The tech world has gotten their hands on the new iPhone 4S and not surprisingly, the big talking point is the new voice-command-meets-personal-assistant, Siri. Here’s what they had to say:

Joshua Topolsky, This Is My Next

“I returned to the iPhone after a fairly long period of using and testing other devices. Spending a week with Apple’s newest phone, I’m reminded again of just what makes the company’s products so special. It’s not specs, services, or apps. This phone is not perfect. Certainly it can be improved. But there is something here, beyond the screen and CPU, beyond iCloud, something under the surface. Some intangible spark.”


Walt Mossberg, All Things D

 “While Apple’s latest iPhone doesn’t look different, and may not be the kind of blockbuster people expect from the late Steve Jobs’s company, it thinks different, to quote one of Apple’s old ad slogans. Inside its familiar-looking body there lurks a nascent artificial-intelligence system that has to be tried to be believed.”


David Pogue, The New York Times

“Apple says Siri will improve with time — both because she adapts to you, and because Apple itself will periodically upgrade her brain.

But already, Siri saves time, fumbling and distraction, and profoundly changes the definition of ‘phone.’ I find myself using certain commands constantly, especially ‘Wake me at,’ ‘Call,’ ‘Send a message to,’ ‘Give me directions to,’ and ‘Remind me.’

Jason Snell, Macworld

“For users of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S’s charms are a bit more subtle. There’s no doubt that the iPhone 4S is faster—though the iPhone 4 is not exactly poky. The 4S camera is definitely better, but the big leap came from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4. The jump from 4 to 4S is a bit more incremental. Siri is certainly intriguing, but in its beta state it’s unclear just how useful it will be in the long run. Over the next few months we should get a better idea about how Siri is evolving.”

Brian X. Chen, Wired

“With Siri and Apple’s new Reminders to-do list app, it’s unlikely I’ll forget anything important again because the process is so effortless.

It’s kind of like having the unpaid intern of my dreams at my beck and call, organizing my life for me. I think Siri on the iPhone is a life changer, and this is only the beginning.

Voice-powered artificial intelligence like Siri and Google Voice are shaping up to become the next-generation user interface. The first iPhone’s introduction of capacitive touchscreens were a major leap into making technology fluent to people of all ages and skill levels. The sense of touch is one of the first experiences we become accustomed to after we’re born, so it wasn’t surprising to see that even children and our grandparents could pick up an iPhone or an iPad and figure out how to use it in seconds. Swiping, tapping and pinching interactive objects on a screen? No problem.

Voice-controlled UI is the logical next step. We learn how to speak when we’re infants, and most of us can talk faster than we type. Therefore, as the technology matures, voice commands will become the quickest way to get in and out of our phones (until Apple or Google figure out mobile telekinesis).”