In a recent “iDownload.blog” (http://macte.ch/NTMev), Oliver Haslam asked a relevant question: will Siri be another FaceTime?
In case you’re not familiar with Siri, it’s “the intelligent personal assistant that helps you get things done just by asking” that Apple introduced along with iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S. It allows you to use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more.
According to Apple, Siri — which is currently in beta testing — isn’t like traditional voice recognition software that requires you to remember keywords and speak specific commands. Siri understands your natural speech, and it asks you questions if it needs more information to complete a task.
Siri uses the processing power of the dual-core A5 chip in the iPhone 4S, and it uses 3G and Wi-Fi networks to communicate with Apple’s data centers. So it can quickly understand what you say and what you’re asking for, then quickly return a response, according to Apple.
FaceTime is video calling software that uses Wi-Fi. It was first introduced with the iPhone 4. FaceTime for Mac makes it possible to communicate with anyone on an iPhone 4, iPod touch, or Mac from your Mac.
All you need is an Apple ID and an email address and you’re ready to roll. To start a video call with someone, find her entry in the contacts list. FaceTime works with Address Book so you don’t have to enter your contacts from scratch.
During his 2010 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, then-CEO Steve Jobs said, “We’re going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard.” However, well over a year after the WWDC 2010 keynote, this doesn’t seem any closer to reality.
I have no idea how many folks use FaceTime (I do). However, Haslam feels that, “Facetime is now confined to one of those things we keep forgetting our iPhones can do. Being WiFi-only use hasn’t helped its cause, but that’s a limitation that we all assumed would go away in the months after launch, but it never did.”
He wonders if Sir will meet the same fate. “Could Siri be the next failure for a company that gets things wrong, almost as much as it gets them right?” Haslam asks. “… we assume Siri will get better. What if it never does?”
I hope he’s wrong, but it is indeed a question worth asking. Let’s hope that Apple does get siri-ous about Siri. And let’s hope that FaceTime gets some serious face time and consideration from Apple.
By the way, Apple, if you’re still spending any R&D money on the much despised Ping, the “social network for music,” stop. Kill Ping and put any time and money being spent on it into Siri and FaceTime.
— Dennis Sellers