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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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With the release of the new Siri intelligent assistant on the iPhone 4S, some users have been curious about how much data the feature uses given that most users are on limited data plans and that Siri must communicate with outside servers in order to function. Ars Technica has now taken a look at a set of common Siri tasks, determined that those specific queries used an average of 63 KB of data.

siri_icon_on_linen.jpg



The testing was broken down into two groups of queries, with the first being local queries requiring data only to interpret the spoken input. Data usage on those queries came in at an average of approximately 36.7 KB.
We performed six tasks that would be considered to be local tasks. These queries included things like, "Set an alarm for 3 hours from now," "Make an appointment for 2pm on Friday" (and then telling Siri to cancel the task), "Remind me to file expense reports when I get home," and "What is the contact info for Ars Technica?"

These tasks added up to a total of 220KB of data usage, or an average of 36.7KB per query. The actual numbers ranged from 60KB down to 18KB, and we believe this is correlated to the complexity of the specific query and language we used to perform it.
For more complex queries bringing results back from the Internet via Wolfram Alpha or Google, the average was 94.7 KB, with a range of 23 KB to 187 KB.

Summing up the data usage, Ars Technica calculated that a user performing all eleven of the sample queries via 3G every single day would consume approximately 20 MB of data in a month. Informal surveys of typical Siri usage revealed that even high-use customers tend to come in at about fifteen queries per day, which would represent in the neighborhood of 30 MB of data per billing cycle depending on complexity of requests.

Most carriers offer customers easy ways to check their current and historical data usage, helping them gauge how much cap space they typically have as they consider how Siri usage will affect their data needs.

Article Link: Siri's Impact on Data Usage Examined
 

MightyMac007

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2011
51
0
I'm glad that I have unlimited data 'cause once I get Siri I'm going to talk her to death:)
 
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Caliber26

macrumors 68020
Sep 25, 2009
2,159
2,611
Orlando, FL
Love my 4S but I don't really use Siri for much other than "Call John Doe" tasks, once in a while. Am I the only one who is so luke warm about this feature??
 
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mrtravel123

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2007
198
2
Question: "Siri, how much will I get overcharged by talking to you?"

Answer: "I've been refused to answer that question."
 
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atticus18244fsa

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2008
279
0
Waterloo, ON
Doesn't that mean that a heavy user (and using Siri only 15 time a day is not really that heavy) would use 900 MB+ of data per month just using Siri? With AT&T and Verizon switching to 2GB caps, that means have your data is used up just from using Siri. :eek:

Maybe Apple needs basic commands like setting appointments and alarms to be integrated in iOS so those commands don't have to go through the internet. :)

30MB per month not per day.
 
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eNcrypTioN

macrumors 6502
Nov 4, 2009
390
1
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

I use Siri at least 10 times a day and find it to be a great feature. Glad I have an unlimited data plan though because having to think about how much data I'm using and how using Siri affects my usuage would be a pain in the ass.
 
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Eager Beaver

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2011
599
0
Chicago, IL
Love my 4S but I don't really use Siri for much other than "Call John Doe" tasks, once in a while. Am I the only one who is so luke warm about this feature??




I've used it daily since new, and find myself using it more and more.
What a great tool siri is ......... set a reminder for tomorrow 11am, message Tom, "Ill b there in an hour", call napa, remind me to put the defrosted ground beef in the refrig when I get home, .................... oops, gotta run, the timer siri set for me just went off, I have to leave to go meet my friend.

Being able to push and hold 1 button, and then tell siri to do things (while I am busy myself, doing things with my other hand and not wanting to scroll thru my iphone with two hands trying to send Tom a message.

Siri is the ONLY reason i bought this bs iphone 4, and I'm actually very impressed with her.
 
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BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,636
545
Does "Voice Control" use data too? Or does it just rely on internal processing?

On Siri, does it send a file of your voice to the cloud? Or is it somehow processed on the phone and then just some data sent to the cloud?
 
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M-O

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
502
0
that's probably less data than we'd waste searching for answers ourselves. thanks Siri!
 
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TImm3h

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2011
90
41
Dont forget when you are at the office or at home you are likely using wifi... so likely the tasks like "remind me to call so and so when I levave the office / house" dont count towards your data plan.

You probably use more loading a single google map.
 
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goosnarrggh

macrumors 68000
May 16, 2006
1,601
20
of course it does. one week old. in a year it will be a year old. what is your point?

"It gets old", in this context, is an alternate expression for
"It gets boring", or
"The novelty factor wears off and it no longer occurs to you to use it during your day-to-day operation of the phone".
 
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Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,313
33
Wow, that's pretty efficient.

----------

Does "Voice Control" use data too? Or does it just rely on internal processing?

On Siri, does it send a file of your voice to the cloud? Or is it somehow processed on the phone and then just some data sent to the cloud?

I am guessing it
- minimizes background noise
- compress / process audio
before sending it out
 
Comment

MacAddict1978

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2006
1,159
350
wi-fi

It sounds excessive, but most people are in wi-fi zones during the day. Most offices, schools, college campuses, hospitals, airports, even shoppings malls are all wi-fi enabled (and mostly free).

And if Siri is the only person you talk to while sitting in rush hour traffic, then you've got bigger problems than your data plan.
 
Comment

mms13

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2010
366
75
Baltimore, MD
Not bad at all!

I'm on the 2GB data plan with AT&T. I usually check in somewhere from 1-1.5GB every month. Good to know that won't change much when I get my 4S.
 
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