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Things Siri Says; Things Siri Can Do

iPhone 4S: First Look At Siri and iOS 5
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For a comprehensive list of functions Siri can perform (and, yes, we’re sure more will be added and more will be discovered every day by astute users), check out tuaw.com’s post here. One thing we’ll point out that not many people have noticed yet is that Siri’s behavior can change according to circumstance. For example, when I paired my iPhone 4S to a Bluetooth speakerphone, Siri read more stuff out loud than she previously did when I was holding the phone (so, she knows I’m paired and acts accordingly). Further, Siri’s dictation abilities are far superior to any voice-recognition software we’ve ever tested (and we’ve tested A LOT over the years). Just remember to use punctuation (get used to saying “comma,” “period,” “question mark,” “exclamation point,” etc. What’s most fun about the “novelty act” of Siri is the constant feeling of searching for Easter Eggs

We’ve enjoyed articles that test the limits of Siri’s comprehension, but we thought you could do better, so we asked you to submit your best question ideas for Siri. I promised I would give them a try on Siri (no matter how strange). Here are your best suggestions, with Siri’s cleverest responses.

We're on a \We're on a "need to know" basis.

Apple's severs update Siri's algorithm in real time. Clearly this question has been asked one too many times.Apple's severs update Siri's algorithm in real time. Clearly this question has been asked one too many times.

Apple thinks church is the answer. Surprised it didn't point me towards an Apple store.Apple thinks church is the answer. Surprised it didn't point me towards an Apple store.

Nice work, Siri.Nice work, Siri.

You guys made me ask that!You guys made me ask that!

classic questionclassic question

no secrets revealedno secrets revealed

uhhh...uhhh... 

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  • 0 Hide
    chumly , October 14, 2011 10:14 PM
    ...and why doesn't this software work on every other iPhone?
  • 4 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , October 14, 2011 10:21 PM
    chumly...and why doesn't this software work on every other iPhone?

    I think it technically could. I mean, maybe Siri would run kind of slow on iPhone 4 with its A4 chip, but I can't think of any reason why it couldn't run on iPad 2, which is pretty speedy. This is Apple wanting people to pay for hardware to get the software (typical Apple model). If it doesn't entice you, however, don't do it!

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Managing Editor, Tom's Guide
  • 0 Hide
    eleveneleven , October 14, 2011 10:40 PM
    This used to be an app on the App Store...it worked on the 3GS and 4. Apple pulled it so it could be an "exclusive" feature on the 4S. If you don't mind jailbreaking, expect a simple method to get Siri to work on your 3GS or 4.
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , October 14, 2011 10:45 PM
    elevenelevenThis used to be an app on the App Store...it worked on the 3GS and 4. Apple pulled it so it could be an "exclusive" feature on the 4S. If you don't mind jailbreaking, expect a simple method to get Siri to work on your 3GS or 4.

    True! I think there were some features missing from the app that are present on the iPhone 4S, but generally speaking--yes, this means other Apple hardware is capable of running Siri. So, chalk it up to Apple's business methods.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 14, 2011 11:35 PM
    I was under the impression that the voice recognition was done locally on the phone which is why only the 4S was the only one with Siri. But after some of the responses from the question section, it seems that Siri is dependent on you having internet. Like the math operations and a few quirky questions (unladen swallow, lottery) were actually done by wolframalpha.com and not by Siri. Also considering the pod bay door question, this it leads me to believe the voice is actually sent to Apple's servers and deciphered there (Exactly like how Google does it). so i dont see why Siri only for the 4s
  • 1 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , October 14, 2011 11:47 PM
    just_wondering_yaknoI was under the impression that the voice recognition was done locally on the phone which is why only the 4S was the only one with Siri. But after some of the responses from the question section, it seems that Siri is dependent on you having internet. Like the math operations and a few quirky questions (unladen swallow, lottery) were actually done by wolframalpha.com and not by Siri. Also considering the pod bay door question, this it leads me to believe the voice is actually sent to Apple's servers and deciphered there (Exactly like how Google does it). so i dont see why Siri only for the 4s

    You are exactly right. It IS deciphered at Apple's servers. There are several ways we know this but one of them is that Siri's answers change (at least partially in response to trends in the frequency of getting asked the same thing over and over).
  • 0 Hide
    hawkwindeb , October 15, 2011 12:15 AM
    "KITT from Knight Rider" was a male voice

    Section "3. Things Siri Says; Things Siri Can Do" "Siri’s behavior can chance according" typo: needs to be changed to "change"
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , October 15, 2011 12:39 AM
    hawkwindeb"KITT from Knight Rider" was a male voiceSection "3. Things Siri Says; Things Siri Can Do" "Siri’s behavior can chance according" typo: needs to be changed to "change"

    Thank you. You are correct on both counts. I will make the changes in the article.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 15, 2011 8:49 AM
    When I asked the woodchuck question, Siri answered "that depends on whether we are talking about African wood or European wood." None of this proves where the voice is translated. I ask the woodchuck question. Siri, using my phone's processor, translates to text, then sends said text to apple to get an answer. She does not work in airplane mode though. I am just thinking that sending the full voice signal would eat a ton of data
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , October 15, 2011 2:21 PM
    v3rlonWhen I asked the woodchuck question, Siri answered "that depends on whether we are talking about African wood or European wood." None of this proves where the voice is translated. I ask the woodchuck question. Siri, using my phone's processor, translates to text, then sends said text to apple to get an answer. She does not work in airplane mode though. I am just thinking that sending the full voice signal would eat a ton of data

    Ooooh. Interesting. It may not send the full voice data--perhaps Siri can parse the recording on the phone for the relevant "boolean search" bits and send that on to the Apple servers?
  • 1 Hide
    becherovka , October 15, 2011 6:34 PM
    We already have people getting hit by trains from ipod/iphones. (Melbourne last week) now we are going to have all these crazy people talking to themself.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 15, 2011 9:31 PM
    Most of the thing I've seen Siri doing can also be done in Vlingo for android.
    It even comes pre-installed for the Galaxy S2.
    It really is impressive in use!
  • 1 Hide
    firebonez , October 16, 2011 2:02 AM
    Android could do all these ages ago!! Actually most of the iPhone 4S features were 'slavishly' copied from the apps already existing in Android!!
  • 0 Hide
    lp231 , October 16, 2011 3:38 AM
    GlaDOS siri
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTg00wIijNY
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , October 16, 2011 10:38 AM
    Soomeone tell me if an ARM dual core chip in Iphone 4s can have such thing as SIRI. Why our Microsoft doesnt develop a Better/smarter "siri" for windows 8 to boost its sales when our Desktop/Laptop CPU are at least many times more powerful than ARM?
  • 0 Hide
    watcha , October 17, 2011 10:30 AM
    BecherovkaWe already have people getting hit by trains from ipod/iphones. (Melbourne last week) now we are going to have all these crazy people talking to themself.


    That was probably because they were looking at their phone. With Siri, they don't have to. Problem solved!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 24, 2012 4:07 PM
    One thing that bugs me is that their location based reminder service only works for the 4S. Doesn't make any sense to me! But I found an app that accomplishes the same task, and does it better (IMO). It's called Im Nearby!. There's a free and a paid version and works really well.

    iPhone 3 and 4 rejoice! :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 8, 2012 2:52 AM
    Location Alerts (productivity) for iPhone, schedules future text and calls based on the location.
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