Siri, as we all know, is currently available only on the iPhone 4S, and is labeled – in very unusual Apple fashion – as a beta feature, or work in progress. But Siri’s sequestration won’t last forever. So the question is: when will we see Siri on other iOS devices?
Well, it looks like it’s at least possible that the day when Siri expands beyond the iPhone 4S may come sooner than we thought. 9to5Mac.com is reporting that there’s new language buried in the Settings menu in the iOS 5.1 beta 3 that suggests Siri, at least in part, may be included in iOS 5.1 for the iPad.
“Sonny Dickson was looking through the iOS 5.1 beta 3 settings application on the iPad and discovered a new section in the keyboard menu called “About Privacy and Dictation.” When opened … the iPad provides the user with the standard legal literature and feature information for Siri Dictation… On the iPhone 4S, Apple does not have a specific menu related to “Dictation and Privacy” in the keyboard settings panel, [which] may weaken concerns that this new iPad Dictation menu is simply carried over code from the iPhone 4S.”
Perhaps only the dictation aspect of Siri’s functionality – the ability to convert speech to text for emails, notes, etc. – will be included, or perhaps iPad 2 users will get full-featured Siri. Or perhaps this is much ado about nothing.
Why No Siri on the iPad Already?
Some have speculated that the more powerful A5 chip in the iPhone 4S is required for Siri to work well, which is why it wasn’t included in the iPhone 4’s iOS 5 upgrade; others say that’s ridiculous, that Apple kept Siri 4S-only because other than the improved camera, there wasn’t much reason for iPhone 4 users to upgrade unless Siri was limited to the new model. We’ve got one foot and two hands in the latter camp, but if the former is true, there’s absolutely no technical reason Siri can’t come to the iPad 2 because it, too, has an A5 SoC with 512MB of RAM and a powerful GPU.
Siri on the iPad 3
Whether Siri is added to the iPad 2 or not, you can bet that it’ll be part of the iPad 3, which is widely expected to be announced later this quarter, likely March. And, of course, the iPhone 5 will have Siri, as we imagine all iOS devices going forward will.