The best sign I can think of regarding Siri’s practical utility: after a week of using this test iPhone 4S, yesterday, while using my regular iPhone 4, without thinking I held down the home button to create a new reminder for myself, and when the old Voice Control interface appeared, my mind went blank for a few seconds while I pondered what went wrong. I missed Siri already.
Siri demos well, but these things never seem to live up to expectations. It’s encouraging that reviewers seem to be finding it useful in the real world.
The number one thing I’d want to do with Siri is create new tasks in OmniFocus. So far it only works with the built-in Apple apps, though.
And, more broadly, it’s heavily tied into the OS. On the Mac, there have been various third-party dictation and voice control products that could pretty much do what they wanted. They went way beyond the OS’s built-in speech recognition features. On iOS, only Apple is allowed to try to make something with the scope of Siri. So you’ve got to hope that Apple has the best voice recognition engine, the best AI, and a plan for future improvement and extensibility. You can’t replace or adjust any of these components except by switching to different hardware and a different OS. Of course, it looks like Apple is currently in the lead, so to most this will not seem like a pressing concern.