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Friday, October 14, 2011, 08:28 pm PT (11:28 pm ET)

First Look: Using iPhone 4S with Siri voice assistant (with videos)


Conversational context

In a second video, I ask about a weekday, a question that isn't correctly recognized; asking it again works however. An answer about stock prices and weather work as expected.

A general knowledge question and a request for a city's population get quick answers from Wolfram Alpha. Siri's use of context in answering questions is indicated when I ask about breakfast in San Francisco's Cow Hollow neighborhood. At first, while correctly recognizing the text of my question, Siri doesn't provide a useful answer. But when I ask again, despite failing to recognize the words I used, the context of the previous request resulted in Siri offering useful information.

I immediately changed the topic to getting gas in the Mission District, and Siri responds with breakfast options there instead. But when I repeat
that I'm looking for gas, Siri provides the right information.

Siri also helps you pull up information saved in your Notes (including those you've just dictated), offering a powerful way to delegate things you're supposed to remember to your smartphone. This feels addictive and easy.

Siri also helps you schedule and change your calendar, although in my example, it failed to immediately do what I asked. However, with a little persistence the system not only got it right, but also presented helpful information about potential calendar conflicts. After I thought I was finished with the calendar, I asked an unrelated question, which Siri stumbled on as it continued to talk about my calendar.

After appearing to double book the appointment I had been working on, I simply asked Siri to review what it had done to tomorrow's schedule. Everything was fine, no duplications and no missing events due to the change not being finished.

I tried asking about changing Pesos into US dollars, but Siri seemed stuck in my Calendar and unable to figure out what I was trying to do, despite catching the words correctly. However, after asking to "start over," Siri seemed able to get back on track and provide a useful answer.



On page 3 of 3: Siri outside of iPhone 4S