Review: Siri “the Virtual Assistant” for the iPhone 3GS [iPhone App Reviews]

I am a huge fan of search assistants and Siri is one of the many search assistants in the App Store.  You might ask, what makes Siri so different?  The answer is simple: Siri partnered with Nuance Technologies (Dragon Search & Dragon Dictation).  Nuance provided Siri with their accurate voice to text recognition. This is where other search assistants have failed in my opinion.  Siri paired with Nuance’s voice to text is extremely accurate and precise. Now let’s give it a try.

[Please note: this app currently only works on the iPhone 3GS]

When you launch the app you are brought to the start screen. The start screen provides you with seven categories: Restaurants, Movies, Events, Local, Taxis, Weather, & Reminders.  Each category also has an example of what you might ask Siri, “Best sushi near here”.  On the bottom you’ll see  Start over,  My Stuff button (which contains settings for your account), Help (tutorials), Feedback (e-mail Siri) , and a tab for Recent searches. To get started using Siri you are provided with two options: Say it! or Tap it…

When you tap “Say it!”, the screen directs you to Speak now and give Siri an order. For the sake of this review I am going to use, “Movies playing nearby.” After Siri recognized what I asked, the next screen served as a confirmation. If Siri made a mistake you can correct it in this screen by simply tapping on the box to edit the text or you can click “Say it again”. You can bypass the confirmation page by simply tapping on options.

If Siri recognized your search correctly, simply tap the blue button titled, “That’s right! Go”. Siri goes to work searching the current movies playing near your current location.  This is where Siri is brilliant: not only do a list of movies pop up, but you can see everything about that movie right from Siri without ever having to leave the app.  After clicking on your movie selection, the drop down box reveals a movie description, you can watch a trailer, user reviews, notes, and map surrounding theaters. You can even reserve your seats by simply clicking on the desired time selection.

Now let’s say you’re in the mood for some pizza after the movie. Siri will take care of that for you. I asked Siri, “Reserve a table for 2 at a pizza restaurant.” Siri accessed OpenTable and you can now make your reservations. In my case OpenTable didn’t support any local pizza restaurants at the moment so I asked Siri, “Best pizza near here.” Siri pulled up nearby restaurants which scored high with user reviews. You can view the reviews, map the address, share via e-mail, and call without ever leaving the app.

Siri has a ton of other features that I use on a regular basis which has led me to place it on my first home screen.  I also use it to check the weather (very detailed), set reminders for projects, and search for local events. Unfortunately, as of this article, Siri is only available for the 3GS model. I would highly recommend giving Siri a shot — what do you have to lose? It’s FREE!

Siri is available for FREE in the App Store

This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPhone App Store. For further information regarding our site ‘s review policies, please see our About page.



  • http://intensedebate.com/people/FrankCatalano FrankCatalano

    Hey that's me! :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patrickj patrickj

    Ha. Cool Frank. I thought I'd mostly seen Siri described as a 'virtual assistant'. Does it live up to that title, or is it more of just a straight-up search app?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/FrankCatalano FrankCatalano

    That's actually a really good question. I would say compared to the other "search apps" I have used, Siri is capable of doing much more. Using Nuance it's better than most search apps right there bc of the voice to text accuracy. Siri does just so much more than the average search app with providing more content & services to keep you from never leaving the app. For me the accuracy & the overall UI make it a sweet package. I guess being free is never a bad thing either.

  • TychoQuad

    Not available in Australia :(

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/FrankCatalano FrankCatalano

      I apologize TychoQuad I should have also included that in my post. Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com Sebastien

    Hey Frank, congrats for your first review on JAiB.
    Looking forward to reading many more :)
    Sebastien

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/FrankCatalano FrankCatalano

      Thanks Sebastien! I appreciate it.

  • http://www.muzikfetish.net Tylast

    Sounds just like the Vlingo app.
    http://www.vlingo.com/products/iphone/

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shobizz3000 Shobizz3000

    Congrats Frank!! Good job, and I love the Siri app. Read about it the day it came out and been using it since!!
    Hey, I wanna get on the payroll too!!! Lol

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/FrankCatalano FrankCatalano

      Thanks for reading Jeff! Yeah Siri is pretty cool. I never thanked you for referring me to Tweetings… I have been using Tweetie & Tweetings bc I like features from both apps. I wish there was a way to mash them both into one. lol

  • Seth

    I have a 3G and i'm using Siri just fine. I thinks your statement that Siri is only available for 3gs is incorrect.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/FrankCatalano FrankCatalano

      I am glad to hear that & thank you for letting me know.