We are all feeling the financial pinch! Blue Plate Special is a weekly review of bargain apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Nothing over $.99.
The iPhone has many applications to find restaurants, taxi cabs, movies or weather. Each of these apps have a unique UI to find these places or events. Siri has brought yet another interesting method of search and discovery.
No more endless clicking on links and pages to get things done on the Internet. Delegate the work to Siri and relax while Siri takes care of it for you.
Need a table for 2 at your favorite restaurant next Thursday?
Just ask Siri.
Need a taxi right now?
Just ask Siri and with a single request the cab’s on its way.
Type or speak… it’s up to you. Siri acts on your behalf utilizing the best services on the web. Simply put: it’s the new way to get things done.
First off, Siri claims to only work for the 3GS in the United States but promises to update soon to include all devices and more locations.
Siri presents itself as a personal assistant. Using voice recognition or text, ask Siri to locate or inform on certain subjects and it will answer. The format is similar to the appearance of an IM or text message. There is a feel that the application is actually communicating directly with you.
Currently, Siri is able to assist in finding: Restaurants, Movies, Taxis, Events, Local and Weather.
I am quite impressed with the voice recognition capability in Siri. Very few words have been missed and most of those were due to background noise. Unlike many old voice recognition systems, normal full questions are able to be asked and answered. Some cities were difficult to be found through voice questions but once they were typed in, the app seemed to learn and add the cities in the voice dictionary.
If voice recognition is not an option or preferred, simply type the question and receive the same quality of answer. Nuance, who develops Dragon Dictate provides the voice recognition, so it is fast and usually spot on. The app is able to use current position and provide location specific answers. For example, find a nearby restaurant and even reserve a table for a certain date or time. Search for movies to find theaters, movie times and even watch trailers. Some theaters also provide the option to buy tickets from the application. My students get a huge kick out of asking the app what the weather in our town is. Tonight, I am taking my kids to their first rodeo in San Antonio. When asking Siri who is performing after the rodeo tonight, I was provided that information along with artist information, weather forecast, venue information and even the ability to purchase tickets.
The developers explain on their site that Siri is basically an infant. There are plans to continually update the app to add more functionality. Siri does remember what has been asked and will learn your locations and habits. The app seems to be ever changing and gets better the more I use it. My thoughts is that this app is in the beginnings and will could change the way I search on my iPhone. Get Siri Assistant here free in the app store and start searching.
What I like: Voice recognition and the ability for Siri to learn as you go.
What needs improvement: Some cities are not recognized with the voice feature.