming.
Got an iPhone 4? How do you feel Siri won’t be available in your device?
Update: Read CTB‘s iPhone 4S Philippines Unlock Version Review to see Siri in action.