Archive for October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Siri

John Gruber:

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.

Stevey’s Google Platforms Rant

Steve Yegge:

That one last thing that Google doesn’t do well is Platforms. We don’t understand platforms. We don’t ”get” platforms. Some of you do, but you are the minority. This has become painfully clear to me over the past six years. I was kind of hoping that competitive pressure from Microsoft and Amazon and more recently Facebook would make us wake up collectively and start doing universal services. Not in some sort of ad-hoc, half-assed way, but in more or less the same way Amazon did it: all at once, for real, no cheating, and treating it as our top priority from now on.

Update (2011-10-21): Yegge’s follow-up (via Hacker News).