Siri: FAQ About iPhone 4S’ Intelligent Personal Assistant Feature

BY Jason

Published 14 Oct 2011

iPhone 4S - Siri

One of the most impressive features of Apple’s new iPhone 4S is Siri – the intelligent personal assistant feature, which we believe could be as or more revolutionary than Apple’s multitouch feature, which was introduced with the first iPhone.

Ever since Apple introduced Siri at last week’s Let’s Talk iPhone event, we have been finding out interesting details about the new feature such as the exhaustive list of phrases it can understand, how unbelievably accurate it is and that the engineers responsible for developing it has some sense of humor.

Apple has just published an FAQ on the new feature (or it’s at least the first time we’ve noticed it) that will be exclusively available on iPhone 4S that will be available today. Here are answers to the some of the questions that we’ve been frequently asked since its introduction:

Which apps does Siri work with?

Siri works with almost all the built-in apps on iPhone 4S. Apple says that Siri is smart enough to figure out which apps to use to provide you with answers. It also uses Search and Location Services to help you with your requests.

Here’s a list of apps and services that Siri works with worldwide:

  • Phone
  • FaceTime
  • Music
  • Mail
  • Messages
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Notes
  • Contacts
  • Weather
  • Stocks
  • Web Search
  • Find My Friends
  • Alarms, World Clock and Timer
  • Wikipedia search
  • Wolfram Alpha (English only)

Siri also assists users to use the following apps in the U.S. in English:

  • Maps
  • Local search with Yelp!

Apple has clarified that Maps and local search support will be available in additional countries in 2012.

Language Support and Availability

Apple has again confirmed that Siri will be exclusively available only on iPhone 4S. It can understand and speak the following languages:

  • English (United States, United Kingdom, Australia)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)

Apple will add support for Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish to Siri in 2012.

Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?

This is probably the most frequently asked question as the language support has led to some confusion about whether it will be available in all the countries.

Apple has clarified that Siri will be enabled in any country. However, it goes on to add:

Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.

So though users from other countries might face some issues initially, things will improve as they use it more. Apple has pointed out while answering another question that the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. Apple explains:

Siri works right out of the box, without any work on your part. And the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice. Siri uses voice recognition algorithms to categorize your voice into one of the dialects or accents it understands. As more people use Siri and it’s exposed to more variations of a language, its overall recognition of dialects and accents will continue to improve, and Siri will work even better.

Siri also uses information from your contacts, music library, calendars, and reminders to better understand what you say. So it responds more accurately when you ask to make a phone call, play music, or create an appointment or reminder.

If you want to find out more about the feature then follow this link.

Some more tidbits to share about Siri:

  • Brett tells us – If you change the language in Siri’s settings, the voice changes. For instance, if you choose English (UK) Siri becomes a man with a British accent and if you choose English (Australia) Siri has a different female voice with an Australian accent. (Thanks Brett!)

If you’ve any other interesting details to share about Siri, let us know in the comments.