Siri Screenshot

Boo, Apple… Boo.

In a previous post on accessibility, I promised to investigate the accessibility features of my iPhone4. I had hoped that there was a way to control the iPhone with voice commands. I’m a few weeks too late.

My iPhone4 features some interesting accessibility tools like Apple’s Voice Over (screen-reading which works quite well, even in Safari), large text and high-contrast options (which reminds me of the old default Winamp skin), even custom gesture recording and assistive touch for users with “Physical & Motor” disabilities.  The benefit to all of these is clear (and if any readers make use of these feature, please comment on how effective they are) but my hope of controlling the iPhone by voice command were dashed with Apple’s launch of the iPhone4 GS earlier this month.

Coinciding with the launch of the iPhone4 GS, Apple incorporated a program that was previously available on the app store called Siri into iOS5.  Siri is dubbed as a “Personal Assistant” application that can “send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more” (http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri-faq.html).  Unfortunately I can’t test the extent of the voice control since support for the Siri App was discontinued and it now operates exclusively on the iPhone4 GS.

I have no intention of upgrading the phone I’ve had less than a year so I guess I’ll have to do without voice control for a while longer or start reading reviews of competing apps on the app store.  If anyone has an iPhone4 GS, please share your thoughts on Siri.  Or, if you had previously purchased the Siri app, what compensation have you received?

Below are some links to additional information including how one of the co-founders of the company that built the Siri has left his post at Apple.

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!