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The phone our new talkative Friend: Apple’s Siri and Voice Actions

Category: Applications, Release Date: 17-Oct-2011

Beyond the new 8 megapixel camera or the intelligent imaging software, one of the features all of the new iPhones 4S users are playing with is Apple’s new Siri service that turns your smartphone into your own personal assistant.

Let's remember
We shouldn’t forget that giving instructions to a phone with our voice is not something new. Back in 2010 Google launched Voice Actions, a downloadable Android app that extended voice services to speech commands: from searching on Google, as well as sending texts messages. Before we talk about some of the difference between Siri and Voice Actions, let’s list a few of the similar functions between them both:

Creation of text messages and emails.
Get navigation directions.
Call a contact.
View a map of a particular area.
Write a note.
Play music.
Perform a web search.

Here you can check, also, the video Google created when they were ready to illustrate the new application:

So, what is the big difference?
Siri’s use of natural language. Instead of memorizing set commands, Siri can understand questions, even if they’re asked in different ways. The speech engine works with conversational language, as if you were talking to a real person. In other words…it uses layman’s terms. In the Apple’s Siri video you could see how just by asking: “Is it going to be chilly in San Francisco this weekend?” the phone knows it needs to pull out the weather app.

A new funny toy
What it is for sure, this is going to be the toy all our iPhones Friends will be playing for quite long time at any dinner we’ll have from now on. And by play, I mean play. Here is a list of questions and answers, our friends on Gigaom have published on their blog.

Me: What’s the best mobile phone?
Siri: The one you’re holding.

Me: What’s your favorite color?
Siri: My favorite color is… well, I don’t know how to say it in your language. It’s sort of greenish, but with more dimensions.

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Siri: I try to be satisfied with what I have, Kevin.

Me: What do you look like?
Siri: Does my appearance matter to you, Kevin?

Well, it is time to go and talk to my phone. Have a good one!

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