Apple’s latest iOS 6 upgrade has bought Siri, the popular Voice-Assistant to the iPhone 4S and the new iPad. However there’s a teeny-tiny clause attached to it which has left some Apple fans sulking. Siri will not be available for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the original iPad, and the iPad 2 without 3G capabilities. Nor will users of these devices get to use the new Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation features in iOS 6.
So why this step-motherly treatment for those who’ve been sticking to their older devices? Well part of the deal is that Apple wants consumers to consume more, and that’s not possible if they don’t ditch their old devices.
As TechCrunch‘s Jordan Crook points out in this post: It’s been said over and over again that Siri can work on the iPhone 4, and she can probably function on the iPad 2, too. Plus, Apple’s really good at that whole “turning a profit” thing, and the company likes to keep flagship features such as Siri on flagship devices, such as the iPhone 4 and the new iPad.
But this also the first time that users on the older devices won’t get the same iOS6 features as those on the new iPad or the iPhone 4S. The whole fragmented OS experience won’t leave all Apple fans very happy. Welcome to the world of Android users who’ve been waiting for Ice-cream sandwich aka Android 4.0 forever.
CNET’s Molly Wood, is clearly not happy with this slight. She writes
This latest slight, keeping turn-by-turn directions off iPhone 4, is especially enraging…
Sure, the original iPhone 4 is fully two years old – the 4GB GSM version. You could argue it’s just time for folks to upgrade (I’m not a fan of that argument, personally, since it’s wasteful if the device works fine, and financially unfeasible for many).
The last bit is particularly valid for a lot of users. Not many would want to ditch a fully-functioning iPhone 4 or even 3GS just for Siri. In India the iPhone 4S is one of the most expensive phones on the market costing at least 42,000. Not every one would be happy to swap phones.
Even developers were a bit disappointed with Apple’s secrecy over Siri. Mashable spoke to developers at the conference.
“I was hoping for a Siri API today so we could start using Siri in our own apps,” says developer David Owens. “The ability to launch apps from Siri was really welcome. We’d like to see that going further so that you could have commands in your own apps from Siri.”
There’s no Siri API on the cards for now which could help a lot of app developers. Apple’s message with the selective iOS 6 experience is pretty clear. Ditch your old device or forget about Siri.