Note: This is a guest post to promote the Best Mobile Contracts’ contest that gives UK residents a chance to win an iPhone 4S. If in case you’re from the UK, you might want to check out contest. For those in Manila, Philippines, you might want to read the whole article to get a glimpse at what you should expect from iPhone 4S.
There are so many new smartphones entering the market, you can’t help wondering which, if any, will genuinely change the way in which we communicate. This in turn raises another query: do we need a new way to communicate?
Necessity doesn’t really come into it, of course. Functionality and gimmickry are often quarrelsome bedfellows. You need only consider how poor the batteries of modern phones are, or the fact that signals drop out for no apparent reason to appreciate that a phone doing what it’s supposed to do is quite rare. Who cares if you can’t make an urgent phonecall because your signal is prone to randomly dropping out? All that matters is knowing you can use speech-to-text dictation to post a Tweet about how bored you are.
The iPhone 4S is the latest smartphone to generously proffer a brace of features we previously didn’t know we always wanted. Its Siri Assistant means we can now hold a conversation with our phone, or ask it questions at the very least. Ask it ‘Is it going to rain today?’ and it will check the weather reports. Bark at it to set a reminder for your dental appointment and it will accede like an unpaid underling.
Does this sound like something you need in your everyday life? Not really. We can already check the weather, in seconds, by logging onto the web browser on our phone. We can get directions by using Google Maps. In fact, every question we pose to Siri we can find the answer to ourselves; it may just take us a few seconds longer.
So who needs Siri? Does anyone? Certainly it seems like we will never again have to ask another stranger for the time or directions, such is the informational rocket in our pocket. Dialogue with strangers is, for all intents and purposes, extinct. Dialogue with our CPU-brained device is the future.
A final word on Siri; early reports indicate our assistant is somewhat incompetent at offering local information, crafted as it is for the American market. Seemingly this is down to Apple not committing to deals with domestic providers (Yellow Pages, for example). Ask it to direct you to Aberdeen and you end up bound for the town’s Washington doppelganger.
Perhaps this is an unnecessarily cynical outlook to adopt. Siri is cool, right? A few weeks ago voice-recognition software didn’t enter our minds, but now we can’t live without it. What can’t be disputed is that its inclusion in the fifth-gen iPhone will drive sales like nothing before. Having a phone you can’t talk to will be, like, so prehistoric.
It’s not just Siri we want, but may not need. Now we have access to an iCloud, to store our data, apps and music. No longer do we need hard-drives or pen drives. We have a ‘glossary’ so we can provide our own text abbreviations (another service we didn’t previously realise we needed), and a new operating system. Apple is veritably spoiling us this haul of superfluous essentials. Sure, we may not need most of it, but like the fools that we are, you know we’re gonna go out there and buy the 4S anyway. After all, who uses phones with five megapixel cameras anymore?
If you are still unsure about whether to splash out a large sum of cash on the iPhone 4S you could always try your luck at winning one for free with Best Mobile Contracts’ phone competition. The competition is free and simple to enter, you just need to visit the competition page and answer one simple question. The competition closes on November 15th when you may be the lucky winner receiving a free iPhone 4S in the post.