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This chapter is from the book

New in Siri

Siri is an evolving system. Apple continues to add new and exciting technologies to Siri, which it is rolling out over time. Figure 1-19 showcases the apps and services that Siri works with at the time this book was being written.

Figure 1-19

Figure 1-19. Siri integrates with a growing range of apps and services.

New standout features include sports: You can ask for the latest scores and statistics for your favorite teams and players. “How are the Bronco’s doing?” or “Did the Mets win?”

Siri now provides movie reviews and showtimes, too. Say, “What’s playing nearby?” or “Is The Bourne Legacy any good?” Siri will show the hours the movie is playing and offer links to Rotten Tomato reviews.

Feeling hungry? Siri now integrates with Open Table so that you can make restaurant reservations and look up local reviews for nearby options.

In addition, you can ask Siri to launch apps for you. Just say “Open Angry Birds” or “Launch Puzzle Craft.”

Living with Siri Limitations

A year after its launch, Siri remains a beta product, flaws and all. Even when it is mature, you can still expect that the voice-interpretation system will be subject to mistakes. After all, humans misunderstand things all the time. With the best of intentions and the best of interpretations, Siri will never be able to provide 100 percent accuracy. Consider Figure 1-20, which shows perfectly how Siri might always be limited.

Figure 1-20

Figure 1-20. Here you can see what Erica meant (top) and what Siri interpreted (bottom).

Erica wanted Siri to play Pachelbel Canon in D. Instead, Siri offered to search for local Taco Bells. The similarity in phonemes, the basic units of speech used to construct the two phrases Pachelbel and Taco Bell, meant that Siri’s algorithms had to pick from two possible interpretations. It went with the latter as more likely, even though Erica intended the former.

Let Siri Learn About You

The more you use Siri, the better it understands you. Siri learns your regional accent over time and characterizes your voice into a specific dialect. This helps it improve its interpretation over time. What’s more, Siri uses information from your device, including contacts, your music, your calendar, and your reminders, to better match what you’re saying to what you mean.

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