A Look at the History of Siri and How it Almost Became an Android Exclusive for Verizon

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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
  2. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    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.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    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...
  4. macrumors 68000


    Jan 30, 2008
    Useless until it can successfully execute "Siri, make me a sandwich."
  5. macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2007
    I always get the reply that the server is too busy.
  6. macrumors regular

    May 24, 2012
    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.
  7. macrumors demi-god


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    So does this mean we can stop with the "Apple only cares about America" angle?
  8. macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2006
    and corporate politics that have resulted in the loss of some of Siri's biggest advocates at Apple

    -looks like politics ruin everything
  9. macrumors demi-god


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    None of your have siri unless you have 4 iPhone 4S's
  10. macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2010
    Nice TBBT reference...
  11. macrumors Pentium

    Jun 22, 2009
    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.
  12. macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
  13. macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    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.
  14. macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2011
    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.
  15. macrumors 603


    Apr 21, 2003
    Apple needs to improve SIRI's accuracy. I find myself needing to repeat several times - so its quicker to do the task manually.
  16. macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2006
    Aiken, SC
    I use it all the time. Mostly for dictating text messages or getting directions while I drive, but sometimes for reminders, sports scores, and quick notes. I rarely have to repeat myself, so I don't know where people's issues are coming from. I'm not saying the issues aren't there... they just aren't for me.
  17. macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    Siri is terrible.

    The stand-alone app could do so much more (get a taxi, etc).

    The Apple-version relies way too much on server-side processing.
  18. macrumors 601


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    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.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2011
    Siri will improve over time. The more people that use it is the only way Apple can collect true data on how we speak to Siri, and what we want Siri to do that it can't do already.

    Google uses it much better because it searches for things it can't do Automatically. Most of us (like myself) hate when the "would you like for me to search blah blah blah" response comes up, Google's just does it and its much faster.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2007
    Inside the Machine (Green Bay, WI)
    That's a good point. When Siri eventually comes out of beta, I would bet it'll be more standalone. It works fast on Wi-Fi and passable on LTE/4G but Google's voice search on the iPhone shows you can do transcription immediately without a data connection. That's where Siri needs to be.

    That's what Siri is great for. Anything short and to the point. Setting reminders, timers, and alarms and sending quick texts Siri has been immensely useful for me. Without Siri those quick tasks would easily take a lot longer... unlock your phone, get into the app you want, find or type in what you need and get out. Siri does all that in about 1 press. I don't think it was ever intended to dictate long e-mails.
  21. macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2011
    As with others, I use Siri for reminders and timers, occasionally Sports Scores and Cinema times. But until its 100% perfect, I can't see the point in lots of areas unless I'm using both hands already.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    I can only imagine what it must be like having to deal with all the many strange accents out there. It isn't nearly enough to segment Siri by country, you have to segment by part of country, like the southern US accent vs northern accent, maybe even the Bostonian accent, then there's the black accent, and all those exist in one country and are quite different in many ways... Then we head to England and... Oh boy.
  23. macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    the most useless feature on my iphone

    if i want to check the scores, i go to espn or yahoo
    if i want movie times i go to fandango

    the reason is the apps give so much more information than what you ask for
  24. macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Have enough people used it long enough already for it not to be in beta anymore?
  25. macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2011
    Siri? Siri?

    Siri? Siri? What was that again? Ah yes, I remember, that was that party joke back then! Yeah, we had a good one... ;)

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