The rumors are true. Apple is introducing a Siri-based voice control functionality to iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S, called Siri, not Assistant, as reported.
As we’ve previously detailed, Siri will intelligently help you get things done just by asking.
For example, on stage, Apple asks his iPhone “What is the weather alike today?” Siri then responds with “Here is the weather for today” along with a screen showing the weather.
Siri does seem to be activated with a long button press, as reported. Just press the home button, then speak when the microphone interface slides up.
Other examples of how smart Siri is? You can ask Siri “Do I need a raincoat?” and it’ll say “It looks like Rain today.” Or “What time is it in Paris?” and it’ll show you a clock. Say “Wake me up at 6AM and an alarm will be set for the next morning” Ask about stocks, it’ll show you them. You can even compose and dictate emails. Awesome.
Siri even hooks up with Wolfram Alpha to intelligently parse what you want. “Give us a definition for antidisestablishmentarianist,” tell us how much average rainfall there is in the Amazon Basin,” “what are the odds of pulling a joker out of a deck of cards” and so on. Incredible.
Every request you make of Siri isn’t just understood, you’ll get a reply in real English. Siri can even read your text messages or email out loud to you.
Siri requires a data connection at all times, because it’s pumping out waveforms of your voice to Apple’s external servers for processing.
Siri will be available when the iPhone 4S launches in English, French and German, with more languages to follow. It is iPhone 4S only, because it needs an A5 processor and 1GB of RAM.