Siri (software)

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Siri on the iPhone 4S
Original author(s)SRI International
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseOctober 4, 2011; 17 months ago (2011-10-04)
Stable release
iPhone 4, 4S and 5
iPad 3 and 4
iPad Mini
iPod Touch 5th generation

6.1.3 (Build 10B329) (March 19, 2013; 17 days ago (2013-03-19)) [±][1]

Apple TV 2nd and 3rd generations
6.1 (Build 10B144b) (January 28, 2013; 2 months ago (2013-01-28)) [±][citation needed]
Operating systemiOS 5 and later
PlatformiPhone (4S and later)
iPod Touch (5th generation)
iPad (3rd generation and later) iPad Mini (All generations)
Available inEnglish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Spanish[2]
TypeIntelligent software assistant
  (Redirected from Siri (Software))
Jump to: navigation, search
Siri on the iPhone 4S
Original author(s)SRI International
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseOctober 4, 2011; 17 months ago (2011-10-04)
Stable release
iPhone 4, 4S and 5
iPad 3 and 4
iPad Mini
iPod Touch 5th generation

6.1.3 (Build 10B329) (March 19, 2013; 17 days ago (2013-03-19)) [±][1]

Apple TV 2nd and 3rd generations
6.1 (Build 10B144b) (January 28, 2013; 2 months ago (2013-01-28)) [±][citation needed]
Operating systemiOS 5 and later
PlatformiPhone (4S and later)
iPod Touch (5th generation)
iPad (3rd generation and later) iPad Mini (All generations)
Available inEnglish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Spanish[2]
TypeIntelligent software assistant

Siri (pronounced /ˈsɪri/) is an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator which works as an application for Apple's iOS. The application uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Web services. Apple claims that the software adapts to the user's individual preferences over time and personalizes results, and performing tasks such as finding recommendations for nearby restaurants, or getting directions.[3]

Siri was originally introduced as an iOS application available in the App Store by Siri, Inc., which was acquired by Apple on April 28, 2010.[4] Siri, Inc. had announced that their software would be available for BlackBerry and for phones running Android, but all development efforts for non-Apple platforms were cancelled after the acquisition by Apple.[5]

Siri has been an integral part of iOS since iOS 5[6] and was first supported on the iPhone 4S.[7] Siri was added to the third generation iPad with the release of iOS 6, and is included on the iPhone 5, fifth generation iPod Touch, fourth generation iPad and the iPad mini.[8]



Siri, Inc. was founded in 2007 by Dag Kittlaus (CEO), Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering), and Tom Gruber (CTO/VP Design), together with Norman Winarsky from SRI International's venture group, and is named after SRI (although Kittlaus claims he wanted to name the daughter he never had "Siri", Norwegian for "beautiful woman who leads you to victory", he cites as primary "the fact that [it] is easy to spell [and] easy to say"[9]). On October 13, 2008, Siri announced it had raised an $8.5 million Series A financing round, led by Menlo Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures.[10] In November 2009, Siri raised a $15.5 million Series B financing round from the same investors as in their previous round, but led by Hong-Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.[11] Dag Kittlaus left his position as CEO of Siri at Apple after the launch of the iPhone 4S.[12]

iPhone application

Siri was launched first as an application available on Apple's App Store in the United States. It integrated with services such as OpenTable,[13] Google Maps,[14] MovieTickets and TaxiMagic.[15] Using voice recognition technology from Nuance and their service partners, users could make reservations at specific restaurants, buy movie tickets or get a cab by dictating instructions in natural language to Siri.[16] Siri was acquired by Apple on April 28, 2010, and the original application ceased to function on October 15, 2011.[4][17]

iOS integration

The Siri feature shown on a white iPhone 4S.

On October 4, 2011 (Siri's birthday[18]), Apple introduced the iPhone 4S with their implementation of Siri.[19] The new version of Siri is integrated into iOS, and offers conversational interaction with many applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps.[3] Currently, Siri only supports English (American, Canadian, Australian, British), French, German, Japanese, Italian(Italy, Switzerland), Spanish (Mexico, Spain),Mandarin (China, Taiwan) , Korean, and Cantonese, and has limited functionality outside the United States and Canada.[20][21]

After announcing that Siri is included with the iPhone 4S, Apple removed the existing Siri app (which ran on all iPhone models) from the App Store.[22]

Independent developers claim that they have ported Siri into the other iOS devices.[23][24] However, some news sites suggest that the videos posted by the developers as "proof" only show the user interface of the Siri software, and not the voice commands, implying that developers have not been able to port the application with full functionality.[25] However, new reports from January 2012 suggest that independent developers have succeeded in porting Siri to earlier iPhone models, the iPod Touch, and iPad., a United States based team, have demonstrated Siri working as intended on the iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and iPad, communicating without the Apple servers.[26]

In later January 2012, independent developers successfully created and distributed a legal port of Siri to older devices via Cydia.[27] The port, however, requires authorization keys from another iPhone 4S, which can be exploited in the form of a proxy server, or by transferring the Siri authorization file from an iPhone 4S.[28] Due to this requirement, developers have bypassed Apple's Siri server completely by creating their own backend using APIs from services such as Google and Wolfram Alpha.[29]

In June 2012, at Apple's WWDC conference, Apple announced that Siri will be available on the 3rd generation iPad beginning in late 2012 with the release of iOS 6. Also in June 2012, at Apple's WWDC conference, Apple announced updates for Siri coming in iOS 6 (which launched in fall 2012.) These new features include: opening apps, telling sports scores and other sports related information, checking movie times, finding restaurants and also ordering reservations. Siri can also tell the height of sports players in iOS 6. It also brought some previously US only features, such as Google Maps and Yelp integration, international.

On September 12, Apple announced that Siri will also be on the iPhone 5,[30] and the iPod touch (5th generation).[31]

Research and development

Siri is a spin-out from the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project.[32][33]

Siri's primary technical areas focus on a Conversational Interface, Personal Context Awareness, and Service Delegation.[34]

Siri's speech recognition engine is thought to be provided by Nuance Communications, a speech technology company, although this has not been officially acknowledged by either Apple or Nuance.[35]

The United Kingdom male voice is called "Daniel" and is voiced by Jon Briggs, a former technology journalist. The voice was recorded for Scansoft, which had merged with Nuance Communications in October 2005, although Apple has never confirmed any involvement of Nuance with Siri.[36]

The Australian female voice is called "Karen" and is voiced by Karen Jacobsen, an Australian-born and New York-based entertainer, singer, voiceover artist and songwriter.[37] Jacobsen is also the Australian voice in GPS navigation devices for Garmin, Navman, TomTom and Mio worldwide.[38]

The original Siri application relied upon a number of partners, including:

The sources in Apple's implementation of Siri differ from the original iPhone application. It integrates with default iOS functionality, such as contacts, calendars and text messages. It also supports search from Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wolfram Alpha and Wikipedia.[2] Siri additionally works with Google Maps and Yelp! search in the United States only.[2]

Vehicle integration

In June 2012, former Apple SVP Scott Forstall announced that Apple had been in discussions with automobile manufacturers and companies, stating that Siri could be in vehicles in as soon as "11 months".

The day following the announcement of this unprecedented collaboration between Apple and automobile manufacturers, Harman International Industries's stock immediately fell by 15%, given Harman's substantial revenue sources from providing GPS, Navigation, and Telematics systems for vehicles, many in particular manufactured by companies partnering with Apple.


Siri was met with a mixed-to-positive reception for its ease of use and practicality, as well as its apparent "personality". However, issues did arise when Siri was used by consumers from areas with distinct accents. Google's executive chairman and former chief, Eric Schmidt, has conceded that Siri could pose a "competitive threat" to the company's core search business.[40]

Writing in The Guardian, journalist Charlie Brooker considered Siri's personality to be unpleasantly servile, but found that the software worked "annoyingly well".[41] Siri was criticized by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and NARAL Pro-Choice America after users found that it would not provide information about the location of birth control or abortion providers, sometimes directing users to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers instead. Apple responded that this was a glitch which would be fixed in the final version.[42] It was suggested that abortion providers could not be found in a Siri search because they did not use "abortion" in their descriptions. Apple responded that this behavior is not intentional and that it would improve as the product moved from beta to final product.[42]

Siri has not been well received by some English speakers with distinctive accents, including Scottish[43] and Americans from Boston or the South.[44][45] Apple's Siri FAQ states that, "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."[2]

Despite many functions still requiring the use of the touchscreen, the National Federation of the Blind describes the iPhone as "the only fully accessible handset that a blind person can buy".[46]

In March 2012, Frank M. Fazio filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of the people who felt misled about the capabilities of Siri and failing to function as depicted in Apple's Siri commercials. Fazio filed the lawsuit in California and claimed that the iPhone 4S is merely a "more expensive iPhone" if Siri fails to function as advertised.[47][48]

In March 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern that Siri was sending a large amount of personal voice and user information to Apple, including the first name and nickname of the phone owner and his or her contacts, the owner's relationship with those contacts, personal labels assigned to email accounts, and the names of songs and playlists stored on the phone.[49]

On October 30, 2012, Google released a new Google Search app for iOS, which featured an enhanced Google Voice Search function and aimed to compete with Siri.[50] Google's Voice Search was compared favourably to Siri, with many reviewers[who?] preferring it.[51] The Unofficial Apple Weblog's side-by-side comparison said that Google's Voice Search on iOS is "amazingly quick and relevant, and has more depth [than Siri]".[52]

Supported languages

LanguageRegioniOS version[53]
EnglishUnited States United States5.0 onwards
United Kingdom United Kingdom5.0 onwards
Australia Australia5.0 onwards
Canada Canada6.0 onwards
FrenchFrance France5.0 onwards
Canada Canada6.0 onwards
Switzerland Switzerland6.0 onwards
GermanGermany Germany5.0 onwards
Switzerland Switzerland6.0 onwards
JapaneseJapan Japan5.1 onwards
SpanishSpain Spain6.0 onwards
Mexico Mexico6.0 onwards
United States United States6.0 onwards
ItalianItaly Italy6.0 onwards
Switzerland Switzerland6.0 onwards
KoreanSouth Korea South Korea6.0 onwards
MandarinChina China6.0 onwards
Taiwan Taiwan6.0 onwards
CantoneseHong Kong Hong Kong6.0 onwards

International versions

According to sources from Brazilian site, Techguru the company Nuance Communications has delivered the final version in Portuguese for Apple. It also announced that the company would be making a deal with the bank Bradesco to provide an application like Siri; with supported voice.[54]

Geographic limitations

In Siri's original release its functionality was limited in most countries, with maps and local search with help only being available within the United States. For example, asking Siri in the United Kingdom to list local businesses, to navigate somewhere, or to give traffic information, elicits the reply "I can only look for businesses, maps and traffic in the United States, and when you're using U.S. English. Sorry about that." Using Siri within the United States with the English voice (Daniel) elicits a similar response — despite the user's geographic location.[55] However as of iOS 6 Siri now has functionality to find local businesses and other location services outside of the United States.

See also


  1. ^ "iOS 6.1.3 Software Update". Apple Inc. 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Apple — Siri — Frequently Asked Questions". Apple. October 4, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "iPhone 4S — Ask Siri to help you get things done". Apple. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Scoble, Robert (April 28, 2010). "Breaking News: Siri bought by Apple". Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ Hay, Timothy (February 5, 2010). "Siri Inc. Launches 'Do Engine' Application For iPhone". Dow Jones Newswire. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Murph, Darren (October 4, 2011). "iPhone 4S hands-on!". Engadget. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Apple - iOS 6 Preview". Apple. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ "How Apple's Siri got her name",
  10. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (October 13, 2008). "Semantic Stealth Startup Siri Raises $8.5 Million". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ "A Personal Assistant on Your iPhone". 
  12. ^ "Siri co-founder leaves Apple following iPhone 4S launch". AppleInsider. October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Siri Personal Assistant: A Voice App That Lets You Speak to OpenTable". OpenTable. February 19, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Siri for iPhone is like the proverbial Genie in a bottle". TUAW. February 5, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Siri iPhone App Uses Speech-Recognition Technology To Organize Your Social Life". Gizmodo. February 5, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Siri: Your Personal Assistant for the Mobile Web". ReadWriteWeb. February 4, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Original Siri App Gets Pulled From The App Store, Servers To Be Killed". TechCrunch. October 4, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  18. ^ Ask Siri "What day is October 4" and she responds with the day in the current year and appends "(Siri's birthday)"
  19. ^ "Apple iPhone 4S event: as it happened". May 31, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  20. ^ Viticci, Federico (September 27, 2011). "Apple Officially Unveils Siri Voice Assistant - Supports English, French and German". Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  21. ^ Viticci, Federico (October 14, 2011). "There Are Some Siri Limitations Outside The US". Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  22. ^ Sullivan, Danny (October 4, 2011). "With New Siri Promised For iPhone 4S, Apple Pulls Existing Siri From App Store". Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  23. ^ Gurman, Mark (October 14, 2011). "Siri voice command system ported from iPhone 4S to iPhone 4 (video)". Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  24. ^ Omar, Ahmed (October 15, 2011). "Siri Ported Successfully To The iPhone 4 (VIDEO)". Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Un hacker irlandais prétend porter Siri sur iPhone 4". October 18, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2011. "Cependant, aucune des vidéos, celle de Steve Troughton-Smith ou celle de 9-to-5 Mac, ne montre Siri en action ou ne présente un utilisateur essayant d'interagir avec les commandes vocales de Siri (However, neither video shows Siri in action or does a user attempting to interact with voice commands Siri)" 
  26. ^ Mark Gurman. "Siri hacked to fully run on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch, iPhone 4S vs iPhone 4 Siri showdown video (interview) — 9to5Mac — Apple Intelligence". 9to5Mac. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  27. ^ Perez, Sarah (December 27, 2011). "Spire: A New Legal Siri Port For Any iOS 5 Device". Techcrunch. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  28. ^ Paul, Grant (December 22, 2011). "Spire Proxy "FAQ"". Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  29. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (April 21, 2012). "‘AssistantServer Installer’ brings half baked Siri experience to older iOS devices". iDownloadBlog. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ [2]
  32. ^ ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (ACM TIST) 
  33. ^ Berry, Pauline M.; Gervasio, Melinda; Peintner, Bart; Yorke-Smith, Neil (July 2011), "PTIME: Personalized assistance for calendaring", ACM TIST 2 (4), doi:10.1145/1989734.1989744 
  34. ^ "What is Siri? Apple's iPhone 4S assistant explained". October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Nuance Exec on iPhone 4S, Siri, and the Future of Speech". Tech.pinions. October 10, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  36. ^ Warman, Matt (November 10, 2011). "The voice behind Siri breaks his silence". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Karen Jacobsen - The GPS Girl". Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Journal Book". Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Apple Siri". Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  40. ^ Eric Schmidt (November 7, 2011). "Google's Eric Schmidt: Apple's Siri could pose 'threat'". London: Telegraph. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  41. ^ Brooker, Charlie (December 1, 2011). "Charlie Brooker: the dark side of our gadget addiction". The Guardian (London). Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  42. ^ a b Howard, Greg; Voorhees, Josh (December 1, 2011). "Apple Says Siri's Abortion-Clinic Blind Spot Wasn't Intentional". Slate. 
  43. ^ Chu, Henry (February 3, 2012). "Scottish burr beyond Siri's recognition". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  44. ^ Siri Lost in Translation with Heavy Accents. ABC News. Published October 28, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  45. ^ Apple's Siri Dislikes Brits, Southerners. Discovery News. Published December 21, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  46. ^ New iPhone a breakthrough for blind people. Denver Post. Published October 14, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  47. ^ Kelly, Meghan (March 16, 2012). "Were Apple’s Siri ads ‘false and misleading’?". The Washington Post. VentureBeat. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  48. ^ Palazzolo, Joe (March 12, 2012). "So Sirious: iPhone User Sues Apple over Voice-Activated Assistant". The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones & Company). Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  49. ^ Nicole Ozer (March 12, 2012). "Siri Not Just Working for Me, Working Full-Time for Apple, Too". ACLU of Northern California. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Google Search App for iOS Updated with new Voice Search function". Engadget. 30 October 2012. 
  51. ^ "Google Voice Search Reviews". Collected Critics. 17 November 2012. 
  52. ^ "Siri vs Google Voice Search - May the Best Robot Helper Win". TUAW. 1 November 2012. 
  53. ^ Apple. 
  54. ^ "EXCLUSIVO: Nuance já entregou o Siri em português para a Apple, e está trabalhando em um grande projeto para o Bradesco…" (in portuguese). January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  55. ^ harryt98. "Apple iOS 6 features". 

External links