Gadget Guru: Siri hits market


Vincent Mecca, Opinion Co-Editor

“What are you wearing?” you ask. “Aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel. Nice, huh?” This is just one of the many silly question and answers that Siri, Apple’s voice assistant for the new Apple iPhone 4S will give you.

On October 4, Apple released its newest iPhone: iPhone 4S. Apple boasted its improved 8-megapixel camera, dual-core processor, and the enhanced voice-assist program named Siri, to act as a personal
assistant wherever you are.

What differentiates Siri from other voice-command options on other phones, is “her” unique answers to certain questions, and her very clear interpretations of what you ask her.

Apart from answering questions, Siri can recognize what you say and base her response accordingly. For example, when simply asking, “Will it freeze?” Siri responds with something like “The low temperature will be 27 degrees.”

Likewise, a question like “Where can I buy video games?” will prompt Siri to check your location, then provide you with a list of stores nearby that sell what you are looking for, and if available, she will list how far away the store is, and also how it is rated.

So is Siri practical? Yes and no. While driving, you can use a command to have her send a text to someone, but no matter what, you are not guaranteed to have her interpretations of your speech be flawlessly accurate.

For the lazy person, Siri might be a lifesaver, but for most of us, Siri is second to just typing the question into Google ourselves or finding out the weather with a simple tap of the weather app. It seems as though Siri is a step in the right direction to hands free driving, because in the car is where Siri seems to have the most practical day-to-day use.

If you currently own an older iPhone and want to upgrade to the 4S just to have Siri, I would suggest going to the store a few times or playing with your friends’ iPhones to see if the phone’s new features add utility to your day-to-day life.

If you aren’t due for an upgrade, then by no means do I think shelling out more than $600 is worth Siri. All in all, she’s a fun program to have on your phone, but she’s not the end-all voice assistant.