The new iPhone 6 became available in stores last Friday with a new ‘hands-free’ Siri.
Reported by the New York Times, people can activate Siri on their iPhones by saying “Hey Siri” from a few feet away. Siri on previous iPhones could activate on the same command, but only when charging because having to constantly listen to voice commands drained the battery. The new iPhone 6 reduces the drain on battery, however, with new hardware changes.
Siri is also able to control devices compatible with Apple’s HomeKit system, which would allow users to command Siri to perform tasks such as turning off the lights in the house or finding a good movie on Netflix. This new feature has been nicknamed the “Star Trek” computer by developers.
“The ‘Star Trek’ is not just a metaphor that we use to explain to others what we’re building,” said Amit Singhal, the head of Google’s search team. “It is the ideal that we’re aiming to build done realistically.”
Bianca Joyner, a senior health policy and administration major, believes Siri is a useful tool and betters the user experience.
“I think Siri is a good thing to have on an iPhone. When you ask her certain things, she’s very specific,” Joyner said.
Morgan Covington, a sophomore English major at USM, spoke about her experiences with Siri before this update. Covington explained she stopped using Siri after getting her iPhone.
“I used her often when I first got the phone, but now, not really. Now it’s just kind of a thing I use for jokes like ask dumb questions, so she’ll say funny things,” Covington said.
When asked why she stopped using Siri, she said she prefers to just type her questions into Google and find the answers for herself.
“It’s inconvenient to pull out your phone in public and start talking to it. It’s more inconspicuous to just pull out your phone and type it,” she said.
Covington said she would not use the new Siri on the new iPhone because it sounds similar to what is already on the phone.
The New York Times also reported this may be an omen for the future in which robotic assistants such as Siri would be on-hand to answer questions, take notes and take orders for us.