Voice Recognition But No iPhone 5 At Apple Event
Stock prices dropped and consumers expressed disappointment after Apple unveiled its latest product, the iPhone 4S, at a high-profile event at their headquarters in Cupertino, CA this morning.
There, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the first post-Steve Jobs event, but let his team unveil the new iPhone 4S: a model almost identical to the iPhone 4 on the outside but with several major new features.
Most notably, the new phone uses a brand new personal assistant program called Siri, which responds to natural language voice commands. According to live blogs of the event (which was not broadcast), Apple execs gave a live demo of Siri, showing it answer questions like “Do I need a raincoat today,” and “How is the NASDAQ [stock market] doing?” This marks a major departure from computer languages requiring formal commands.
In addition, the program can reportedly read messages out loud and compose spoken responses, set alarms, and even make location-sensitive notifications with GPS. Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal compared Siri to artificial intelligence, stressing the importance of the development.
Other new features included an improved camera, global calling ability, new iCloud capabilities, and the same A5 processor found in the iPad.
Still, many customers and tech writers were disappointed by the lack of a totally new external design and completely new model after months of wild speculation, rumors, and hype, spurred on by an announce date pushed back from last spring. Apple’s stock price fell at least 3%.
“I wanted something extra special, largely because I’ve been waiting for it for So. Very. Long,” wrote Mat Honan in a post titled “I Am Disappoint” at Gizmodo.
The iPhone 4S will go on sale Oct. 14.