Thursday, 6 December 2012

Surprisingly impressed with Siri

This week, after over five years on the same network, I left O2 and switched to Vodafone. This was purely motivated by money - I wanted to upgrade to an iPhone 4S and the Car Phone Warehouse had a ridiculously good online deal. (Essentially a free phone and a lower monthly tariff that my old one. O2 have always been pretty good to me and, a little ironically, the customer service people you deal with when leaving the network are some of the nicest and most helpful people I've ever dealt with!)

I'd pondered going all out and going for an iPhone 5 but figured that if I did that I might as well upgrade from 32Gb to 64Gb and then we're talking £400 for the phone. Plus, of course, all my iPhone 4 adaptors etc. would cease working and I'd have to get a new case and all the rest. So, I opted for the more thrifty choice.

The new phone itself was transferred to my old number yesterday and so far, so good. Apart from being generally faster, I've not yet done enough to really notice the difference yet but I have given Siri a little road test.

Having last played with voice recognition software when at Uni in the 90's, my expectations were very low and I've actually been very impressed. My first task for him was to give me 1/2lb in kg. (I thought one 250g block of butter would be ok but wanted to check.) The request was understood and the right answer provided. Today, I've tried his DJ capabilities: this morning, he correctly interpreted my request for some Avenged Sevenfold and put their albums on shuffle for me. This afternoon, en route to getting our Christmas tree following a work Christmas social, he correctly understood my wife's request for the Christmas playlist.

I still can't decide whether Siri is purely a gimmick (for most people at least) or whether it will prove to be useful (can operate with gloves!) but these early successes mean that I feel more inclined to find out.

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