It can call people, play music, send and receive text messages and emails, reading them with a natural human voice or set up events and meetings, remind you of stuff… You can also dictate in any app.
But the key about Siri, according to Apple, is that it isn’t just voice recognition. It really understands natural language and follows complex commands. It’s conversational too, so it will reply back to you and you can reply back to it. Think Enterprise’s computer vs the current crop of voice recognition software.
This thing actually seems smart, judging by the demos. It actually interprets what you are saying. You don’t talk to it using commands. You just talk to it like you would talk to another person. So instead of asking “tell me the weather today” you can just say “Do I need a raincoat?” and it will reply “It sure does look like rain today!” Or if you say “Wake me up tomorrow at 6am” it will automatically set up the alarm for you. Or “hey, remind me to buy milk later” and it will remind you to buy milk as you pass near a grocery store—yes, Siri is location aware.
Siri also pulls information from Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha to give you smart answers to your questions. You can even ask him for definitions, which Siri will read out loud.
Follow the link up top for Gizmodo’s rundown on the new model, the most notable feature of which is surely the Siri A.I. interface. Shockingly, Apple fanboys are disappointed: They wanted an iPhone 5 and a 4S is not a 5, even though the 4S appears able to … carry on basic conversations. If the next model can read your mind and diagnose illnesses but they end up calling it the 4S+, will there be whining about that too? Good lord. Apple shares actually dropped five percent today before making almost all of it back. And thus does the “things were better when Steve was CEO” rose-colored-glasses era begin.
Exit question: After years of being tormented by auto-correct, do any of us really trust this thing to take dictation? C’mon.