Santa has a new assistant to help him deliver gifts to the children: Siri. When Santa asks how his day looks like, Siri reports he has 3.7 billion appointments. Siri also tells Santa to go “Go easy on the cookies”.
According to The Atlantic, Amazon has quietly acquired a voice recognition firm called Yap. Yap had been working on a service that converts voicemail to text. This service was discontinued on October 20th.
“Though the acquisition was apparently completed in September, no public announcement has been made by either company. The filing does not mention Amazon by name, but Yap merged with a company called “Dion Acquisition Sub” that just so happens to be headquartered at 410 Terry Avenue in Seattle, Washington, an Amazon.com building.”
This could mean that Amazon tries to take on Apple’s Siri. The new Android based Kindle Fire tablet seems to be the tablet with the strongest potential of being an iPad rival. To compete against Apple and the iPad (the iPad 3 will probably also have Siri), an own voice control software is a must.
Have you ever wondered who provided the voice for Siri? Despite Apple’s request to remain anonymous, Jon Briggs, British voiceover artist, revealed that he is the voice of Siri in the UK.
He was told by the Apple PR to not publicly speak about Siri because Apple employees are not authorized to discuss products. But because Jon Briggs recorded his voice for a company called Scansoft, he never signed a contract with Apple, which is why he has now gone public.
Briggs recorded over 5’000 sentence over three weeks. He was told to speak in a specific way, reading “flat and even”. The recordings were then analyzed to grab specific phonetics. These phonetics now allow Siri to speak about every word in a natural language, even if Briggs never actually recorded that specific word.
iOS 5.0.1 is now available for download. But as we wrote in a previous post, if you intend to jailbreak your iPhone, you should not update.
Here are the release notes from Apple:
iOS 5.0.1 Software Update
This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:
- Fixes bugs affecting battery life
- Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
- Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
- Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
Products compatible with this software update:
- Phone 4S
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 3GS
- iPad 2
- iPod touch (4th generation)
- iPod touch (3rd generation)
For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
Siri is without a doubt one of the biggest selling points of Apple’s new iPhone 4S. Many people hoped that Siri would also come to older iOS devices. We even heard that Siri is being tested on the iPhone 4. Now Apple has confirmed that they do not have plans to bring Siri to older iOS devices.
This statement from Apple at this point isn’t very surprising, because if they said they would also enable Siri on older devices, it would probably damage the sales the iPhone 4S.
It looks like we once again have to rely on hackers to get Siri to our older iDevices.
Our friends at jailbreaknation.com shared an interesting story they got tipped to by a source close to Apple. According to the source, Apple is testing Siri on devices other than the iPhone 4S. Currently, Siri only runs on the iPhone 4S. While hackers are currently trying to get Siri working on other iOS devices, it seems like Apple is testing Siri on the iPhone 4 as well.
It would be surprising if Apple decides to release Siri for other iOS devices any time soon, because Siri is the main reason a lot of people are buying an iPhone 4S.