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I don’t own an iPhone 4S, as most people who read my articles could probably have guessed already. However, there is one feature that is only available on the iPhone 4S that I find intriguing to the point that I would contemplate buying an iPhone in the future. They call her Siri.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking Siri is something of a gamechanger, that it (or something similar) is going to be the primary way we communicate with our phones in the future. But that’s not what most MakeUseOf readers think, or at least what the ones who answered the question posed in our recent ‘We Ask You‘ column think.

As An iPhone 4S Owner, What Do You Use Siri For?

We asked you, ‘As An iPhone 4S Owner, What Do You Use Siri For? As An iPhone 4S Owner, What Do You Use Siri For? [We Ask You] As An iPhone 4S Owner, What Do You Use Siri For? [We Ask You] Apple has recently fallen into a pattern of offering just incremental updates on its existing product line rather than anything new and innovative. Hence the Retina Display on the new iPad and Siri on the... Read More ‘ The response was fair but the majority of those who commented aren’t very impressed with Siri. We had complaints over the understanding of accents and certain words, complaints over limited functionality in certain countries, and, above all, people suggesting it was nothing but a novelty.

Some do use Siri, however, for reading and replying to text messages (the hands-free aspect makes it great for drivers), setting alarms and tracking events, calling people, searching the Web, and dictating shopping lists to. Ultimately Siri definitely has its uses but many people fail to take advantage of these uses, for whatever reason.

Comment Of The Week

Comment of the week goes to iStoopKid, who gets nothing but my admiration and respect (which is surely more than anyone needs) for:

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Nothing. I was given an iphone as a gift and after watching a news story on my local Fox News channel, I sold it 2 days later. They showed how Siri was giving people directions to dump dead bodies and where to find weed or places where lots of children hang out (for child predators). It shocked the crap out of me. Not to mention everything you say to Siri is recorded in order to be transcribed into text. All these smartphones collect massive amounts of data on their users, but something about Siri never sat easy with me.

Far be it from me to question the choice of Fox News, but the fact that Siri will answer pretty much any question, no matter if it’s for nefarious purposes, is an interesting one. As is the suggestion that everything you ever say to Siri is recorded. Owning a smartphone does mean giving up a certain amount of privacy, but the amount required by Siri is clearly too much for some.

Mark, who happens to be my boss here at MakeUseOf, also deserves a mention for his complaint that Siri doesn’t always understand his Scottish accent. And Luna gets a mention for reminding us all that Siri is more knowledgeable about some countries than others.

We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. ‘We Ask You’ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf X Seldom-known Awesome Tools To Optimize Windows X Seldom-known Awesome Tools To Optimize Windows Read More is nothing without you.

  1. Choon Khai
    July 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Nothing, by using finger and keyboard, and some plugins for shortcuts are easier, SIRI is just a tool that makes my friends say wow.

  2. Laurence Ballard
    July 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Absolutely nothing. It's been turned off in complete frustration. Typing in Google is far, far, faster--and actually gives meaningful, adult, helpful responses. I do not use toys.

  3. Nishanth Kl
    June 1, 2012 at 11:35 am

    i use siri just to show off to my friends ;)

    • Dave Parrack
      June 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      I don't think you're alone on that score!

  4. Dean
    May 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I turned Siri off. Didn't ever use it, but it would activate during calls every now and then.

  5. muotechguy
    May 30, 2012 at 9:13 am

    That's a pretty hilarious commented you highlighted. It's like saying "I don't use Google because I heard you can find porn online and that just doesn't sit well with me!". Hey, did you know Google maps will tell you the location of local playgrounds too? You know, the kind where kids hang out. I don't think I'm comfortable using Google maps knowing that they help child predators!

    Also, transmitting a recorded sentence for recognition parsing is one thing; archiving it is another. Do you really think they have the storage to archive everything bit of nonsense uttered into Siri? I expect - and I'm hypothesising here - that they anonymously archive recordings where the recognition score was below a certain quality threshold - ie, Siri had no clue what you were saying - they use this to see if they can improve recognition, debugging those that should have been recognized and tweaking the algorithm.

    *ZOMG NEWSFLASH* Google records your web searches too with your IP address, even if you aren't logged in and have web history turned off! Let's run a fox news story on that shall we?

    Hey, I'm not trying to defend Apple here; I'm on the side of logical, critical thinking and informed choices. Which is why I think that comment was completely uninformed and reactionary, and it saddens me that you "respect" such ignorance. I don't have an iPhone 4S either; Siri just isn't *that* compelling right now - the hype is a tad unrealistic.

    ps; I don't recognize what most Scottish people are saying either, can't blame Siri for that one!

    • Dave Parrack
      May 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      I felt that comment was the most interesting one of the week, that doesn't mean I agree with it. it's a certain point of view that is worthy of highlighting. Nothing more, nothing less.

      I would personally laugh at such an ill-informed report on Fox News, just as I have done with their other scaremongering reports into technology. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  6. Nick
    May 30, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I would like Apple to make Siri available for IPOD touch and IPAD users.

    • Dave Parrack
      May 30, 2012 at 4:23 am

      That could happen in time. I think demand will require Apple to move it beyond the iPhone.

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