I was reflecting on Siri over the week-end after reading the headlines in the European press "No iPhone 5 Apple missed the 4G revolution" - who really cares about hardware anymore ? That's so 1990s. Siri is revolutionary. See, we have in our bodies 2 awesome user interfaces: our hands, and our voice. Apple nailed the finger input, and they are about to do the same with voice interfacing - now obvious on iPhone 4S, further thinking about the digital home and the TV, which has the same user interface since the 1950 and my thoughts are ... bye bye remote .... finally .......
(reproduced from Forbes.com)
Siri: Apple's Key for Future Growth in Your iHome
Your desk is to a keyboard as your pocket is to a touchscreen as your home is to…
One of Steve Jobs’ greatest strengths was realizing what form factors work best for various new devices. The original iMac and its successors showed that the traditional computer tower is extraneous for most consumers. The MacBook Air is the most successful laptop sold today because it focuses on a lightweight body and great battery life above all else. The iPod’s legendary click wheel bested its rivals by leaps and bounds, and the touchscreen iPhone and iPad lines took handheld and pocket devices to a whole new level.
Jobs and the rest of Apple concentrated on finding the perfect form factor for those hit products, and so far they’ve succeeded on the first try… with one exception: the Apple TV. Apple’s “hobby” $99 living room set-top box has been successful, but not of the runaway variety that has become almost commonplace for the company. Why not? Because it hasn’t found a successful form factor that differentiates it from regular cable boxes.
When asked about the television space in 2008, Jobs said, “I don’t think anybody has succeeded at it and actually the experimentation has slowed down.”
But Apple itself hasn’t done much experimenting in radically changing its TV platform. Until now, I expect.
This week’s iOS 5 release brings with it the much-hyped Siri voice recognition and personal assistant software. Siri can understand and respond to normal human language, accessing many of your phone’s capabilities without your fingers ever swiping across the screen. It can text your friends, find a restaurant, give you reminders, and more.
Voice. That’s the missing link in technology for the living room and the rest of the house. People hate adding remote controls to their increasingly cluttered television set ups. And they don’t have free hands for keyboards or touchscreens in the kitchen. That’s where Siri comes in. If Apple can leverage Siri for use in its Apple TV, that’s a game changer in the set-top box space. Suddenly the device becomes both more functional and infinitely cooler.
And there’s no reason to stop in the living room. Media and organization devices in the kitchen or the bedroom are ripe for innovation. A voice-activated wireless router that controls other major appliances in your house would be intriguing.
Jobs talked for years about making Apple the center of your digital life. iCloud will be the back-end, but devices on your desktop, in your pocket, and throughout your home are the front-facing aspect of that relationship. Where lightweight builds and touchscreens were the perfect form factors for the MacBook and iPhone respectively, voice will undoubtedly guide Apple’s vision for a future where everyone’s house becomes an iHome.
The talking heads and the industry obviously have totally missed the point - the really new stuff has nothing to do with hardware (who cares about bigger screen and 20MP pictures and that it does laundry) but I am particularly amazed by the new voice assistant called Siri. It's an enormous game changer IMHO.
(reproduced from venturebeat)
iOS 5 available for all iPhone users October 12 with over 200 new features
October 4, 2011 | Meghan Kelly
Apple announced today it’s iOS 5 update will be available for download on October 12th.
Today’s Apple event had little by way of new features available on the iOS 5, but did recap what we can expect next Wednesday when we all plug into our iTunes.
According to Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS Software, who took the stage to talk iOS, the new release has over 200 new features to offer. Here are the top ten touted so far:
Better Notifications: These will be stored in the notification center, which can be accessed by swiping your figure downward on the iPhone screen. The point is to make notifications less like the interrupting cow in your knock knock joke.
iMessage: The new messaging feature allows iOS users to communicate over 3G and Wi-Fi with any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. You will be able to send photos, video, receive message delivery and read receipts, and see when others are typing. iMessages are synced to all of your devices, so you can pick up your conversation where you left off. Apple also promises your messages will be encrypted end-to-end for security.
Reminders: For the forgetful person in your life, reminders will alert people to the simple things such as, “Pick up your dry cleaning,” or, “Your mother-in-law has been at the airport for an hour, prepare to sleep on the couch.” You can also set up a geofence around an area, that will set off a reminder once you leave that space.
Twitter Integration: Forstall said, ““We have integrated Twitter deeply into the OS. We have integrated Twitter into many of the built-in apps.” You only have to log in to Twitter once for you to use it across the built-in iOS 5 apps. You can share websites from the Safari browser, YouTube videos, photos and more.
Newsstand: All of your favorite news subscriptions, such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Allure are aggregated into your own news stand. It can be found on the you home screen. While you’re going about your business, Newsstand continues to download new content from your subscriptions.
Camera: When you need to whip out your camera and grab that fleeting shot of the seagull in front of the setting sun, you don’t want to wait to unlock your phone and access the camera. Apple’s answer to that is a shortcut in iOS 5 that doesn’t require you to enter a lock code. iOS 5 will also support auto focusing and exposure, all you have to do is put your figure on your focal point. And we finally receive editing options on the camera including red eye removal.
Game Center: We’re all about content discovery lately, and gaming won’t escape. iOS 5 will put in place game and friend discovery for its over 67 million people using the feature. A sequel to Infinity Blade by Epic Games is also coming out, made specifically for the announced iPhone 4S, which will come preloaded with iOS 5.
New Safari: Forstall says, “”This next feature is one of my favorite: Tab browsing.” Tabbed browsing is just as it sounds, a way to switch between pages you’re reading simultaneously. If you don’t have time to read a page, you can now “save” that page for later in the Reader section.
Mail: The mail app becomes more like a functioning e-mail inbox! iOS 5 allows you to flag messages, search your whole inbox and write e-mail with rich text.
PC Free: Cast off the chains tying you to your computer! The update will allow for wireless updating.
Look out for the update next week.
i blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech, Experiences and anything holistic.
> Head of Product and VP Engineering