Why Siri doesn't really care about your mum's birthday

Android’s Andy Rubin thinks Siri, the personal assistant on iPhone 4S is not that useful. He thinks phones are not personal assistants. Microsoft’s Andy Lees also thinks Windows has a better voice recognition:

You can talk to Bing with it.

I am not sure if phones should be your assistants or not. Or whether Siri’s voice recognition is better that Windows mobile’s. One thing I know however is that it is very difficult to make a user interface simple enough so my mother-in-law can use it. Want an example? Check out Tasker for Android.

Tasker can do pretty much anything but the UI is incomprehensible. You can, in theory, do things like setting an alarm that tracks your friend’s movement and tells you when he is outside the shops and sends a text to him so he buys more beer before he gets to your place. But good luck trying that…

That’s where using your voice seems to be the most natural - and simplest - way to define a rule as complicated as that. What Siri is good at, is context. It remembers the context of the conversation. This allows you to break a complicated workflow into smaller chunks so you can put it together easier.

With Siri, you should be able to raise the phone to your ear and say: “Tell Tom to pickup another six-pack when he gets to the shops”. “Oh and let me know when he gets there too”

Siri is about UI, not your mum’s birthday!

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