Apple has been heavily criticized for Siri’s lackluster performance, especially when it came to fulfilling its promise of being a ‘personal assistant’. However lost in the headlines of today’s unveiling of the iPhone 5 are the numerous upgrades to the Siri platform. In addition to being able to be utilized on additional devices (i.e. iPad, iPod touch), this next iteration will do some of the following:
- Have quick access to sports scores. During the announcement, Apple’s SVP asked Siri a basic question: ‘How did the 49’s do?’, and Siri responded by popping up a box score of the football game.
- Facebook statuses will now be able to be posted using the speech to text mechanism (a key item that has been missing from Facebook’s native application).
- The system also has integrated with restaurant availability data and can quickly look up which restaurants have open tables to reserve.
- And for entertainment fans, Siri now has a direct connection with movie review service Rotten Tomatoes, and will give entertainment recommendations based on the latest reviews.
All of these are features that Apple is hoping will propel Siri into an actual product instead of just being a rarely used novelty.