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The evolution of Siri, we assess Siri's school report

Joey Evans | Sept. 25, 2013
As Siri steps out of beta in iOS 7 we look back at Apple's voice assistant to see just how much he/or she has changed over the years

Apple's answer to these legal disputes was to firstly produce a new set of adverts, that this time reminded the viewer that response times were sped up and produced varied responses, dependent on the network the phone was on. Apple's second MO was to work on Siri's language processing, and improve the response time. By iOS 6, loading time for these responses had greatly improved, and as Siri is a web-based application, 4G was helping to return more refined results, and in a shorter space of time. Siri was now able to better interact with location services to provide directions for drivers, locate your fellow iPhone using friends, and was even able to tell you when and where films were on, and whether they were worth watching. Besides this, better integration with third party services including Facebook and Twitter were also more prevalent, a complaint many had realised with the iOS 5 version. Another benefit was that voice dictation accompanied more internalised answers and sought less from the internet for basic mathematical and since related queries.

Siri in iOS 7
Now, with iOS 7 [read our review of iOS 7 here], Siri has become more adept at answering questions. This is because more sources, such as Wikipedia, Twitter and Bing have been added to its arsenal. Siri can now also return missed calls and playback voicemail messages, and provide image results from Bing. In the States Siri's voice options have also changed, allowing you to select from a male or female assistant, although, for now UK Siri users have only the original male voice.

Visually, Siri is no longer a microphone icon with a pulsating purple loop around it. Now it is a straight audiowave that bends to both your voice and transforms into concentric circles to reply. You can now ask Siri to search specifically for information from individual search providers, and although you cannot change the default service provider for this service, you can phrase questions to it in a manner like so:

"[Insert search provider] the best way to cook an omelette."

It is true that Siri has not had the smoothest upbringing, but happily, due to Apple's persistence and frequent software updates, it has remained as the benchmark in personal voice recognition based software assistance. Besides the novelty factor, and ever-so-slightly HAL 1000-esque cynical undercurrent, the application does provide an invaluable and practical service.

By the looks of things, Apple will endeavour to continue promoting and defending the system with a terminal intensity, and improvements and tweaks are limitless as far as the developers and also fans of the system may tell you. It is very easy to become a fan of Siri, and you may yourself one day end up telling Siri that you are in love with it, but in its typical sardonic way it will respond along the lines of: "You hardly know me" and perhaps as yet, we don't.


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