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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:18 AM   #1
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A Look at the History of Siri and How it Almost Became an Android Exclusive for Verizon




A few of the details on the the history of Siri, including Steve Jobs' move to contact the company just three weeks after the independent app's launch, have surfaced over the last several years, but The Huffington Post has now published an extensive history of the technology and company that reveals a few other interesting details.

The report outlines how Siri grew out of a Department of Defense project to integrate with 42 different web services to perform its virtual assistant services, many of which were discontinued when Apple scaled back the platform for inclusion in iOS. Apple has been relatively slow to build Siri's feature set back up, but has been making progress on the effort.

Perhaps most interestingly, the report reveals that Siri was very nearly an Android exclusive for Verizon, but the deal was obviously broken when Steve Jobs and Apple moved quickly to acquire Siri.
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In the fall of 2009, several months before Apple approached Siri, Verizon had signed a deal with the startup to make Siri a default app on all Android phones set to launch in the new year. When Apple swooped in to buy Siri, it insisted on making the assistant exclusive to Apple devices, and nixed the Verizon deal. In the process, it narrowly avoided seeing Siri become a selling point for smartphones powered by its biggest rival, Google. (Somewhere in the vaults of the wireless giant, there are unreleased commercials touting Siri as an Android add-on.)
The report goes on to discuss some of the challenges faced by Siri at Apple, including difficulties in negotiating partnerships with content providers, Apple's emphasis on broadening access to other countries and languages over pushing the technology forward for a smaller subset of users, and corporate politics that have resulted in the loss of some of Siri's biggest advocates at Apple.

Siri is also facing strong competition from the Android platform of which it was almost a part. Google has moved quickly to develop its own virtual assistant capabilities in the form of Google Now, and many are looking for Apple to step up the pace of improvement with Siri in order to reestablish it in users' minds as a key advantage for Apple as it was touted at its 2011 launch on the iPhone 4S.

Article Link: A Look at the History of Siri and How it Almost Became an Android Exclusive for Verizon
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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Apple has hosed many people without meaning too. In this case Verizon became attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around another object.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:38 AM   #3
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Apple has hosed many people without meaning too. In this case Verizon became attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around another object.
Nice TBBT reference...
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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Siri was great as an independent app. Of course it wasn't integrated into an OS. But a great app - that DID indeed, become crippled once bought by Apple.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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Siri, what a waste of space that is!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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Apple needs to improve SIRI's accuracy. I find myself needing to repeat several times - so its quicker to do the task manually.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 01:15 PM   #7
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Siri, what a waste of space that is!
It's awesome for no hands texting. I use it all the time. Siri clearly has a good understanding of the way I speak and gets my texts nearly perfect everytime.

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Originally Posted by unplugme71 View Post
It amazes me how many people have problems with Siri. I rarely, if ever, have a problem with network connection or understanding what I'm saying. Maybe you guys talk way to fast or mumble. Just speak at a normal pace and clearly and you'll be fine.

Siri even knows when I say "I don't know" and when I say "I dunno".

I use Siri mainly for reminders, calendar, weather, sports, launching apps, sometimes get movie times but I usually watch from home, and asking web searches.

I do wish commands for the phone itself like setting reminders were locally stored. But I can see how that can take a few GB of memory.
I totally agree.

I'm waiting for Siri to do in bound information processing. I wish that when I was driving, Siri could ask me if I want to hear an incoming text message or automatically tell me I have a text from a VIP and then start playing it. Once it's done, she can give me the option to reply.

THAT would be a great feature and it seems so easily done. C'mon Apple!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:40 AM   #8
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Apple has hosed many people without meaning too. In this case Verizon became attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around another object.
Alright Sheldon, calm down!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:25 AM   #9
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Siri is still crippled and barely useful - especially in loud situations. It's been relegated in my experience to setting up reminders and asking about sports scores...
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:29 AM   #10
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Useless until it can successfully execute "Siri, make me a sandwich."
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:34 AM   #11
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Siri is useless, in our house all I ever hear people using it for is "X minute timer" when cooking and the occasional whats the sport score. It is quite handy at opening apps..... unless its noisy.

We are all tech savvy people, 4 iPhone 4's in the house and we hardly use it.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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Siri is useless, in our house all I ever hear people using it for is "X minute timer" when cooking.

We are all tech savvy people, 4 iPhone 4's in the house and we hardly use it.
None of your have siri unless you have 4 iPhone 4S's
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:40 AM   #13
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I think some of the reasons that Google Now is good vs Siri is because it actively "guesses" what you need, while Siri is something you need to constantly ask things of. Google Now alerts you with things before you even think of asking them.

However, one of the big hurdle Siri faces is its reliance on always-on connectivity. Without a data connection, Siri can't even perform offline functions on your phone (like setting reminders, opening apps, playing music that's stored in your library) which also hurts perception of its use when you're limited for connectivity (low signal areas or plain not having data because being abroad). I don't know how Google Now fares in this capacity, not having really used it.

Anyway, I've disabled Siri, much less time consuming to just touch my way to things than ask it, wait for it to analyse what I want, ask for a confirmation, wait for it to analyse my confirmation.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:43 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ds2000 View Post
Siri is useless, in our house all I ever hear people using it for is "X minute timer" when cooking and the occasional whats the sport score. It is quite handy at opening apps..... unless its noisy.

We are all tech savvy people, 4 iPhone 4's in the house and we hardly use it.
I am a very tech savvy person (it is my job!) with an iPhone 4. I watched a few people with their iPhone 4S or other Siri capable device a few times when it first came out and thought "that is pretty neat but not something I really need."

Since I got my iPad mini I have used Siri exactly zero times, not once. I did accidentally turn it on before, but I just exit it before Siri picks up anything.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:35 AM   #15
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So does this mean we can stop with the "Apple only cares about America" angle?
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:42 AM   #16
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So does this mean we can stop with the "Apple only cares about America" angle?
What? Apple must be one of the most worldwide-release and worldwide-accessible friendly tech companies out there. Devices are launched close to simultaneously, and services catch up very quickly. In this aspect, they are light years ahead of Google, Amazon, Netflix, and pretty much everybody else too. (And don't get me wrong, I'm more of an Android user) I never heard anybody say that Apple only cares about America :S so I was surprised.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:46 AM   #17
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Siri is more of a prototype of a future locally run Siri that will offer 100 times more functionality. Something like J.A.V.I.S from Iron Man. Then people will use it.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:58 AM   #18
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What? Apple must be one of the most worldwide-release and worldwide-accessible friendly tech companies out there. Devices are launched close to simultaneously, and services catch up very quickly. In this aspect, they are light years ahead of Google, Amazon, Netflix, and pretty much everybody else too. (And don't get me wrong, I'm more of an Android user) I never heard anybody say that Apple only cares about America :S so I was surprised.
Until iOS6 was released, Siri was pretty much useless in the UK
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:35 AM   #19
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and corporate politics that have resulted in the loss of some of Siri's biggest advocates at Apple

-looks like politics ruin everything
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:09 AM   #20
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Useless until it can successfully execute "Siri, make me a sandwich."
At the moment, Siri would probably miscomprehend and respond with something along the lines of:

"Sorry, I don't know how to turn humans into foodstuffs."

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:21 AM   #21
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Siri. Apple's "innovation" at it's finest.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:51 AM   #22
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Siri. Apple's "innovation" at it's finest.
Exactly, it had a wrong start as a beta app. I admit that Jobs was still around when this happened, but I found it strange that Apple delivered such a half-baked product known their concern for perfectness.

Also their decision to not make it available for iPhone 4 was very strange (Google products are availiable).
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:36 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by JaySoul
Useless until it can successfully execute "Siri, make me a sandwich."

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAndroid View Post
At the moment, Siri would probably miscomprehend and respond with something along the lines of:

"Sorry, I don't know how to turn humans into foodstuffs."

Funny!

----------

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Originally Posted by WeegieMac View Post
Shame they didn't get it ...
The more Market Share the iPhone has the better off we (iPhone owners) are.
Siri could have been a huge draw for Android potential customers. Jobs had to nix that deal.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:43 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by SmileyBlast! View Post
Originally Posted by JaySoul
Useless until it can successfully execute "Siri, make me a sandwich."



Funny!

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The more Market Share the iPhone has the better off we (iPhone owners) are.
Siri could have been a huge draw for Android potential customers. Jobs had to nix that deal.
Siri isn't even a big draw for potential iPhone customers though.

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Originally Posted by likemyorbs View Post
I actually use Siri a lot. Works great for me. Especially over wifi and lte, which I always have one or the other. I use it to control songs in the car mostly
Which you could also do with basic Voice Control on the 3GS and up ...
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:52 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by SmileyBlast! View Post
The more Market Share the iPhone has the better off we (iPhone owners) are.
Siri could have been a huge draw for Android potential customers. Jobs had to nix that deal.
And now, instead Android owners get Google Now, which is what they would've built on top of Siri, just now instead they built it on some other voice/speech recognition engine and it still works and is advancing more rapidly then Siri.

Let's face it, Apple really bites when it comes to online services. They've failed again and again in this arena, I dunno why they don't just stop trying at this point and make strategic partnerships with firms who understand online services and can deliver good experiences to users.

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Which you could also do much better with basic Voice Control on the 3GS and up ...
Correction in bold. The old voice control didn't rely on a data connection for such offline tasks.
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