The competition for voice activation technology in mobile products has escalated in the last six months in large part due to the launch of Siri, Apple's "personal assistant", on the iPhone 4S. Several developers have attempted to fill in the gap on Android by offering voice-centric apps that provide access to search and other functions, with mixed success. One such app is Dragon Go! by Nuance Communications.
Certain topics always seem to stir up heated arguments in a hurry. Some of these include politics, religion, capital punishment, gay rights, abortion, and in some circles, Apple. Mix any of two those together and you end up with a recipe for a combustible conversation, which is what happened when Apple's Siri voice recognition software redirected users seeking an abortion clinic to an "anti-choice" organization.
While its harsh to judge a device against the oft-outlandish rumors preceding its launch, the disappointment surrounding the iPhone 4S launch was justified as the upgrades did not seem commensurate with the long gap between the 4S and its predecessor. However, the smartphone’s voice-activated personal assistant Siri is an entirely different matter, with even Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently calling it a “significant development.” Microsoft’s Craig Mundie, though, is not in awe of Siri.
Normally we pass on Mac or iPhone specific news, but just in case it ever comes up in a debate, 9 to 5 Mac has proven that without a doubt, Apple is indeed shafting iPhone 4 customers. It seems an enterprising young hacker by the name of Steven Smith has not only ported the Siri AI interface to the iPhone 4, but the two way communication with Apple servers is now working perfectly.
Have you heard of Siri? Of course you have, unless you turned the dial on your Apple ear filters to 11. Siri is one of the most talked about features native to the recently released iPhone 4S, and it's been garnering a lot of attention and praise, and maybe even a bit of envy in the Android camp. The cool thing about Android, however, is any developer can code a Siri equivalent to work with Google's open source mobile platform, and to prove it, a team of Android developers went and did just that. Sort of.
One of the big new features in Apple's iPhone 4S is Siri, a "virtual personal assistant" that somewhat understands normal everyday language and will assist with setting reminders, firing off text messages, and other tasks. Android also supports voice recognition, just not to the extent of what Siri's capable of. Don't hold your breath waiting for an Android equivalent.
Apple’s Siri voice control system is undeniably cool, but it’s also still technically a beta product. As such, there are some kinks to work out, but this is a pretty big one. The default setting for Siri is that it can be activated when the phone is locked, which is handy. But it turns out that even if you use a passcode, anyone can fire up Siri without knowing your code, and send texts and emails, or snoop in your calendar.
We love it when the folks over at iFixIt tear into brand new hardware with Dexter-like precision and exposes the guts. The latest piece of hardware to hit iFixIt's operating table is Apple's recently announced iPhone 4S smartphone that started shipping today. Given that the iPhone 4S is really just an upgraded iPhone 4 in the same mold, will there be any surprises waiting inside?