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As awesome as the new iPhone 4S looks, there’s just one more thing that senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller left out of his keynote -- and it’s at the heart of the company’s “Let’s talk iPhone” invitation.
After introducing the souped-up new iPhone 4S, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller, launched into “one more thing” by introducing Siri, the company’s new intelligent assistant “that helps you get things done just by asking.”
“Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more,” Apple explains on their website. “Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it.”
Of course, it’s widely known that Apple purchased Siri technology and the inclusion of it into the iPhone 4S isn’t much of a surprise -- for once, the rumors pegged it quite well indeed. Schiller touted Siri as a way for their devices to answer your questions without a lot of unwieldy lingo or restrictive jargon.
“What is the weather like today?” is one such question posed at the keynote, which the handset proceeds to respond, “Here is the forecast for today.” (Sunny with a high of 70 degrees for Cupertino, by the way.)
Senior vice president of iOS software Scott Forstall returned to the stage for a demo of how Siri works -- simply hold down the home button and Siri begins to listen. “What is the hourly forecast?” is followed by “Do I need a raincoat today?” -- to which Siri responds, “It sure looks like rain today.”
Of course, Siri also extends to finding out the time, setting an alarm, getting stock quotes, finding “a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto” or even getting directions courtesy of the built-in Maps app. Siri is also intelligent enough to read back incoming messages, aiding users in replying as well -- or even setting up a calendar appointment or reminder.
Apple considers Siri a beta service for now, and it will only included with the iPhone 4S for English (U.S., U.K. and Australia), French and German languages for now. The iPhone 4S will be available starting on October 14, rolling out to 70 countries by the end of this year.
Apple’s “Let’s talk iPhone” event wrapped up this morning with announcements of a refreshed iPod nano and iPod touch, iOS 5 and iCloud arriving on October 12 and the new iPhone 4S hitting stores on October 14, with Sprint added as a third U.S. carrier and a 64GB model available for the first time at $399 with two-year agreement.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter