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Apple focuses on Siri with first iPhone 4S TV ad

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Television networks have begun airing the first commercial for the iPhone 4S, with the advertisement focusing primarily on the new device's Siri virtual personal assistant feature.

The fast-paced ad begins with a shot of the Siri interface and then cuts to closeups of a variety of users submitting requests to the application. The requests range from practical to informative, such as "We have a flat tire," "I'm locked out" and "What does a weasel look like?"

"Say hello to the most amazing iPhone yet," the commercial concludes.

In typical Apple fashion, the TV spot eschews listing technical specifications in favor of highlighting the personal element to the device. For instance, Apple last year aired a series of ads showing heart-warming FaceTime video calls between people.

Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 4S at a press event earlier this month. Though some pundits expressed disappointment at the lack of a new form factor for the device, record numbers of customers have flocked to purchased the handset. Apple has revealed that sales of the iPhone 4S topped 4 million in the first three days of availability.



Wireless operator AT&T announced on Thursday that it had activated 1 million iPhone 4S devices on Tuesday, setting a record for fastest selling iPhone on the carrier. Sprint last week said that the handset has topped previous one-day sales records for the company.

Mainstream media outlets have praised Siri as a "standout feature" of the iPhone 4S. Reviewers were, in general, quite impressed with the virtual personal assistant, though they did note that the functionality is not yet perfect.

Apple competitors, however, have disparaged the service. Android boss Andy Rubin said earlier this week that he doesn't believe that phones should serve as assistants, while Microsoft's Windows Phone head Andy Lees dismissed the device as not being "super useful." Both competing platforms offer their own voice recognition features, though they lack the natural language processing that Siri has.



The Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker purchased Siri for $200 million in 2010 and has reportedly expanded the team working on the feature to make it one of the largest groups at the company.

To learn more about the iPhone 4S and Siri, see AppleInsider's in-depth review and Inside Apple's iPhone 4S series.
post #2 of 53
IMO, once again it appears Apple is going to main stream a technology. A lot of the pieces are out there, just needed someone to bring them together. Just the beginning folks... IMO
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post #3 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

IMO, once again it appears Apple is going to main stream a technology. A lot of the pieces are out there, just needed someone to bring them together. Just the beginning folks... IMO

It should hit its stride on the iPad 3 and integrate eventually with all devices- iPhones and Macs together once Suri starts multitasking.
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

IMO, once again it appears Apple is going to main stream a technology. A lot of the pieces are out there, just needed someone to bring them together. Just the beginning folks... IMO

In this case Apple didn't really bring anything together, what they did do is mainstream voice tech that for a while had been relegated to some lab somewhere with consurmerability somewhere in the near future.

As they did with the first iPhone Apple took what was coming and decided to not be pussies like the rest of the field and put it out there properly.
post #5 of 53
Siri is nice and the voice recognition software is really accurate (no accent American). BUT, I am really disappointed that Siri cannot do something as simple as open an application...such as, "open ????". Sir also doesn't read back incoming text and emails. So much potential, but I will stick with my iPhone 4 for another year.
post #6 of 53
I confess I find this ad a little spooky. Everybody's head is cut off just above the mouth (except for the weasel girl). Like "1984" only backwards. Have we now become the faceless ones, listening only to Siri?

I'd like to know what they were thinking when they designed this ad.

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post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Siri is nice and the voice recognition software is really accurate (no accent American). BUT, I am really disappointed that Siri cannot do something as simple as open an application...such as, "open ????". Sir also doesn't read back incoming text and emails. So much potential, but I will stick with my iPhone 4 for another year.

Beta...
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Siri is nice and the voice recognition software is really accurate (no accent American). BUT, I am really disappointed that Siri cannot do something as simple as open an application...such as, "open ????". Sir also doesn't read back incoming text and emails. So much potential, but I will stick with my iPhone 4 for another year.

Umm, yes she does read back incoming text messages. Emails no, sms/imessage yes. And she vocalizes more of her responses when she detects a handsfree mode.

Honestly, I find her so useful in the car that my principal complaint about Siri is that I'd like her to stay "on the line" once I've triggered her in handsfree mode and not break the bluetooth connection until I tell her that I've finished. Instead she drops the line once a task is complete.
post #9 of 53
But then Rubin and Lees only just got past the 'no physical keyboard' thing. And does Rubin really think the smartphone is limited to talking to people?
post #10 of 53
And google acts like this is some sort of fad novelty that will fade away. Wow. I really bet they wish they thought of it. Secretly they are envious. You either have it or you don't. Apple has it. Chaching.
An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by uplift1 View Post

Umm, yes she does read back incoming text messages. Emails no, sms/imessage yes. And she vocalizes more of her responses when she detects a handsfree mode.

Honestly, I find her so useful in the car that my principal complaint about Siri is that I'd like her to stay "on the line" once I've triggered her in handsfree mode and not break the bluetooth connection until I tell her that I've finished. Instead she drops the line once a task is complete.

Actually SIRI is a busy girl. She would love to stay and chat but she has allot to deal with like looking in the mirror and doing her hair or doing her nails. But.... She will be there at your beckon call when you need her. Lol.
An Apple man since 1977
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post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Siri is nice and the voice recognition software is really accurate (no accent American). BUT, I am really disappointed that Siri cannot do something as simple as open an application...such as, "open ????". Sir also doesn't read back incoming text and emails. So much potential, but I will stick with my iPhone 4 for another year.

Well, there are two things here. Knowing how all Apps with their unique names sound, and security. When Apple figures out how to add these things in properly and carefully, I'm sure it will happen.
post #13 of 53
"What does a weasel look like?"
*Displays picture of Bill Gates*
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbansprawl View Post

Well, there are two things here. Knowing how all Apps with their unique names sound, and security. When Apple figures out how to add these things in properly and carefully, I'm sure it will happen.

They could have the devs implement a phonetic key or something with their apps.
post #15 of 53
Ummm ... If this were really amazing, saying, "I'm locked out" should unlock the doors, instead of telling you where to find a locksmith, no?

Suddenly, it's not so amazing.
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Beta...

The good thing about Siri is that since its going they apple's servers it will be really easy for apple to figure out what the most important requests are. This is google's strength and Siri is giving apple a lot of information that should make iOS as a whole
Much better.
I love Siri already, despite it's limitations and cannot wait till its expanded.
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

I confess I find this ad a little spooky. Everybody's head is cut off just above the mouth (except for the weasel girl). Like "1984" only backwards. Have we now become the faceless ones, listening only to Siri?

I'd like to know what they were thinking when they designed this ad.

Talking, I think
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Siri is nice and the voice recognition software is really accurate (no accent American). BUT, I am really disappointed that Siri cannot do something as simple as open an application...such as, "open ????". Sir also doesn't read back incoming text and emails. So much potential, but I will stick with my iPhone 4 for another year.

Funny. You must not really have tried Siri. So epic fail. She sure does read back
Text messages, perfectly in fact. I doubt they will ever unlock it to read back email. Duh. Your phone battery would die in a minute. Why? What if the email was a book in length? Confidential etc? Think before you speak. Doubtful you understand Siris brain is NOT on your phone (duh) but on their servers ( see Siri "connect").

Shrill ?? Me thinks so. If your getting paid to put out lies at least be accurate lol
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Actually SIRI is a busy girl. She would love to stay and chat but she has allot to deal with like looking in the mirror and doing her hair or doing her nails. But.... She will be there at your beckon call when you need her. Lol.

That's cuz she's "phoning home" literally. As all this technology progresses so will voice command tech. Patience people
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

And google acts like this is some sort of fad novelty that will fade away. Wow. I really bet they wish they thought of it. Secretly they are envious. You either have it or you don't. Apple has it. Chaching.

This is going to be Apples biggest seller yet. Another brilliant marketing move that makes the average mass consumer *think* apple out innovated the competition. This one feature casts a large shadow over the Droids. Suddenly they are featureless since they can't match Apple on this one. Really? Yea really. Ask yourself if Siri isn't a show stopper then why the very first ad focuses SOLELY on it? Don't any of you *think* iMessage is a huge deal? You get what I mean.

Strategy people! WITD?

I mean some infantile thinking here. Just like the rumor today that Apple "hurriedly" put this 4s to market cuz i5 wasn't ready!!! Lol!!! Apple was genius to wait out the evolution of 4g. It's not their networks duh. Apple 101... Let others try but we perfect it. That's how the iPhone was born. So will be the i5

Give me a break. The i5 will break when the CELL industry is ready for a REALLY great 4g phone with Apples branding and battery life. The mass market has yet to reach saturation with iPhones people. Big picture little thinkers!!
post #21 of 53
Siri is already advanced search. I can't wait to use it on iPad, iMac. Macbook and even Apple TV.

Computer users tend to use Google for all searches because they are not familiar with many other smaller search engines that are tailored to answer their queries. Well Siri can change that by allowing users to access other search engines such as Yelp and information providers such as Wolfram Alpha and Wikipedia without having to remember their interface.

Search engines like Google as we know them will change forever. Just imagine all the smaller search engines wanting to compete with Google, well, if they are good, Siri can give them that chance.

Time will tell.
post #22 of 53
SERI is a whole new market baby!
We will build spread sheets, documents etc with SERI. Andy Rubin made a fool of himself when he said people don't want to talk to their phone. What an a-hole.
I'm already imagining using SERI, once I get the new I iPhone, to help me in my job.
School kids will use SERI. OMFG. Can you imagine SERI apps? OMFG!!! Another billion dollar revenue stream!!!
And just wait until Apple makes the iPad accept pen inputs in real time. Think about finally taking notes on the iPad the way IT SHOULD BE.
The road map for Apple has been set for at least another decade. Apple's stock will surpass Goggle's either when the iPad 3 drops in a few months or when iPhone 5 drops. Damn!
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

Ummm ... If this were really amazing, saying, "I'm locked out" should unlock the doors, instead of telling you where to find a locksmith, no?

Suddenly, it's not so amazing.

Thank God that you don't work for that ad agency or Apple. If the intention was so than then the person would be saying "Please open the door". But, in this segment, what they are demonstrating is the location based feature of Siri.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

Ummm ... If this were really amazing, saying, "I'm locked out" should unlock the doors, instead of telling you where to find a locksmith, no?

Suddenly, it's not so amazing.

Reading your post I thought just another troll, and perhaps you are... - however, you raise an interesting point.

Currently, Siri interacts by employing external resources such as Wolfram Alpha, via a brilliant verbal processing capability (just had my first experience of it). However, a logical extension to the art will come when Siri is more aware of my local, unique resources, such as the ability to unlock my front door. This will come.

The iPhone 4S will go down in history and be revered!

...and no, you are quite wrong, Siri is amazing!
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post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

"What does a weasel look like?"
*Displays picture of Bill Gates*

Displays pictures of Bill Gates, Steve Balmer and Eric Schmidt and asks "Which weasel did you mean?"
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

They could have the devs implement a phonetic key or something with their apps.

Siri already handles this, as when she displays a list of similar sounding contact names and asks which one you meant. Also, in Contacts you can now enter a phonetic spelling for a person's name, eliminating the need to mispronounce a name just so Siri can understand it. Something similar might be done for apps...
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

And google acts like this is some sort of fad novelty that will fade away. Wow. I really bet they wish they thought of it. Secretly they are envious. You either have it or you don't. Apple has it. Chaching.

Unfortunately this ability is all SJ IMHO.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Unfortunately this ability is all SJ IMHO.

You really don't think Scott Forstall or anyone else on that engineering team have any good ideas about what to do with iOS? For all we know, someone working on Voice Control took a look at Siri and said we need to do something like this, Scott went to Steve and told him they needed to just buy Siri, and Steve made them an offer they couldn't refuse. Not saying that is what happened, just a possibility.

For all that Steve did for the company, and he did too many to count, I think his best and most lasting contribution was to fill that place with some of the smartest minds in technology, liberal arts, and business, and his lasting legacy will continue to grow through them.
post #29 of 53
Some android app developers played around with this idea and made an app in under 8 hours.

Not too functional but I am sure they had a lot of fun with it.

http://www.slashgear.com/iris-voice-...roid-21189888/
post #30 of 53
I don't know if the person tried Siri or not, and I understand it is a beta, but Siri not opening apps is a common cited shortcoming. Moreover, the iPhone can already read out emails (e.g. for blind people), so I see no reason why Siri can't do it. I doubt battery life is the issue, but maybe you are right.

In terms of privacy, I think people are smart enough to know whether they should be having their email read out loud.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoeinla View Post

Funny. You must not really have tried Siri. So epic fail. She sure does read back
Text messages, perfectly in fact. I doubt they will ever unlock it to read back email. Duh. Your phone battery would die in a minute. Why? What if the email was a book in length? Confidential etc? Think before you speak. Doubtful you understand Siris brain is NOT on your phone (duh) but on their servers ( see Siri "connect").

Shrill ?? Me thinks so. If your getting paid to put out lies at least be accurate lol
post #31 of 53
When I first got the phone last week, Apple's servers were crushed as everyone tried Siri out. There were quite a few times where I'd ask her something and after a delay she would tell me she was having a network problem. I got those intermittently during the last week as everyone eventually got tired of asking her to open the pod bay doors, etc.

Yesterday there was a delay before she answered one of my queries, and I noticed she has started saying things like "One sec..." and actually apologizing to me when the delay continued a little longer. She did eventually give me an answer to what I was looking for.

I expect we will be informed somehow when new features are added to Siri like reading emails or adding/changing contacts, but it seems like minor improvements will just be appearing all the time without fanfare.

~Philly
post #32 of 53
I like how Apple has continually used the "say hello to xxx" meme throughout its advertising history, going all the way back to the original "say hello to Macintosh", but this is the first time you can interact with the product in a mostly human fashion.

It's all part of forging that personal attachment to its products that Apple is so good at.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

SERI is a whole new market baby!
We will build spread sheets, documents etc with SERI. Andy Rubin made a fool of himself when he said people don't want to talk to their phone. What an a-hole.
I'm already imagining using SERI, once I get the new I iPhone, to help me in my job.
School kids will use SERI. OMFG. Can you imagine SERI apps? OMFG!!! Another billion dollar revenue stream!!!
And just wait until Apple makes the iPad accept pen inputs in real time. Think about finally taking notes on the iPad the way IT SHOULD BE.
The road map for Apple has been set for at least another decade. Apple's stock will surpass Goggle's either when the iPad 3 drops in a few months or when iPhone 5 drops. Damn!

I understand your excitement, and we share much of it, but it's Siri, not SERI. Minor nitpicking, I know, but the typo was all I could see.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoeinla View Post

This is going to be Apples biggest seller yet. Another brilliant marketing move that makes the average mass consumer *think* apple out innovated the competition. This one feature casts a large shadow over the Droids. Suddenly they are featureless since they can't match Apple on this one. Really? Yea really. Ask yourself if Siri isn't a show stopper then why the very first ad focuses SOLELY on it? Don't any of you *think* iMessage is a huge deal? You get what I mean.

Strategy people! WITD?

I mean some infantile thinking here. Just like the rumor today that Apple "hurriedly" put this 4s to market cuz i5 wasn't ready!!! Lol!!! Apple was genius to wait out the evolution of 4g. It's not their networks duh. Apple 101... Let others try but we perfect it. That's how the iPhone was born. So will be the i5

Give me a break. The i5 will break when the CELL industry is ready for a REALLY great 4g phone with Apples branding and battery life. The mass market has yet to reach saturation with iPhones people. Big picture little thinkers!!

Why is the first ad focused on it? Probably because it's the 4S' biggest selling point. What else would Apple claim? iOS 5? You can still get that on other iDevices. Same with iMessage. Improved camera? What average joe is going to upgrade their phone just to get 3 more MP and a faster processor (which is FAR better...but outside of techies I doubt the vast majority of people know about it/care). The fact that Siri's being advertised (and pulled from everything other than the 4S) is to boost sales for the 4S. Seriously, other than Siri how many other improvements does the 4S offer to the mainstream consumer?

And Android had voice capabilities for years buddy. It wasn't until Siri that Android followers stopped laughing at the poor voice input of iOS. While Siri is head and shoulders better than anything found on Android, Android's voice services are still pretty damn good. To say they won't look like feature phones anymore is just, well, dumb
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post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoeinla View Post

This one feature casts a large shadow over the Droids. Suddenly they are featureless since they can't match Apple on this one. Really? Yea really.

I've thought for a long time that these platforms needed "killer apps" in order to differentiate themselves.

I was surprised that Android's turn-by-turn wasn't promoted more - it was free and iOS didn't have it (for free).

If Siri works well enough, it could be a killer app that makes the i4S unique. If it doesn't work well enough, however, it will become the butt of many many jokes.

We'll find out over the next couple of weeks. SNL and the late-night talk shows will jump on it if there is anything to mock.

But if Apple can pull this off, they will have done something that was first promised decades ago as "the next big thing". I remember the early days of Dragon. People thought it was like Siri. They thought that they could say "Memo to Bob Jones" and Word would open a memo template with the From: and To: lines all filled in and the cursor ready to start filling in text.

If Siri can do that stuff, it will be big. Really really big. Especially now that Apple is targeting the unsophisticated user. If they can make the iMac something that can be used just by talking to it in natural language Apple will have a whole army of computer illiterates as new customers.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Android boss Andy Rubin said earlier this week that he doesn't believe that phones should serve as assistants,

Wow, and I don't believe that Google should have totally copied the iPhone and iPad with Android! That settles it then, looks like Google is going to stop copying.

(Or maybe he just figures the functions of a personal assistant should be reserved for CEOs of large companies like Google?)
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Reading your post I thought just another troll, and perhaps you are... - however, you raise an interesting point.

Currently, Siri interacts by employing external resources such as Wolfram Alpha, via a brilliant verbal processing capability (just had my first experience of it). However, a logical extension to the art will come when Siri is more aware of my local, unique resources, such as the ability to unlock my front door. This will come.

The iPhone 4S will go down in history and be revered!

...and no, you are quite wrong, Siri is amazing!

Hmmm, when do we get to see Watson take on Siri on Jeopardy? Has anyone tried if it can do the 'answer with a question' thing?
post #38 of 53
Seems like Siri could end up using a lot of data. Better check your data plan for overages. Does AT&T still grandfather in the unlimited plan?

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post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Apple's stock will surpass Goggle's either when the iPad 3 drops in a few months or when iPhone 5 drops. Damn!

Apple's stock surpassed Google's a while ago - its market cap is 368.77B, Google's is 191.24B. I assume you mean individual shares, but value of the company is a better indicator - Google could do a reverse split and have 1200 dollar shares, and it wouldn't change anything.
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Displays pictures of Bill Gates, Steve Balmer and Eric Schmidt and asks "Which weasel did you mean?"

Add the Samsung CEO, Ellison, Sun's ex-Schwartz, any recent HP CEO, Wall St. execs, politicians, lawyers, ...

"Siri, are you still there?"

"I'm sorry, this could take a while."
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