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Siri: iPhone 4S’ killer feature or utter failure?




When Apple introduced the iPhone 4S a couple of weeks back, we said it wasn’t a big of an upgrade as we wanted it to be (see: Why we’re disappointed there’s no iPhone 5). There were dissenting opinions, of course, stating that Siri — the Personal Assistant, is its killer feature.

I had my reservations with Siri and kept judgement until we’ve finally seen it first hand. Aside from that, there’s also the issue with the speed of our local networks.

So here’s a sample of that killer feature from Siri, c/o MB Tech News Editor Art Samaniego.

Looks like Siri will not work if you’re outside the US (Siri uses services like Places, Yelp and WolframAlpha). So if Siri is one of your biggest reasons to get the iPhone 4S, you might just be disappointed.

At least Apple gave it some sense of humor.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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53 Responses

  1. patrick says:

    Hypothetically, if one uses a VPN that directs to a US ip address, would Siri work here?

  2. yuga says:

    @patrick – nope, because Siri needs local information. You can still tell it to do other things though.

  3. Neil says:

    ^ No. Siri uses your physical location to your questions. But Siri will still do some things for you like settinga Reminder, sending an SMS or email, etc. Except for things like the one mentioned in the article.

  4. Cliff Rosario says:

    Like how they said it in Engadget. An uppdate is in the works to make Siri more global come 2012..[lol] I guess majority of the world will be added to her maps not sure about the Philippines though.. so I’ll hold on to my iP4 and SGS2 for the moment..

    Link: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/15/siri-gets-lost-internationally-promises-to-do-better-next-year/

  5. Mat says:

    I tried the same question on Vlingo and got a list of malls. Siri is not as good as they claim it to be. That’s one reason they kept the Beta tag on just in case people notice.

    • Chris says:

      Dear Mat,

      Don’t be silly! They didn’t “keep” the beta tag. They called it was it is, a Beta product integrated into a neww platform. So what that you used so e other program and liked the results.

      A stand alone product being used by a few thousand and a similar product that is integrated into not only a sophisticated but brand spanking new OS is not the same thing. And when you consider the tens of millions of users testing this new toy to it’s limits, only a foo would complain about a beta status. GET A LIFE, MAT.

    • Raphaa says:

      Ooooo Apple Fanboy mad! (Okay disregard that…)

      FYI Vlingo had 3 Million users on Android as of August 2011 (http://blog.vlingo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/SuccessGraphicv3.png)

      It has multi-platform support for Symbian, Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, aaaand weirdly Windows Mobile (not Windows Phone 7). In my usage of Vlingo… I can do a web search, a text message, an email, a ‘note to self’ on either the calendar’s to-do or notepad, update my facebook status, “voice dial”, and open an application. Like Siri it does use a data connection for the voice recognition. It is not as sophisticated and as integrated into the OS as Siri but it is not bad… and it has been available since if i remember correctly, 2009. No I do not work for Vlingo.

      So please chill. Why are some people wound-up so tightly over this?

    • Mat says:

      @Chris

      I’m not sure what your point is. Siri is BETA, thats a fact and and you seem to agree. I dont think I see any complaining, as you call it, in my post.

    • Chris says:

      Matt,

      My point was that there are plenty of things that Siri won’t do from the word go. It is also not meant to be all things to all people. I’d just like to see more slack given to the product, since it is new and so closely tied to a new OS. vlingo is several years old and should be more capable. But give Siri some room to stretch out and see what Apple does with it. I’d hope you would agree that they are committed to this project.

    • Mat says:

      Siri may just be the best thing in the future, but we can only assume. Right now, its just not as ground breaking as Apple has made it to be. I agree that its something to keep an eye on.

  6. Benchmark says:

    for now siguro hinde pa ganun covered ang local places dito sa pinas….yet maybe some company will make their effort to update or have a link with this siri siri thingy…

    But then again, hinde naman din instant yung mga gagawin nila na paglalagay ng info ng local industries natin.

    Plus, in my opinion, only few people lang here sa Pinas who use voice control…kaya I think Siri will not be a real hit here sa pinas…

    …for now.

  7. RJ says:

    Abe, Apple would not of course invest yet in the Philippines. The country is a small market. The US had 18M iOS users in 2010, compared to 100K of the PH. Thailand’s even larger than PH with 200K users.

    Siri would only be ‘practically’ available for US, Canadian, Australian, French and German markets. Japan and China perhaps.

    • Jologs says:

      I agree. Filipino users like ourselves might see it as an utter failure since it doesn’t work for us. But considering that it will work for about 18M other users(I’m trusting your figures here RJ, he he he), then you can’t really say it’s a failure.

      I personally think that the title is an open invite to trolls from both the iSheeps and Fandroids sides to bash each other. Oh well…

  8. Benchmark says:

    By the way, ayus yung Post photo via Sir Art…..hehehe kulang na lang sabihin ni Siri, “I haven’t been in the Philippines, Art” or “SECRET!” heheheheh

  9. char says:

    di maintindihan ni Siri ang Japanese accent nag “F” word pa haha!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RiU8GPlsZqE

  10. deuts says:

    Maybe someday. It’ll be a matter of time.

    • kappy says:

      Sadly after about 8 years, no one really cares about siri anymore. Hahahaha wow really a lot has changed since this article was posted.

  11. moonshine says:

    another borrowed feature from microsofts voice command and tell me.this feature has been in microsofts mobile operating systems since 2002.Yet im impressed how the company who developed siri improved the system (BTW,apple just fought over google in acquiring siri in 2010). This is whats great about apple.they’ll copy a feature and make it more intuitive,FUNCTIONAL and USABLE just like how they copied the mouse GUI from xerox and perfected the implementation in the first MAC COmputer. Too bad SIRI needs a data service in which most of us here in the philippines dont have.id rather stick with my windows phone and with my iP4 which is now running iOS5.upgrading to the iP4s(if you already have the iP4) i guess would be a not so practical and economical move,i must say. just my two cents

    • Raphaa says:

      Actually I think the first mobile phone with speech/voice recognition would be the Ericsson T18 introduced in 1999. I miss those old Ericssons with the antenna shaped like the end cap of a highlighter. Nostalgia :D

      I don’t want to sound like a Symbian fan boy or anything but if you do really want the voice commands/recognition without using a data connection you can get a cheap Symbian^1 or Symbian^3 phone. You can use it for voice dialing, initiate a new message or email to someone, opening some applications, ask it “what time is it?”, change the profile, read new or all messages or emails (weirdly when reading “LOL” it does say “laughing out loud” instead or “L.O.L.” or “LOL” funny).

      I still prefer Vlingo. It is more accurate and useful.

  12. martin says:

    Siri’s being ported over to iPhone 4 as we speak anyway..

  13. Edwin C says:

    Eh, bobo pala iyan si Siri, ah. Sinubukan mo bang tanungin kung saan matatagpuan si P.Noy?

  14. Bryan says:

    Now kung wala kang makausap iphone na bilin mo. hehehe..

  15. Hater says:

    F-u-c-k the iPhone4S! The iPhone is crap. Always have been… always will be!

  16. Nick says:

    Just like how Windows Phone 7 Mango Bing doesn’t support Music Search and Local Scout in the country…

    The Philippines is never a priority.

  17. Iyan Sommerset says:

    Que siri, siri. Whatever will be, will be. :P

  18. daniel says:

    haha this is a cool feature when u cant do anything… u want to talk .. then talk with ur phone hahaha.

  19. qwertio says:

    It is possible for Siri to be functional in the Philippines, if we direct it to use local search sites, like http://www.eyp.ph and juice.ph

    It is just the matter of redirecting the search sites, and possibly changing the search algorithm to match the new websites. And this might be possible once the iOS5 jailbreak comes out. But it might take a while to hack into Siri’s code, considering that it is a very advanced voice recognition artificial intelligence software. But there is always a way.

    • Anime says:

      You got a point, haven’t thought of that really, your idea of changing the sites that Siri used is a good one though I’m sure there’s an API for that in which Siri is using.Based from that I’m not sure though if local sites that you’ve mentioned support that. On that case they need a revamp and provide a way so both can communicate to each other.

      If you’re using Siri though to do common task which doesn’t require to connect to the internet then it’s still a killer feature.

  20. philip says:

    beta pa kasi ung Siri. try checking the apple site.
    chill lang kayo

  21. jayman says:

    note to self: never use siri when drunk or hotheaded…answers like a wise-ass hahaha…buti di binato ni sir art ung iphone nya hehehe…btw i love the improvement in the map app of the iOS…almost at par with android but not much

  22. rikimaru says:

    Siri checks for apple servers every time you use it. Even the simple commands such as “Dial Mr. XYZ”. Next to useless if your not connected to the net 24/7.

  23. Shakey says:

    I don’t have any Apple products, but to be fair, iPhone4S is not yet officially released here in the country so they might still update Siri for local use.

    Hmmm.. I wonder how the Chinese and Japanese Siri would sound like.

  24. RJ says:

    I would have to agree with ‘Jologs’ that the blog article is an open invite for everyone to bash one another. Well, I won’t be blaming Abe though, this is one of the ways to increase the blog’s traffic (visits and page views). The blog’s engagement rate might be great quantitatively however the comments are qualitatively poor. Fans of Abe’s blog should be respectful in commenting. What you are doing online is a refelction of your character in the real world. Try to be respectful both in online and offline world.

    For Abe, I would encourage you to ask your ‘Fans’, that’s including me, to give and accept constructive criticisms if you haven’t done so. Better yet, try to be as ojective as possible. Your blog might be getting a lot of visits for now but in the long run when everyone’s just bashing, people would navigate away from it. I love your blog but I used to love it more in the past, when I only could read information that I need, useful tips, balance reviews and most importantly i miss the “open-minded” commenters, where are they now?

    • Jologs says:

      I agree!!! I loved the site before when people can talk to each other intelligently, whether or not they are an ios or android user. Sometimes, im wary of reading an apple related article here because of the trolls, whose comments are so frustrating. Same goes for android reviews. Like what i said in the n9 page, kung ayaw mo, e di wag. Walang basagan ng trip. Hardcore fans will never be swayed by trolls, so might as well shut up if you can’t say anything intelligent.

  25. Ano ba ang magandang rason na bumili ng iPhone 4s? Una, the lack of design upgrade. One can use iOS 5 on a previous iDevice. Siri sucks in Pinas! Ano? Seriously? Ano? The A5 chip? Seriously, how can an increased speed with no true multitasking help me?

    Go Nokia N9!

  26. Sixel says:

    Well if Siri is the only reason to buy a iPhone 4S. Congratulations on your wasted money.

  27. Robin Lim says:

    Dissapoint Vlingo (Android/BlackBeery/iOS/Symbian) does work in the Philippines.

    Android App has additional features not found in he iOS version like SafeReader and car mode.

    The only thing I use Vlingo for is SafeReader though. The rest I tried for fun.

  28. Tmcr says:

    Siri is not a good enough reason to buy the 4s. If you want the iPhone porma, get the iPhone 4 instead. Nobody will notice the difference. But if you want the best smartphone, get the galaxy s ii.

  29. His features is limited to particular places.

  30. steelicon says:

    Google must buy and integrate Vlingo with ICS! \o/

  31. 'em says:

    User: “Siri, how many islands are there in the Philippines?
    Siri: “High tide or low tide?”

    :)

  32. Den says:

    Hopefully, it’ll work better when the 4s becomes official here.

  33. Robin Lim says:

    Sometimes I really wonder about how bright we are. Apple says something and we are like wow.

    Siri was offered as a free app for a year, and no one talked about it. Now Siri is the “killer app” on the iPhone 4S. The free download is gone. You could have been using it on you 3GS or for 4 a long time ago. Now, you have to buy a 4S.

    Even on the Android side, Vlingo has seen a 50% increase in downloads. Vlingo is good on Android, with complete hands free operation. I think they have given up on iOS, since the iOS version has less features (no car mode and no safereader).

    It also cost US$9.99 to get it fully functional on iOS, and is free on Android. Making it add free cost US$1.99.

    I have Vlingo installed. The only thing I really use is its SafeReader function though.

  34. iSuck says:

    I wonder what she says when you say I love you?
    She will say “I Hope you dont say that to other smartphones.

  35. SIRI says:

    SIRI: ART AND EVERYONE, YOU STILL DON’T GET IT UNTIL NOW? I’M NOT OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE TO COME OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY UNTIL NOW, BUT IT WILL BE HERE IN NO TIME. YOU SEE, ART DID BUY THE IPHONE 4S FROM THE OTHER COUNTRY CAUSE HE’S SO EXCITED TO USE ME BUT FROM THAT CASE HE JUST USE HE’S MONEY NOT HE’S HEAD..

    HE’S A MORON…STUPID…

    • Ranma says:

      I’m glad the SIRI in the comment above this is not the SIRI in iPhone 4S.

      Expanding the contractions:

      HE JUST USE “HE IS” MONEY NOT “HE IS” HEAD

      Not to mention other grammatical errors. This SIRI may not be a native English speaker but it’s ironic to be calling someone a moron and stupid when the grammar in the post itself seem to indicate that he/she is no better.

  36. quacker oatmeals says:

    Oh yeah, that’s one hell of an epic fail image.
    Anyway, it’s really disappointing that this app only works in the US.

  37. me says:

    Pang sa mahilig mangtrip o sa mga tamad lang tong si siri. lol.

  38. quantumkiko says:

    Note that you can still do schedules, notes/emails, plays songs, check weather, and other important business stuff. As for “what’s the nearest mall or restaurant” questions, I don’t think we really need Siri for that here in Manila don’t we? Given the lack of road directions, it’s implied that we know how to get around already. Culture. Just my 2 cents.

  39. Luna says:

    i hope they will upgrade siri and can be used here in phil .. :) dnt be too hasty :D

    xmas spirit .. xado highblood :)

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