Siri was meant as Verizon DROID exclusive before Steve Jobs snatched it

Siri was meant as Verizon DROID exclusive before Steve Jobs snatched it
You know what might have happened with Siri, Apple's venerable voice-controlled assistant? It might have been on the original Motorola DROID that started Android's push into the mainstream.

That's right, according to insider info obtained during the making of a piece about Siri and its founding fathers, the Huffington Post claims that the deal with Verizon was so far ahead, that the carrier even started recording ads for the intelligent voice control that would be a unique selling features for its DROID army.

The partnership with Siri's founders and Verizon fell apart because Steve Jobs outright bought Siri asking for exclusivity, and the fact of the matter is that Apple scooped the service and made one of the most commented features in mobile, prompting Google and the others to speed up their voice-recognition efforts.

The whole piece is fascinating, following the evolution of Siri from the moment it was a government-funded DoD project for machine learning tasked at SRI International, through the bold vision of its startup founders to make it a "do engine" that not only serves information to you, but also acts on it in an intuitive manner, to the somewhat neutered version that is gracing your iPhone at the moment.

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It turns out that what caught Steve Jobs' attention were actually not the breakthrough natural language processing algorithms which were utilized when Siri was outed as a standalone iOS app, but the service's human personality and attitude. He immediately saw the potential in the idea of Siri's founders for different personality packs, which would reflect the user's own. Siri's Kittlaus said, for example, that the idea was on a question like “Yo, yo what kind of flicks are playing, dude?”, Siri to answer in the same style: “Hey man, check out the new Eastwood flick. Word.”

Apparently, Steve Jobs was imagining the human-machine communication in a similar manner, as he swooped in to buy the startup, and insisted that it nixes all deals with Verizon, which was there months before Apple, so as Siri remains exclusive to iOS. It also seems that Apple has plenty more to introduce regarding Siri, just to bring it up to its original module, and, knowing Cupertino, it will probably do so step by step.

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45 Comments

1. MeoCao unregistered

And thank you very much Mr. Jobs. Android has Google Now which is way better.

7. sheik

Posts: 249; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

+1, Word!

10. Mxyzptlk unregistered

But Siri is more intuitive.

11. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Drunk Driver Hit and RUN!! Plus iPhone Siri 911 voice call FAIL!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k08hO00S7ng

12. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

How? I mean, really, how?

20. tedkord

Posts: 17084; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Its got the Apple logo on the back. Thats all people like him need.

51. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Because it is.

19. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Every comparison you see between Google Now and Siri, Google Now comes on top. There's really no contest. Siri is slower to give answers, doesn't recognize voice as well, and doesn't have as many personal features as Google Now. Just because Siri talks back more, that means it's better? No. Maybe you should post some sources along with your claims. My source is just about EVERY video comparison of Google Now and Siri. What's yours?

40. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

But understand that Google Now, which isn't that big of a deal also, wouldn't be around if Siri wasn't here first... I'm not saying its a copy but coming out with a product after someone else did it...it should have an advantage as it has taken what's already there and made improvements. I'm not sure what tests you are viewing but in all my experiences w/Siri...can't ever say i can define it as "slow".

50. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Take a look at the article on PA about Siri vs Google Now... http://www.phonearena.com/news/How-Google-Now-was-built-and-a-bit-on-Siri-too_id32033 http://www.phonearena.com/news/Google-Nows-intelligent-push-shows-Siri-the-future_id31967 Google Now was probably in development around the time Verizon wanted to buy Siri. According to that article...parts of it was in development before 2010...Siri was a complete product when Apple bought it. There is no 2 ways around that...sorry to the article writer of the link I posted...lol. This article proves that if Verizon was gonna buy it in 2010. Apple might have made changes and added stuff....but it was more of a complete product than Google Now. If you read those 2 links I posted ...you will see why so many say Google Now is better than Siri...and why its a big deal. This is a key difference betwen them both when they both launched: from one of the articles... "Intelligent Push The basic difference is this: Siri demands that you ask for something before you can get it. Google Now intends to learn what you want, and understand when you want it, and have it ready for you. Siri is always an active interaction. Google Now wants to bring the information to you without being asked. Of course, we have to put in words like "intends" and "wants to" because we haven't seen enough of Google Now to know if it will work as planned, but the idea remains the same." Google kept on with the development process until Siri was released by Apple. I think a search lawsuit by Apple made Google make changes sooner than later that makes Google Now what it is today....the best part of Google Now is it gives you info based on some things you set up or your search history. So thank you Apple...lol. I dont what the devs who made Siri was doing...and we see from the articles what Apple did with Siri. But Google took that idea and improved on it......alot. Siri had an update recently to try to give you info like Google Now...and I called it that Apple was gonna do that. Google Now vs Siri and Google Maps vs Apple Maps....almost a no contest in each case. The voice recognition alone makes it almost a no contest. Siri and Stallions....too funny....lol. I dont know if Apple updated the voice part yet. But it needs to if it didnt. Google Now vs Siri....Google Now is a big deal. Its that good. Especially with how much advertising Apple thru behind Siri.

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 30782; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Far more

25. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Any proofs or just empty talks?

31. darkkjedii

Posts: 30782; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yes I have the ip5 and note 2. Google now doesn't do personal stuff like set appts, or pull up notes and reminders sir does and Siri does all the stuff that google now does as well.

52. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I just set Google Now to show cards for meetings...and set a dr appt reminder for 11 30 am Friday.... I had to set Google Now to show a card to show meetings first tho. I havent tried notes and reminders... Sometimes...its in the settings. I wonder for those that use their calander alot on Android phones...would that card been on by default. Sport scores, weather, GPS routes was on by default on my phone. The key here tho is with Google Now...once that card is on...it will automatically give you calander info. Has Siri been updated to do that all the way yet? I dont know....asking a real question....

33. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Just like Mxy, you aren't posting any sources, just empty words. Practically every comparison of Google Now and Siri ends in Google Now on top. With Siri; Hold down the home button, give it a command or ask it a question, it does it and talks back a bit, done. Google Now; Swipe up from home button, ask it a question, it gives you an answer and maybe talks back. Not only does it answer your questions faster and recognizes speech better, but it remembers your questions, and gives you information through your notifications about things that are useful to you (i.e. Sports and such). Also, if you go to a place often, Google Now will recognize where you go and how long it takes you to get there on average. So say you're getting ready for work, Google Now will check traffic with Google Maps and tell you how much time you have before you need to leave in order to be on time based on the traffic. Siri and Google Now both have similar direct actions, but Google Now not only does that direct action more efficiently and more responsively, but it also goes deeper into personalizing itself for your benefits, something Siri can't do.

47. darkkjedii

Posts: 30782; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

My source is owning both platforms that they run on lol. just go to your local cellular store, and try em out.

61. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

I have used both of them already, and like I said, Google Now is about 1-2 seconds faster in responding to questions. Also, Siri didn't recognize my voice at times. I had a Nexus 4 and iPhone 5 next to each other and asked them both the same questions at the same time, Google Now responded faster and answered every time, while Siri needed me to repeat myself occasionally. I've had real world testing, and almost every video test repeatedly shows that same result. I'm a reasonable guy, Dark, but Google Now is better than Siri. Not to say Siri is bad, but it's just not as good as Google Now. And it's missing the added functionality I mentioned in my previous comment.

46. adelta90

Posts: 63; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

how do you apply the word "intuitive" to a software?

55. thelegend6657 unregistered

Mxyzptlk/Taco50 : hi

54. thelegend6657 unregistered

I like Google now more cause its more intuitive and faster . But siri's personality is kinda cute

2. richardyarrell2011

Posts: 510; Member since: Mar 16, 2011

Verizon and Siri would've made a great couple. They both suck rotten eggs.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30782; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I heard Samsung makes treadmills. Get one.

41. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

one thing Samsung doesn't make...clear calls.

3. ramonleonjr62

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

nothing new about mr jobs

4. palmguy

Posts: 954; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

In female voice "Drooooid"!

5. marchels14 unregistered

Ha ha,apple bearly invents eanything they just buy and call it their invention.

6. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 577; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Just goes to show that apple just steals good things from others to call there own. If this didn't happen I wonder what wouldve been the i4s's selling point.

8. tedkord

Posts: 17084; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So Steve did what he always did - get wind of someone else's idea, and steal it.

9. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Hhhh...no wonder SIRI sounds so "caged". :P

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30782; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Good move Steve, cuz Siri turned out to b the best virtual asst. out there.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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