Who's Siri? No, the question is, what's Siri? Think of Siri as a more advanced Voice Control on your current iPhones.
Drivers will particularly favor what Siri brings to the table. The concept of a voice assistant to read your messages and compose a reply based on your voice input isn't new, but having it integrated deeply within the operating system is quite rare. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is one such example, performing much of the basics that Siri does in voice commands and recognition. However, from what was presented at the Apple event, Siri seems to take on a more refined approach to your voice commands, with the ability to learn and understand your queries, no matter how varied it is.
If you're a current iPhone user and are interested to get Siri, here's a point to note: it's won't be available when you update your device to iOS 5 next week. Only iPhone 4S users will enjoy the Siri feature. The voice assistant is probably the one feature that could make a difference when consumers consider an iPhone 4S upgrade, since iOS 5 will be available to a wide variety of previous generation iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.
Will Siri be available for the Singapore market? We did notice that the Apple Singapore site doesn't have the feature being highlighted on its iPhone 4S page, while the US site makes a big showing of the voice assistant feature. We've reached out to Apple Singapore to confirm its availability and await their reply before we update this space.
The new iPhone 4S isn’t the only device enjoying the iOS 5 update. Existing iPhone, iPod and iPad users will also be receiving the iOS 5 update on 13th October (Singapore time). And while you're at it, check for an update to iTunes too; an updated version (iTunes 10.5) is required for some of the new features in iOS 5, such as iTunes Wi-Fi syncing.
If your device isn’t listed above, perhaps it’s time to consider the new iPhone 4S when it goes on sale. The question is, when will it be available here in Singapore? Our sources did state that the likely date is somewhere around 28th October. With the high smartphone penetration rate in Singapore, it won’t be surprising if we have been bumped up to the first wave of countries that would be receiving Apple’s updated iPhone.
And guess what? We maybe right. This is what Apple says in its official press release (emphasis ours): "iPhone 4S will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries by the end of October including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland".