The change from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S is not a cosmetic one as there have been a lot of internal changes. The iPhone 4S has an A5 processor that gives the speed bump. It also has a completely redesigned antenna system that improves the call quality and the data transfer speeds. But the most important element of the iPhone 4S is the voice activated virtual personal assistant called Siri.
Siri stands for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. The technology behind Siri has been the combined work of research teams from various universities and research institutes like Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Massachusetts, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Oregon State University, the University of Southern California and Stanford University. Initially, Siri was available as an iOS application that could be downloaded through the App Store. Later, Apple acquired Siri Inc. and Siri is now an integral part of iOS 5 and is available only on the iPhone 4S. Apple claims that Siri can accept natural language and adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time. Apple makes clear that the product is still in beta.
Generally, users have to adhere to a list of determined commands for the voice recognition system to work. But that is not the case with Siri; the user can talk as if they are talking to a real person. To access Siri, the user is required to unlock the iPhone and hold the home button for a short while. Siri then pops up and says, “What can I help you with?” At this point, the user can tell Siri what they are looking for. For example, if the user wants to locate a coffee shop, generally, he would have to open the browser and type the search string with the location. But now, he can hold the home button and the moment Siri pops up, he can say, “Coffee shops close by”. Siri automatically gets the coordinates of the location, searches the web and displays the map with pins dropped at each coffee shop.
The same goes to setting reminders and alarms. The user can simply say, “Remind me to buy flowers at 7pm on Wednesday”. Siri automatically sets the reminders and confirms it by displaying it on the screen. The user can also send emails, text or call someone. By saying, “Send a message to Lori”, Siri opens the message app and when the user says, “See you tomorrow at 9am”, it automatically converts the command into text and sends a text message to Lori.
The groundwork has been laid to make Siri powerful and more efficient. Although the application is still in beta, it works great!
This is a guest post by Nathan Brown of Saveology, a site that offers savings and current news on att uverse tv .