Reviews for the iPhone 4S are starting to come out and most of them are focused on Siri, the voice assistant that will likely determine how great the iPhone 4S truly is in the mind of most people who try it.
So far, Siri seems to be performing great.
From MG Siegler's review:
A number of folks have written that while Siri looks good, it seems like a feature that gives good demo but won’t actually get used. I disagree. I think this is a feature that will sell the device. And I think all of Apple’s rivals will have to act quickly to counter it. We’ve all seen the science fiction television shows and films where people talk to their computers like human beings and the computer understands them. That future is now.
And Jim Dalrymple's:
The important thing to remember about Siri is that it’s not just another voice technology. Siri understands the context of what you are asking it and responds appropriately.
And Joshua Topolsky's:
The crazy thing about Siri is that it works — at least most of the time — better than you’d expect it to. It understands and responds to you in a way that’s so natural it can sometimes be unsettling. The software even has a good sense of humor. Asking it “what is the meaning of life?” will bring up a number of responses, both serious and not so serious. The first time I asked, Siri simply said “42.” If you ask Siri if there’s a god, the software points you in the direction of the nearest church (oddly, no synagogues, Buddhist temples, or mosques are suggested).
And John Gruber's mini-review:
Mostly amazing, sometimes just doesn’t get you, but even when that happens, it’s usually easy to correct/clarify what you mean.
Finally, you can watch Jason Snell's video demoing the capabilities (or lack thereof) of Siri to get an idea of what it's capable of.
And hey Apple - if you need to send a review unit to someone up here in Canada, have your Siri get in touch with me!
Thanks to the terrific shawblanc.net for most of the reviews linked above. I have them all in my own RSS reader, but I saw most of them on his site first.