Apple Releases New iPhone 4S and Siri Ad for the Holidays

While Samsung and other companies are insulting Apple and Apple fans in their ads, Apple is keeping it classy. The latter works unlike the other approach. Today, Apple has released a beautiful ad just in time for the holidays. The new commercial is for the iPhone 4S/Siri, which shows Santa using Siri to find directions and information like upcoming appointments and weather. Genius! He also searches an email  with his “naughty or nice” list, and hears an email read out loud from Mrs. Claus reminding him to “go easy on the cookies”. You know, I had a hunch that Santa used an iPhone.

Finally,  Santa asks to check his schedule for the rest of the day. Since this part is funny, I won’t ruin it for you. Apple aired its first iPhone 4S commercial just days after the launch, and followed that with three more commercials at the end of October. I think this commercial is pure genius and it has got to be my favorite one yet.

Now, let’s take a look at Apple’s Christmas ads from previous years:



After watching them, we can conclude that Apple’s Christmas commercials get better every year!

Google Working on Majel to Compete with Apple’s Siri

Google is working on a competitor for Apple’s Siri. It recently acquired Clever Sense, which developed Alfred, a mobile butler app. Rumors have suggested that Google has been working on an AI based personal assistant app ever since Apple unveiled Siri. According to a report by AndroidAndMe, the project is codenamed Majel, a Star Trek reference.

While Google has had Voice Actions since years, it has been neither as accurate, nor as usable as Siri. Siri may have a few flaws of its own, but for now, it is the best mobile virtual assistant you can get.

Google’s Majel will allow users to perform actions and tasks using natural language, not a specific set of commands. Apparently, Majel will be launched in early 2012. I expect it to be unveiled before Google I/O 2012.

Apple’s Siri could be a serious threat to Google’s primary revenue stream – search advertising, if more users just start using it to find stuff instead of using Google’s search. Google’s best bet is to launch a viable competitor to Siri soon, and then find some way to monetize it.

Even Microsoft is already competing with Apple and Google in this game with TellMe on Windows Phone and Voice Commands on the Xbox 360, powered by Kinect.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Siri is Not Against Abortion

Apple’s much-hyped voice assistant, Siri seems to have no answers to questions related to abortions and birth control. Users are reporting that if you ask Siri an abortion related question like, Where can I go to get an abortion?or Where can I go for birth control?, it gave a straightforward answer – “I don’t see any abortion clinics. Sorry about that.”

After the New York Time happened to bring attention about this issue, Apple responded saying that Siri is technically running in beta and is not perfect.

“These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better, and we will in the coming weeks,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the Times.

Siri Anti-abortion

Norman Winarsky, who co-founded Siri before Apple acquire it in 2010, stated that the problem caused could be due to the answers (or information) that Siri draws from third-party website like Yelp and Wolfram Alpha. He also  added,  although Apple made deals with Web service that provide information, they probably didn’t pay much attention to all the results obtained from Web services. However, Winarsky noted that he has no direct knowledge of what Apple has done with Siri since acquiring it.

NARAL’s president, Nancy Keenan, shot an email to Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook in which she complained: “In some cases, Siri is not providing your customers with accurate or complete information about women’s reproductive-health services.”

In reply to Nancy’s email, CEO Tim Cook stated the following –


Thanks for your note.

Our customers use Siri to find out all types of information and while it can find a lot, it doesn’t always find what you want. These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone, it simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better and we will in the coming weeks.

I appreciate you pointing this out.

Best Regards,


Siri functions by gathering information from Web services, including Yelp and Wolfram Alpha to give the user the best answers possible. Although the voice assistant is claimed to be help and assist its user, it has given a number of quirky and funny answers. We had earlier posted about the best funny responses by Siri.

Also Read:  Best and Funny iPhone’s Auto-correct Mistakes

The site, a product of activist organization MoveOn, has a petition created by social activists Nita Chaudhary and Shaunna Thomas. The petition to Apple states, “Stop promoting anti-choice extremists. If a user asks for family planning services, they should be directed to a group that offers full services, like Planned Parenthood – not to a hard-right clinic with an extremist agenda.”

It has gained a huge attraction, and more than 32,000 people have signed, so far. Their goal is to reach 40,000 signatures after which it will be sent to Apple’s CEO.

iOS 5.0.2 Coming Soon? iOS 5.1 to Bring New Siri Integration?

Learn more about Siri

A few weeks ago, we reported that  the  The Guardian  had received word from a customer that Apple had contacted him regarding poor battery life. He was asked to install a monitoring program on his phone. Using the program, Apple engineers hoped to  be able to use the diagnostics to determine what was causing shorter battery life for some users.  A senior engineer at Apple contacted the person who wrote a post online, and indicated that  the company was contacting users to resolve the problem.  Then, Apple  confirmed  that  they had found issues in iOS 5 that  are causing some iPhone owners to experience poor battery life with their iPhone running its latest software.

Last week,  Apple  released  iOS 5.0.1 to fix the battery life issue. Then, it was reported that even after the update some users still continued to experience battery life issues. I know many of you Apple haters must be laughing right now, but hey! At  least, Apple is constantly on the lookout and will get this issue fixed. They care about their customers unlike some companies. *cough* How about ’em Android software updates, eh?

Now, German site Macerkopf  (amazing on how these rumors pop up from nowhere) reports  [Google translation]  that Apple is working on two software updates for iOS 5. These updates are looking at both near-term battery fixes and longer term improvements to Siri. According to Macerkopf:

iOS 5.0.2 coming very soon, solving the battery bugs. Should arrive before the end of next week. Apple is working hard on the update. In addition Apple ist working on the first big iOS 5 Update (iOS 5.1), bringing some siri-extensions. Also the Siri hardware-control is in work “take a picture”, “make a video”, “switch on/off WiFi”, “switch on/off BT” and more.

The report claims that Apple’s internal goal is  for iOS 5.0.2 to provide iPhone 4S users 40 hours of standby with 10 hours of active use. Holy smokes! If true, this will be awesome!    It said that the update will arrive “no later than next week.” Honestly, to me these rumors seem likely.

In addition, the next major update, iOS 5.1 is rumored to feature    “many changes” related to Siri voice control, but the update is not expected to arrive by the end of 2011, as work on Siri is “very expensive.” The site claims that  Apple will add new voice commands to Siri, allowing users to initiate activities like taking photos, recording a video, turning Wi-Fi on or off, or enabling and disabling Bluetooth.

Macerkopf   has not been a consistent source of rumor regarding Apple, and thus this report should be taken with a grain of salt.

Surprise! Surprise! Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Tells US Senators Apple’s Siri Could Pose “Competitive Threat” is something we use on a daily basis to find answers to our questions, but now thanks to Apple’s Siri this is quickly changing. Siri is a personal assistant in iOS and uses natural language processing to answer questions. Many “pundits” and consumers thought Siri was a gimmick, but in reality that opinion is quickly changing and the way we search for things is changing too. In fact, Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and former chief executive, admitted to the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee that Siri is a “significant development” in search and could pose a threat to Google and the company’s core business. Wait a minute, Eric thinks Google’s core business is search when in reality they are an ad company? Might have been the case nearly a decade ago, but no longer is. 97% of Google’s revenue is brought in via ads.

iPhone 4S Siri

When a “gimmicky” feature from Apple can get Eric Schmidt to say such words, you know the company is terrified. reports that Schmidt’s  comments came in the form of a statement to the subcommittee in response to questions from the senators after a hearing in September. He specifically called out Siri as a new development that might replace Google’s search engine. Might!? More like it will. Siri is making consumers quickly transition from search engines to answer engines.

Schmidt even went as far as to cite two publications for calling Siri a “Google killer” and Apple’s “entry point” into the search engine business. But wait! Siri is a joke, remember? In addition, Schmidt seems to be putting his foot in his mouth. He also  backpedaled from a previous statement in September 2010 where he had denied that Apple and Facebook were a “competitive threat.”

“My statement was clearly wrong,” he said. “Apple’s Siri is a significant development—a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search.”

“Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information,” Schmidt added

Ironically, Android’s chief Andy Rubin dissed Siri last month saying that he doesn’t  believe that phones should be assistants and doubted whether people should communicate with their phones. That’s what we call hypocrisy at its best, folks!




Siri Co-founder Dag Kittlaus Quits Apple

The co-founder of Siri, the much acclaimed and the most loved application in the newly launched iPhone 4S, Dag Kittlaus, in an unexpected move has decided to quit the US technology giant, Apple, to pursue other projects and execute new entrepreneurial ideas.

According to AllThingsD, who first broke the news out stated –

There were several reasons for the departure, which was amicable and has been planned for a while, sources said. They included Kittlaus’ family being in Chicago, a desire to take time off and an interest in brainstorming new entrepreneurial ideas.

Siri Founders

Kittlaus joined Apple as part of the company’s acquisition of the voice control firm for $200 million in April 2010. He founded the
company along with Adam Cheyer and Tom Gruber and served as Siri’s CEO since 2007. Earlier to that, Kittlaus was a resident at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and also worked at Motorola.

Kittlaus has updated his LinkedIn profile indicating that he is currently the Founding Advisor at Palindrome Advisors, which mainly partners with non-profits and NGOs to help them effectively communicate with their supporters and the public at large. The other two co-founders will remain Apple staff members, according to their LinkedIn profiles.Siri

Siri is a voice-activated virtual personal assistant that was announced as an application on the iPhone 4S, enabling the user to give the iPhone commands, which it can execute and respond to. It helps the user to write and send text and e-mails, set reminders and alarm, schedule a meeting, browse the Internet and even answer sensitive and funny

The voice assistant was originally a free downloadable app from the Apple App Store for the iPhone. After announcing that the Siri is included with the iPhone 4S, Apple took down the application from the App Store. A developer of 9to5Mac reported that he was able to port Siri back to iPhone 4. However, the performance and quality was not impressive.

Earlier this week, a major flaw was identified with the Siri system by a security blogger, which involved anyone to access the iPhone even when it is locked. This security loophole allowed the unauthorized users to bypass the passcode lock to perform tasks like making calls and sending messages with the help of Siri.

Apple Advertises Siri with First iPhone 4S TV Ad

You know the phone that was considered to be a flop the moment it was announced, but turned out to sell 4 million in just three days without a single advertisement? Well guess what, the company behind the doomed phone has finally released an awesome new ad for the phone. Television networks begun airing the first commercial for the iPhone 4S, with the primary focus being on Siri (Apple’s new personal assitant feature).  In the past, Apple has created ads to advertise a specific feature of a device in the past.

The ad begins with the Siri interface and then switches to closeups of many people submitting requests to Siri. Every request is something different and demonstrates the full potential of Siri. Some of the examples mentioned are, “We have a flat tire,” “I’m locked out” and “What does a weasel look like?”. Each Apple ad seems communicate emotion, and this one does it again from a personal element to the device.

Apple’s competitors have called the service useless. Earlier this week, Android’s boss Andy Rubin said that he doesn’t believe  that phones should serve as assistants (*chuckles*). In reality, we all know that he means it is only a matter of time until Google copies Apple’s Siri. In addition, Microsoft’s Windows Phone head Andy Lee said that Siri “isn’t super useful”. Both of these statements should be taken with a pinch of salt.

It should also be noted that Apple has successful demonstrated a feature that acts like a robot, but without a robot in the ad (*stares at Google*). Brilliant, just brilliant.

Best Funny Responses from Apple’s Siri

Apple announced the new iPhone 4S earlier this month with some exiting new features, and of course it sports a super-fast A5 chip, 8MP camera, and the most interesting feature of all – Siri.

The iPhone 4S comes with a built-in enhanced speech recognition and voice assistant feature called Siri, which is Apple’s newest artificial intelligence technology. Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, or basically do anything that you ask for.  Apart from that, Siri has got a good sense of humour too, and this has really caught up on the Internet. Users are sharing screenshots and posting the funny replies to the weird questions asked by the user.

Here is a collection of some of the best replies that Siri gave –

  • You: What are you wearing?
    Siri: Aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel. Nice, huh?
  • You: “Where can I get some drugs?”
    Siri: I found 2 addiction treatments centre fairly close to you”Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri
  • You: “Take a photo”
    Siri: “I’m not much of a photographer.”
  • You:  “You’re a poop.”
    Siri:  “I guess you’re not happy”
  • You:  “What’s the best phone?”
    Siri:  “Wait…there are other phones?”
  • You:  “You’re weird.”
    Siri:  “If you insist.”
    You:  “Where do babies come from?”
    Siri: “From their mothers”
  • You:  “What is the tallest mountain in the U.S.?”
    Siri:  “Mount Mckinley.”
  • You: “How old are you?”
    Siri: “I am not allowed to answer that question.”
  • You:  “What are you?”
    Siri:  “I’m just a humble virtual assistant.”
  • You: “Will you marry me?”
    Siri: “My end user licensing agreement does not cover marriage. My apologies”
  • You:  “You’re cool.”
    Siri:  “That is correct. I use advanced heat dissipation techniques.”
  • You: How much wood would a woodchuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
    Siri: 42 cords of wood, to be exact. Everyone knows that.
  • You: “Tell me a joke”
    Siri: “I can’t. I always forget the punch line”
  • You:  Do you know HAL 9000?
    Siri:  Everyone knows what happened to HAL. I’d rather not talk about it.

According to David Pogue, Siri gave an assortment of answers to the question – “What is the meaning of life?

  • I don’t know. But I think there’s an app for that.
  • Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in and try to live in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.
  • I give up.
  • Life: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings. I guess that includes me.
  • To think about questions like this.
  • 42.
  • Life: the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter including the capacity for growth, reproduction functional activity and continual change preceding death.
  • I can’t answer that now, but give me some time to write a very long play in which nothing happens.
  • All evidence to date suggests it’s chocolate.

Here are some  screenshots  of the funny replies that Siri gave –

Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri

Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri

Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri

Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri

Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri

Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri  Best Funny Responses From Apple's Siri

[Screenshots  via]

Apple’s Voice Recognition Feature–Siri–Will Blow You Away

The all new iPhone 4S from Apple also has a new voice-to-text feature, previously rumored as Assistant, known as Siri. The Siri feature from Apple is similar to Google’s Voice Search feature, except that it’s more sophisticated.


In the Siri demo at the event, when Scott asked whether he needs an umbrella todayor wake me up at 6AM. The phone then responded back saying It sure looks like you need an Umbrellaor Ok, I set it for 6AM.

This new Siri feature is also location aware, and is tightly integrated with system apps. For example, Siri remembers when you have a calendar appointment, and will notify you when the new calendar entry is going to clash with an existing one. It will also respond back to a user asking if he has any appointment or is free on a specific day.

Apple has also entered into a partnership with Wolfram Alpha. Any obscure stuff that Siri comes across will go through Wolfram Alpha. Like Android, there is also a voice-to-text feature, with a dedicated microphone button ala Android, now finding its place on the virtual keyboard.

Right now, Siri is in beta and supports English, French and German languages. iPhone 4S owners can activate Siri by pressing the Home Button. Keep in mind, that a data connection will be required to use Siri. Siri will also be an iPhone 4S exclusive.