Siri – What Will You Do For Me in 2012? #iphone #developers #api

December 29, 2011

in General Interest, iphone, iPhone Developers

siriandtwitter.jpgAs 2011 closes it is becoming more obvious that Siri really changed the perspective on how we communicate and use smart phones. Siri is beta for a reason. It doesn’t always work and you still have to learn to work with it. This is a post covering a few of my own observations and what really excites me about Siri 1.0.

My Apple unlocked iPhone 4s finally arrived a few weeks ago. I’d convinced myself to purchase it for Siri first and foremost, and the camera. From my posts on Ethnographers mobile tools… you can see I am excited about the camera. AirPlay Screen mirroring – perhaps not quite there. It works sometimes with Hulu over my AppleTV and other times it doesn’t. Games? Perhaps if others want to watch. May be useful in some other cases. Other aspects of the 4S. Battery life appears to be down (not as good! BAD!), although the phone does appear more responsive. I’m still to find out how things like iMessage work when I change SIM’s on my travels. Now to Siri:

  • Siri is cool on the Motorcycle!: I use a Sena SMH-10 bluetooth headset. Siri is mostly accurate although I must be in a coverage zone. No 3G… no Siri. However, accessing songs, or by an artist is now easy…. I can just call them up. That works at home too over AirPlay. Gloves are not longer a nuisance.
  • Siri needs some training: I had to add relationships to my contacts so I could call my daughter. Siri just doesn’t get how I pronounce her name. That’s true for other names too. So making calls is risky and part training yourself until you know she gets it right each time. However, Siri doesn’t recognize “daughter” only child. This seems stupid to me. If I say call my daughter… Siri produces both my son and daughter as a choice. Obviously more work with contacts and I can create nicknames or other relationships. However, talking to Siri doesn’t always seem to establish these relationships. Siri also doesn’t’ seem to remember how I pronounce a name.
  • Siri is a Brilliant Text Message Typist: Perhaps the most brilliant aspect is Siri types accurate text messages out of the box. Or frequently enough that if you speak clearly. For me this is Siri’s stroke of genius. Identifying that voice is ready for short messages and then people may want to learn how to do something longer. Dictation remains a different skill and while I’ve tried it with Siri I don’t feel proficient although I want to be.
  • Siri’s Party Tricks: Well yes Siri can tell you the weather or the price of Apple and execute a search quickly for you. Again speak clearly! Fact is the more you use it this way…. the more effective it seems to become. Tasks, and reminders. I’m increasing their use. Siri lacks obvious controls. Like WiFi on, location off, notifications on or off etc.

What Excites me about Siri for 2012:

I will be disappointed if developers don’t get to integrate their apps with Siri come June 2012 when the next round of developer tools are usually released. Siri needs an API. There are obvious candidates for Siri enhancement. Even at the first level. Open App is a quicker way to find it or move from one to another when you have many available. I’d expect the right API to kick off a huge number of new opportunities. What happens when Siri can also become a “Customer Service” rep by querying a database, or getting you the right service person quicker. Fonolo integration anyone? VoIP clients are obvious integration opportunities. Similarly I want to Tweet and while Twitter is integrated it’s not connected to Siri. I may also want voice updates and notifications etc. I see some real advantages of connecting Siri to company databases. Eg I want product service or manual information. As the data may be more precise there is less room for error. I suspect this will also build up search capabilities and enable more relevant answers to be returned. The manufacturer has nothing on that, however on the Web I find… what if Siri becomes a meta-mediary across all the best search engines too?

One of my favorite questions is “What’s your XXXX strategy?”. Well it seems obvious. To your “What’s your mobile strategy?”, now add “What’s your Siri strategy?”. Why? Simple. Both these are forcing you to look at how you interact with customers / users. In my opinion, an increasingly radical re-look is required. It’s time to get to the point quicker with your customers. Mobile response times are expected to be quicker and the user is less forgiving than when on a PC.

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