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iPhone 4S's Siri Is a Bandwidth Guzzler

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the at-least-data-is-free dept.

IOS 290

Frankie70 writes "'Siri's dirty little secret is that she's a bandwidth guzzler, the digital equivalent of a 10-miles-per-gallon Hummer H1.' A study by Arieso shows that users of the iPhone 4S demand three times as much data as iPhone 3G users and twice as much as iPhone 4 users, who were identified as the most demanding in a 2010 study. 'In all, Arieso says that the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S "appears to unleash data consumption behaviors that have no precedent."'"

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Hi! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848559)

It's an article about Apple.

Re:Hi! (-1)

harmony7 (1140759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848563)

i wish i had mod points, i'd mod you up.

Well, duh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848573)

New phone debuts with cloud capabilities. People buy new phone, use the shit out of it, and also begin utilizing cloud functions. Of course bandwidth use is going to go up.

The real scandal here is that the carriers are pushing back, trying to keep bandwidth use down so they don't have to get off their asses invest more than they absolutely have to in network capacity.

Re:Well, duh (-1, Troll)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848597)

I like how you casually used "cloud capabilities" as if that means something.

Re:Well, duh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848645)

iCloud and the updated 4S camera is indeed partially to blame if indeed data usage is as high as reported, however the article is flawed if this Ars article [arstechnica.com] is correct.

Re:Well, duh (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849093)

iCloud and the updated 4S camera is indeed partially to blame if indeed data usage is as high as reported

That's nonsense. It's fair to say that if data usage is high then particular factors might contribute to that, but if you don't know whether data usage is in fact high then you can't authoritatively state what is contributing to it. You clearly don't have enough information to analyse the causes of a problem if there are doubts over whether the problem exists.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849321)

The only thoughtful post in the lot. It might be true, but no one has yet demonstrated it. Seems like that would be the *first* step to take, and only then consider publishing articles about it.
Ars at least attempted to do so, and their research could not be considered to be supporting the conclusion to which this article's author leapt.

Re:Well, duh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848757)

It does. In this case Siri, a pretty, local front-end for a remote web service.

Your dislike of flowery marketing words doesn't make them entirely meaningless.

Re:Well, duh (4, Insightful)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849185)

'cloud' junk is just the rebirth, or in this case the reanimation. of the dead and i thought buried dumb terminal architectural model.

I can see why they resurrected it though, millions of people use their phones and computers now to store personal information. if you can somehow get them to willingly hand that over you have the modern golden egg laying goose. you can mine that data for ad revenue. use it as leverage to get tax breaks from the governments of the area's you physically store it, in exchange for letting them have access of course.

it's only natural for the beast that is a corporation to try to get into the golden trough of revenue that this is. especially carriers. there is a reason they are clamping down on data usage and it has nothing to do with how much capacity they have. it has everything to do with the money they earn from you while you try to access your personal data off these cloud services.

if you don't want to be milked, just say no to any of these stupid 'cloud' services..

Re:Well, duh (4, Informative)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849295)

'cloud' junk is just the rebirth, or in this case the reanimation. of the dead and i thought buried dumb terminal architectural model.

Except that "smart" phones (I hate that phrase even more than "cloud" stuff) are decidedly not dumb terminals. There's more computing power in each one than a lot of the servers that the dumb terminals used to connect to.

if you don't want to be milked, just say no to any of these stupid 'cloud' services..

It's not a stupid service for my phone to upload (sometimes via Wifi, regardless at zero extra cost to me) to my "cloud" storage at Ubuntu One. I doubt Ubuntu / Canonical will be marketing to me by looking at my photos (or files), but if they do, I can just ignore it like I do all the other marketing I'm exposed to...

Really, there is a use for "cloud" services: for example, take a photo of police doing naughty things? Best to have the photo "in the cloud" before they can confiscate camera.

Camera memory card is getting full? Upload a few photos to the "cloud", delete them from camera, keep taking photos.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848925)

It does. I'm no proponent of the cloud for personal data storage, but the iPhone cloud is actually kind of amazing. I returned my iPhone for a new one due to call reception quality and icloud over wifi not only restored all my apps and the app layout but all my app data as well, including game save data. I literally didn't have to do anything other than click "restore from icloud" and the new phone was almost exactly setup and restored the same as the old phone, minus music and video.

Re:Well, duh (3, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849011)

This is what qualifies as "amazing" to you"? Sigh.

I'd go with "cool" that we're seeing this kind of thing built into OSes now, but there's nothing amazing about it. The technology is simple backup/restore functionality, moved into "the cloud".

Re:Well, duh (3, Informative)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849153)

Except that it backs up in one device and magically restores in all the others. It's amazing because it's the first time the consumer market sees this kind of tightly integrated and properly built syncing.

Re:Well, duh (5, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849169)

Actually, Blackberrys have been doing it for a while too.

Re:Well, duh (1, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849327)

Something tells me you are overstating Blackberry's achievements in this arena, given their current market position.

Re:Well, duh (2, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849249)

I will grand that it *nice* useful and more importantly usable for lots of people but lets be really honest about what it is. Its nothing a few shell scripts + ftpd + ftp + cron have not been able to do for 30+ years. If you find iCloud *exciting* its because you don't really understand the technology.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849051)

my tape drive does the same thing - oh, and I get my music and videos back, too.

Re:Well, duh (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849159)

my tape drive does the same thing - oh, and I get my music and videos back, too.

Your tape drive sucks at syncing content across multiple devices.

Re:Well, duh (3)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849317)

I like how you casually used "cloud capabilities" as if that means something.

But I think that in this case (or some cases), it does mean something. Voice recognition isn't really as do-able on the device, it requires "machine learning" (as I understand it), that is, matching against a huge sample of other voice data. Also large processing cost best sent off to a server in "the cloud" to save on battery charge.

Also, "the cloud" is pretty damned handy when uploading photos from phones to a) make space on memory card, b) get a back up of the incriminating photos of police ... being naughty, before they can confiscate the device and delete the pictures (an example that might be rare but of major impact).

I would agree that the "cloud" phrase is grossly abused by marketroids, but it does have some use in some circumstances.

Re:Well, duh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848643)

The carriers have plenty of bandwith they use fiber-optics, they just want to make a profit of 5 trillion off an investment of 10 billion.

Re:Well, duh (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848713)

Which would be a complete and accurate statement if I was unreeling a fiber behind my phone everywhere I go.

In the real world, backhaul is not always the limiting factor; in many metro areas, the RF segment is at capacity during peak hours, and the only fix is more spectrum or more cells. (Which just makes fixed caps look silly -- there's no reason but greed to charge users in overserved rural areas for using the available bandwidth, and even where bandwidth is tight, flat caps don't discriminate between harmless off-peak use and problematic peak use.)

Re:Well, duh (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849265)

I'd argue though that its already to 'hard' for many consumers. Most of them really don't understand what is data intensive and what is just going to push a pull a few hundred KB.

Even technical people might not know. Siri is a perfect example. These devices are getting pretty fast and storage is not exactly 'limited' any more. If you did not know any better you might assume that Siri does is speech recognition locally and just sends search terms to the backed service in plain old boring ASCII. You'd be wrong; and would grossly underestimate the required bandwidth as a result.

Now take the average consumer and expect them to not only keep a general mental running tab of how much the use has been, and try and keep track of on off peak, its going to be a pretty crappy experience. You will have all you customers feeling like they better check the counters before the do anything on their phones ever.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849009)

If AT&T is using fiber there is still a latency where the transfer is made. My wife has the new 4S model and she's been having all kinds of trouble getting access to the internet this week. Of course AT&T may just be throttling her bandwidth but one way or another I have serious doubts about plunking down 200 bucks for another one when my contract comes up. shoehornjob

Re:Well, duh (-1, Offtopic)

nasirg (2562421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848651)

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Re:Well, duh (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848725)

Even for a bot, you're not very bright.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848779)

Warning! I bought some stuff from that site, and it turned out to be a NAMBLA outfit. Bunch of pedos.

Re:Well, duh (3, Informative)

Osiris Ani (230116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848703)

New phone debuts with cloud capabilities. People buy new phone, use the shit out of it, and also begin utilizing cloud functions. Of course bandwidth use is going to go up.

Indeed, those who use iOS 5 to run standard backups of their phones to iCloud instead of to the local computer, plus asynchronously merge all contacts, calendars, notes, photos, and videos to iCloud are going to routinely suck up more bandwidth than those who've chosen to stick with the iPhone 3G. That's just common sense. Suppositions to be made about the user's behavior with the newer, faster, otherwise more capable machines are secondary, however potentially valid.

Re:Well, duh (2)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848743)

Can't it be configured to only sync large files (music, photos and videos) over Wi-Fi?

Re:Well, duh (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848839)

That would require an extra input field which would ruin the GUI's feng shui.

Re:Well, duh (1)

Osiris Ani (230116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848915)

Can't it be configured to only sync large files (music, photos and videos) over Wi-Fi?

It can be configured in a number of different ways. Whether or not it's configured to do so is entirely up to the end user.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849057)

Can't it be configured to only sync large files (music, photos and videos) over Wi-Fi?

Your home network is used to sync the phone to Itunes on your computer. It would be stupid to do it any other way. Sending queries back and forth to the cloud is the real data hog here. If Siri has any capability to resolve queries locally I'm sure it's minimal. And of course Apple is building a profile with your data on the back end so there goes your privacy. shoehornjob

Re:Well, duh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848753)

IGNORE THIS COMMENT
Sorry folks, just doing a quick test to see how slashdot handles anonymous comments, have a nice day!

Re:Well, duh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848825)

You could at least have thrown a goatse link in there, newb.

Re:Well, duh (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848763)

cloud capabilities = connecting to a server across the internet

I think the real problem with Apple users is how clueless they are about technology. Cell phone towers are easily overloaded so you really shouldn't use them for things like backups. Wait until you get home or go to your public library or starbucks or something.

I just took 700 picture of my weekend in Cancun, I better upload them all to facebook! I don't even know how to connect to the airport's cafeteria's wifi, so I'll just use whatever my phone chooses...

And before some guy chimes in that he SSHs from his jailbroken iphone, yes I know you are not clueless. The art student, the soccer mom, the hot chick at the club, the spoiled middle school kid, the guy with the tiny small busiiness that has to have the most expensive toys. Those people are the clueless iphone users I am talking about. You know, the 99 percent.

Re:Well, duh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848811)

Do you even know what you are trolling about?

Re:Well, duh (5, Interesting)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848857)

I think the real problem with Apple users is how clueless they are about technology. Cell phone towers are easily overloaded so you really shouldn't use them for things like backups. Wait until you get home or go to your public library or starbucks or something.

myopic and misplaced. that's like bitching that the problem with ford owners is that they don't understand the engineering behind road design. this is not a failing of the user; this is a failing of the cell phone providers to scale up their architecture appropriately for new technology. they absolutely had to know that every new generation of phone is bringing new ways to use data, and that they're selling them more now than ever, and that people are becoming permanently "connected" more and more by the hour. instead of spending their record-breaking profits on new laws and huge bonuses they could have been expanding their network capabilities and increasing service levels and satisfaction. but hey, screwing customers and litigating show up prettier on this quarter's reports.

Re:Well, duh (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849041)

Cloud capabilities = connecting to any one of hundreds of servers redundantly deployed across the internet, and moving your storage from the local device to the network so that it's available from every device.

Re:Well, duh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848815)

Timothy's dirty little secret is that he's a cum guzzler

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848859)

Why did this extraordinarily witty comment get modded down? In Taco's day, this would have been +5 Funny. Slashdot is finished,

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848837)

New phone debuts with cloud capabilities. People buy new phone, use the shit out of it, and also begin utilizing cloud functions. Of course bandwidth use is going to go up.

The real scandal here is that the carriers are pushing back, trying to keep bandwidth use down so they don't have to get off their asses invest more than they absolutely have to in network capacity.

Or otherwise know as yet more Apple Crapple the company most in need of folding up their own asholes .

Re:Well, duh (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848907)

Does this mean SIri is not a Bollywood starlet? I am very disappointed!

Re:Well, duh (1)

thinuspollard (1093519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848965)

iPhone 4S user here Contacts and calendar are synced via 3g. The real bandwidth guzzler in terms of iCloud usage would be PhotoStream. And that is only synced if you're on a WiFi connection T

Re:Well, duh (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848967)

I bet a lot of people would be surprised to know that Siri uses bandwidth though. The fact that the phone doesn't do the work and what they said is transmitted to Apple doesn't seem to register with most people.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849025)

I believe the majority of iPhones have access to iCloud services thanks to iOS 5 - everything but Siri.

So the one thing separating iPhone 4s and the others is Siri - wouldn't that mean Siri is one of the culprits of the massive data usage? One could argue that the 4s owners are more affluent or more adept to using the cloud services, but TWICE as much as everyone else? That's a stretch my friend.

Re:Well, duh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849069)

Right. I mean, Siri requires SPEECH RECOGNITION but it's NOT done locally. So that means it actually entails sending THE FULL VOICE COMMAND over the TELEPHONE NETWORK - obviously this scenario is very far from what a normal phone network could conceivably be designed to handle. What were they thinking.

Re:Well, duh (0)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849311)

Isn't the speech recognition on Android done locally? I know that I can use speech-to-sms when data is turned off on my phone... why on earth wouldn't Apple put the speech recognition on the phone, and the semantic recognition done remotely? That would reduce bandwidth requirements considerably....

Real Scandal (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849239)

No the real scandal is the carriers marketing these phones based on all these data intensive features and one or more of the following:

1) Not upgrading the infrastructure to support the offerings.
Inadequate density of towers in metros, lack of coverage or obsolete network support in other areas

2) Not being realistic about the actual cost of the services with typical use cases
They need to be clear that if you stream Netflix for an hour and half at the gym everyday in additon to other use it my run you a few grand in overages

3) Not being realistic about presentation of use cases.
Stop showing people they can stream music and video constantly in the ads unless, they can (for an affordable price)

4) Not being able to actually support the products and features they are selling even if they did upgrade infrastructure and selling it anyway.
Spectrum is limited, it might actually not be possible to put one of these handsets in every pocket.

I hope Apple won't patent bandwidth guzzling (1, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848591)

I hope Apple won't patent bandwidth guzzling, as it would make their application steal the room left for others. But, since it is Apple, who knows...

Re:I hope Apple won't patent bandwidth guzzling (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848737)

Slashdot: Where smug assholes set up straw men, smugly beat them down, and then whine that Apple users are too smug.

Re:I hope Apple won't patent bandwidth guzzling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848821)

Apple staff are "smug assholes". At least that is what their recent patent history tells us.

Re:I hope Apple won't patent bandwidth guzzling (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848921)

Yes, but at least they are US based, professional, smug assholes. That is something to be proud of!

No they are not US based, anymore (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848939)

Read up:

"When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president. But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke, President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?

Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.

Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.

Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said, according to another dinner guest."

See the entire article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?_r=2

Re:No they are not US based, anymore (1)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849117)

I think the real question is: "how much more would it cost, if you'd produce it in US". I also would like to know. I vaguely recall one of the German manufacturers, I think it was WMF, when being "forced to move to China" got away with buying robots and keeping production in land.

Siri Is Not A Bandwidth Hog; 63KB/Query (5, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848593)

This article is stupid and the Washington Post should be ashamed. ArsTechnica ran the numbers 2 months ago [arstechnica.com] and came up with an average of 63KB per query, and even less for queries that were just voice commands for the phone itself (as opposed to an internet lookup).

In total, our 11 queries added up to 693.6KB, or an average of 63KB per query. As you can see above, Siri tasks that are local to the phone appear to require less data than ones that need further lookups on the Internet, which makes sense.

If you use Siri 2-3 times per day at an average of 63KB per instance, you might expect to use 126KB to 189KB per day, or 3.7 to 5.5MB per month. For 4-6 times a day, that might come out to 252KB to 378KB per day, or 7.4 to 11MB per month. If you use it 10-15 times per day, you might end up using 630KB to 945KB per day, or 18.5 to 27.7MB per month.

If Siri is a bandwidth hog, $deity help us all, because that means all that voice traffic and streaming video we do on our phones and tablets must be killing cellular networks and running their bodies through the wood chipper.

Re:Siri Is Not A Bandwidth Hog; 63KB/Query (4, Interesting)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848621)

I think a pretty reasonable hypothesis would be that the early adopters are much more likely to be heavy users than the folks using 2-3-4 year old phones. IE it's not the phone (or features) it's the individual.

Re:Siri Is Not A Bandwidth Hog; 63KB/Query (4, Informative)

Lord_Jeremy (1612839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848869)

Furthermore, the 4S has a higher resolution camera than previous phones, and the launch of the iCloud service means people are probably uploading things like photos to their cloud storage accounts. +1 TFA is a troll.

Re:Siri Is Not A Bandwidth Hog; 63KB/Query (-1, Offtopic)

pthisis (27352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848669)

An article that's predicated on using the search 2-3 times a day is seriously supposed to be a rebuttal? I don't doubt that the original numbers are overblown and could easily be disputed, but come on--two or three searches a day doesn't pass the smell test.

Re:Siri Is Not A Bandwidth Hog; 63KB/Query (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848701)

So . . . you couldn't be bothered to read just a few more words before posting? 10-15 times per day is certainly realistic.

Re:Siri Is Not A Bandwidth Hog; 63KB/Query (4, Informative)

pthisis (27352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848731)

People who do no more than 10-15 searches a day aren't on the radar when it comes to worrying about bandwidth hogs. The real question is how much does each Siri search use compared to an old-style web search (I suspect the answer is "a lot more", probably more than 10 times as much) and whether for heavy users that approaches a significant percentage of overall use (I suspect the answer is "no, when you're listening to a couple of podcasts and watching a vid or two and surfing the web heavily, a few dozen Siri searches doesn't mean all that much).

But mentioning the light users is totally disingenuous--light users aren't where bandwidth concerns are met.

Well, duh. (5, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848723)

Did you even read the article in question? It's just a re-hash of a press release, written by someone who doesn't seem to understand how any of these newfangled gadgets work.

Here, this is a quote from the article. See if you can read it without facepalming:

A study published this month by Arieso, an Atlanta firm that specializes in mobile networks, found that the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S uses twice as much data as does the plain old iPhone 4 and nearly three times as much as does the iPhone 3G. The new phone requires far more data than most other advanced smartphones, which are pretty data-intensive themselves, The Post has reported.

To continue with the author's car analogy, blaming your new phone for the fact that you download more with it is like blaming your car for a parking ticket. It's not the phone, it's the user.

Hell, if the author had bothered reading the study he linked to [arieso.com] , he'd know the study was about data usage vs. phones. The summary page doesn't even mention Siri.

Re:Well, duh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848937)

To continue with the author's car analogy, blaming your new phone for the fact that you download more with it is like blaming your car for a parking ticket. It's not the phone, it's the user.

I don't know, there seems to be a pretty high correlation between certain cars and parking illegally. Oh, right, because both those cars and the iPhone 4S are used exclusively by pricks.

But seriously, I think it's safe to say that there's something about the iPhone that makes it use more data than necessary. Who knows, maybe it really is Siri doing it. Or maybe it's just those poor iPhone users constantly dropping calls and losing connections because they're "holding their phone wrong."

Who knows. But the one thing I think everyone can agree on is that iPhone users are inconsiderate assholes.

Re:Well, duh. (1)

herojig (1625143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848977)

agreed, in fact perhaps this is mentioned: iPhone 4s DOES NOT = siri. my phone consumes more data now because of iCloud pumping larger photos and videos which I could never do with my old 3g.

Re:Siri Is Not A Bandwidth Hog; 63KB/Query (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849091)

Tech ignorant Apple customers + brand new toy that uses cloud data + overloaded AT&T network = a plan designed to fail. Seriously though we saw a lot of data hogs when the last version came out. Is anyone really surprised?

rebuttals to the study and WaPo article (5, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848599)

The WaPo article is nothing more than sensationalist journalism, designed to foment controversy for the sake of attention and readership.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/11/how-data-heavy-is-siri-on-an-iphone-4s-ars-investigates.ars [arstechnica.com]

http://gigaom.com/2012/01/27/siri-is-not-a-bandwidth-hog-and-users-are-not-the-problem/ [gigaom.com]

http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/27/2753694/siri-isnt-ruining-your-cellphone-service [theverge.com]

And from my own personal experience as someone who has used an iPhone since the very first model, I have not found that Siri has noticeably increased my data usage. Other types of data access are far more intensive, such as streaming video and music, as well as sharing images/video taken with the iPhone's camera.

Re:rebuttals to the study and WaPo article (0)

vencs (1937504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848785)

What pisses many people most? Siri can't understand them and derides them (more confirmations/suggestions) and on top of it bills them more than the rest!!

--
Trolling in a state of mind, AC is a way of life.

Wow-lots of fanboys out today! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848627)

Wow- lots of fanboys out today!

Re:Wow-lots of fanboys out today! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848637)

That's right! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! Down with fanboys! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! No one can say anything positive about anything or else they are a fanboy! HATE! HATE!

Exceeding monthly data caps is the new black (5, Insightful)

boundary (1226600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848631)

Welcome to the future. Just as the average web page size has bloated to over 1MB, the average data content in a single smartphone interaction will also grow in size until most peoples' montly data allowance just isn't enough. As more and more data caps are being brought to bear, data usage is going to become much more of an issue for people - at least once they realise they're paying 50 - 100% more for their 'actual' usage than they intended. I wonder how many of them will just accept the extra cost (therefore putting extra cash into the telcos pockets) rather than moderate their behaviour? This is a big deal right now in NZ, where you can pay a shedload of money per month for just 250MB of mobile data...I can only imagine it's going to get worse.

Re:Exceeding monthly data caps is the new black (3, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848735)

Someone needs to develop an app that automatically runs a phone's data usage up to within 100 megs of the monthly cap on the last night of the billing cycle. If you're paying for 2, 4, 5, 10 gigs of data per month and it doesn't roll over, you may as well run it right up to the limit every month.

Sure, it's childish but these ridiculously low caps on 4G data plans is stupid. I'd rather be childish than stupid.

Re:Exceeding monthly data caps is the new black (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848807)

Or it'll be like with Internet connections, remember pay per minute on those? Oh, I sure do. Remember caps and additional money/MB too? Oh yes. Turns out in general people don't like it. Most of us were willing to pay a good price simply to not have to worry about what next month's Internet bill would be. If I end up in the hospital a month and use zero bytes of bandwidth, I'm still going to pay the same. And that's the way I like it. I'm pretty sure that as the market matures cell phone data plans will get more sane too. Actually, checking now the ideal plan if you're a heavy data user in Norway: Netcom Fastpris Data, 249 NOK = 43 USD per month, free data usage, speed reduced to 120 kbps after 5GB. Regular subscriptions on the largest carriers are capped at 400-600 NOK or 70-100 USD so you can't go over that in a single month even if you are online 24x7.

Just don't use your smartphone abroad. Ever. Or if you must then enable, get your shit done and disable is ASAP. Might not be such a big deal in the US but imagine you had an inter-state charge that could be several dollars per megabyte. That's what it's like in Europe now, the moment you cross the border all rules change. They're supposed to block you after 500 NOK (85 USD) but sometimes they don't and it's your problem. Every so often you get news stories about them charging people thousands of dollars for that shit, total ripoff. Know where the off button is and use it. You'll enjoy your vacation more too, plus it does wonders for your battery life. You don't get to chit-chat with your phone though...

Re:Exceeding monthly data caps is the new black (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848957)

I live in Argentina and I complain almost constantly about my 3G connection. I pay 119 pesos a month (that's 27 dollars) for unlimited bandwidth. I usually download at around 2mbps until I hit the 3GB limit, after that I download at ~1mbps as much as I want (but most of the time the speed is closer to 750kbps). Coverage is pretty good (most of the country, even out on the road), and certainly anywhere in the city. If out of town and there's no 3G, it falls over to GPRS at no additional cost, that ain't fast but it gets me my email.

Biggest piece of shit is probably we are all behind a proxy, so we all share the same IP. That means most filesharing services (such as rapidshare or wupload) don't work since there's almost all the time somebody downloading. I fix that by having a premium account at some of those services, or just using SSH port forwarding (Android rocks) to one of my servers.

I guess it's not as bad as I thought, seeing how it's in some other places ...

Re:Exceeding monthly data caps is the new black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849039)

this is the future of the US, and thus, _your_ future.

hahaha.

Voice command vs. Hyperlink (2, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848641)

If it takes 64KB to communicate link navigation request using voice input, and ~1KB to do the same with a hyperlink, then yeah, that will have a pretty big impact on data usage. Of course, if you're shelling out up to $400 just for a phone, you probably don't care about the data cost.

Re:Voice command vs. Hyperlink (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848739)

The phone price is not the important factor here.

Typical lifetime for phone is over 2 years... By technically, so leaving out those who need to buy a new one every 6 months.

The problem in many countries, especially in USA, is that phone price is put down artificially, but the price of contract lifetime is just laughable HUGE!

Like paying a over 40-60 dollars a month for 2 years? THAT IS STEALING!
Unless you get fiber optics bandwidth and ping, unlimited amount of data, cable TV and few tickes to movies per month and free car wash once a week.... it is just stupid to take such a contract only because you get new phone "by $49-99".

Re:Voice command vs. Hyperlink (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849155)

it is just stupid to take such a contract only because you get new phone "by $49-99"

Yes, but the stupidity is not in offering that contract, it's in accepting it. People want the latest and the greatest, so they're happy to sign on for 3 years if they get the latest and the greatest for a tiny fraction of the actual cost. Sure, they're paying twice what they would monthly to the cell company than they could get from somebody else, but they don't see that part of the bargain, nor the fact that the extra $40/mo they're paying for the cell phone over a contract on a "discount" carrier (most of whom are owned by the same companies they're buying from in the first place) amortised over the next 3 years ends up being way more than the discount they got on the phone in the first place.

Case in point, here in Canada, my cell phone is with Koodo. That company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telus. I pay $40/mo for 150 anytime minutes, 5pm evenings/weekends, unlimited global texting, call display, voicemail, 3-way calling, unlimited domestic long distance, and a small amount of data. It's actually a flex data plan, but I use so little that I'm on the bottom tier. I have no contract, and the phone I'm using I actually bought at retail for $300 a year and a half ago and unlocked. To make the numbers fair, we'll pretend I'm using 1GB of data per month, because 500mb is the lowest I can get from Telus, and the flex plan goes from 300mb to 1GB. That'd make my total bill $55/mo for that amount of data usage with Koodo (or $50 if you prefer the 300mb tier).

Now, from Telus, to get the same features we'll say 200 anytime minutes, 6pm evenings/weekends, 500mb of data, and voicemail, that would be $50/mo. I can add unlimited domestic text or double anytime minutes for free. We'll take domestic texting because of the way the economics work out with addons, and pretend I don't text internationally (which I do, extensively). Now, for an additional $25/mo I can make my minutes national long distance, and add call display. That's $75/mo for basically the same features, but no international texting. Now let's say we want international texting as well... for the low price of $25/mo, we can add a block of 500 international texts. (never mind that I've been known to pass that in a day). We're now at $100/mo for the same basic features of a plan I can get from Koodo for $55/mo. And the Koodo version of the plan has unlimited international texting (instead of just 500), and twice the data. Koodo does have 50 fewer daytime minutes, but unlimited evenings/weekends starts an hour earlier with Koodo as well.

And the real bitch of it? It's the same company. Telus and Koodo use exactly the same network, and Koodo is a 100% owned subsidiary of Telus. The only difference between them is that with Telus, you can get an iPhone 4S 16GB for $169 on a 3-year contract, where on Koodo, the phone costs $500 on the tab (no contract. they'll subsidize up to $150 of the cost of a new phone, and 10% of your pre-tax monthly bill goes to pay the tab off... when you leave, you pay off the remaining tab and call it equal. tab works in the other direction and you can have a credit of up to $150 on your tab as well, so you *could* actually get the iPhone 4S for $350 if you have a credit). The problem is, people look at the $169 cost from Telus, and say "awesome!". They don't realize that $50 extra per month over 12 months is $300, and makes up most of the difference between buying it from Koodo instead, let alone the other 2 years on your contract.

Re:Voice command vs. Hyperlink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849193)

blah blah blah... so if koodo didn't exist and telus offered the $40 and $50 plans (or whatever, didn't RTFC), you'd still choose your one and "dumb people" would still choose the more expensive one, but it's all ok now coz it's from the same company?

Siri (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848647)

...is hot... http://www.imore.com/2012/01/27/siri-guest-stars-big-bang-theory/

Carriers *want* you to guzzle (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848661)

If oil companies' made cars, would they be fuel efficient? Hell, no. The more gas sold, the more oil profits.

It is the same with phone companies. The want you to call and use a lot of data traffic. What they don't want, are flat rates, where they get stuck with the bill. They want to charge every second to the customer. And every bit of unused bandwidth is lost profit for them.

tacvO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848671)

*BSD is dead. We'll be able to

Can You Program Siri? (1, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848707)

If I could program Siri so that when I said "Siri, add PERSON to the list!", she would respond "Yes sir. PERSON has been added to the list of people who can blow you," I would totally buy an iphone again. Just for that.

Arieso eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848709)

From their about page:

The company's solutions locate, store and analyse data from every call, providing operators with a rich source of information to boost network performance and enrich user experience.

Sounds like another company that just got pushed through the ringer.

Happy with unlimited bandwith & amount 2€ (3, Informative)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848727)

I am just happy to have 2 year contract for unlimited bandwith & amount for 2 euros a month price.
Network gives good HSPA what means I have almost everywhere where I go a 14.4Mbits / 5.76Mbits and under 80ms pings.

2 euros a month for that connection is "just there". But when watching my typical data consuming, what is heavy, I would say that 5-10GB for typical user is more than enough. Sometimes personally I go over 20GB a month but that really demands lots of usage so that battery is empty almost everyday two times. And when I use phone as the hotspot/tethering for my and friends laptop, it goes over 30-40GB easily if using just steam.

At least when most of the country where I live has other unlimited amount but bandwidth limited to 1-2Mbits (what is more than enough for mobile devices, if upload just would be same instead just 42KB/s) and price being 5 euros a month I would say that is good deal as well. Or unlimited bandwidth but prioritizated amount after 50GB a month for 8 euros. A 50GB is hard to come even with heavy use.

I understand well how ISP's are having problems in USA when their basic network capacity is not taken care in the first place. Heck, even the GSM voice quality is crap when compared to EU countries.

At one point, I really wish that it would be custom to have a data plan for every citizen for free and bandwidth would be at least 256kbits while amount unlimited.
It would not be enough for all, but for most people it would be. At least when thinking about VoIP, Emails and basic surfing.

Re:Happy with unlimited bandwith & amount 2&eu (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849031)

I'm sorry but 2€ a month for unlimited bandwidth on a wired connection sounds incredibly unlikely. 2€ for unlimited bandwidth on a mobile connection .... that's just unbelievable. It may be that I'm living under a rock, and have grown used to how we get ripped off here in the UK but that just sounds totally unbelievable.

What country do you live in and can you provide a link to your ISP that provides such a great deal?

Re:Happy with unlimited bandwith & amount 2&am (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849177)

I think that free ( a french isp) does provide that kind of prices in bundle with other services. it costs 10â for unlimited wired connection, tv, wired phone and hspa/3gi dont know the offer too well, im in belgium and i pay like 80â for the same service.( 40â for unlimited wired internet. and 35â for 1gb hspa a month (and no freaking TV) so yeah I feel somewhat ripped off. the euro sign didnt come out as expected sorry.

cue the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848891)

ID10Ts screaming about Siri's 'carbon footprint'

Re:cue the (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849063)

ID10Ts screaming about Siri's 'carbon footprint'

D10Ts have a massive carbon footprint - and they're only fairly small dozers.

Siri is still kind of half-baked (3, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848909)

It's certainly the future but I think calling it beta is charitable. When it works right it's great but when it fails it's about as bad as all other voice recognition systems that came before.

It works just frequently enough and well enough for you to want to rely on it and fails just often enough that you're wanting to chuck the phone out the window in frustration.

I think the worst bit is the inconsistent network connectivity. Since every bit of voice processing is done off the phone, you're dependent on a network connection and there's no telling when Siri won't be able to reach the server. So you can tell it to set an appointment and it will get that and ask you to confirm it and you say yes and it fails. Or you could be speaking to it in a loud voice and it will either wait 5 seconds after you're speaking to accept what you said for processing or it will cut you off mid-speech to process only part of your request.

I'm not denying this is the future but it will probably take another iphone version number before they get the glitches ironed out.

Re:Siri is still kind of half-baked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849003)

Apple's just infringing on Google's "Keeping Products in Permanent Beta Stage" patent.

Re:Siri is still kind of half-baked (0)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849087)

It's certainly the future [......]

It's certainly not the future, it's just a silly gimmick.

Re:Siri is still kind of half-baked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849105)

it's the kind of thing you only use if you have the WIFI sign on, or if you have a miracoulously solid connectivity in some place you often are. lots of apps work poorly with poor connectivity...

If the article is true... (1)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848913)

then that's probably the reason why we have Siri only on the 4S (yet).

Re:If the article is true... (1)

Rational (1990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849189)

I thought it was because "Apple is teh ebil"?

A possible conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848945)

Perhaps Siri is useful, so useful that it makes ppl use their iPhones for more things, more often.

Siri (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848983)

What i find most fascinating abut siri is that it is advertised as a feature of the iphone 4 but in reality has nothing to do with it. transferring voice data has been around for a long time on mobile phones.

Re:Siri (0)

blake1 (1148613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848997)

Actually, it's a feature of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5. Transferring 'voice data' as you put it has been around since Bell's days, the gimmick that Siri offers is the promoted ability to understand natural language and not the transfer of data. Siri is a feature of the phone, no matter which way you look at it.

Re:Siri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849023)

Siri is a feature of the phone, no matter which way you look at it.

Yeah, that's why it runs just fine on iPhone 4 and 3GS if you pull a few files from 4S firmware.

Re:Siri (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849089)

No. It does not have any specific implementation on the iphone of the core functionality of the total system beyond the function of a terminal.

The access to siri, hosted somewhere else, is limited to *customers* who bought an iphone 4.

I can easily prove that it is not a feature of the phone: Disconnect from the net and try to use it. If it would be a feature of the phone, then the phone should implement it. And please: the fundamental functionality of voice recognitions does *not* depend on internet access.

Re:Siri (3, Informative)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849161)

What makes the technology used for Siri novel is not the individual components, but the way in which they work together.

Siri is the synergy of three distinct but related challenges in artificial intelligence: (1) How do we get a computer to correctly parse the syntax of natural human speech? (2) How do we get a computer to understand the meaning of a sentence in some specified human language? (3) How do we get a computer to provide a relevant response to a meaningful but potentially vague command? Siri arguably is the first attempt at doing all three of these things in near real-time for a very broad space of possible inputs. However, it should be stressed that by no means is it perfect at any of these tasks--indeed, far from it.

The point to be understood here is that Siri is not merely about voice transcription, nor is it about the transfer of voice input. That is just one part of the process. The next part is using the result of its transcription algorithm as input to a natural language processing engine that likely uses various other statistical methods to pick out certain words, analyze the grammatical structure of the input, and determine the sentence's most likely intent. This is what Wolfram|Alpha attempts to do. The final part is to have the computer search what resources are available to it and provide data or perform an action that (hopefully) is what the user wanted. None of these steps are trivial.

Many of the criticisms of Apple's involvement in Siri's development have been misplaced. I've heard people say how Apple weren't the innovators of the technology, or how Siri isn't anything special or new. And it's true--Apple didn't develop Nuance's speech recognition technology, nor did they invent Wolfram|Alpha's processing algorithms. But the innovation occurred when they decided they wanted to put these things together, put it on a smartphone, and try to make it do things intuitively and seamlessly. Whether it actually works as well as we might want it to is another question.

In so far as its availability on various iPhone models, I think it's rather obvious by now that Apple made a business decision to restrict Siri's availability to the iPhone 4S. It has nothing to do with hardware/software limitations. Apple knows it has a coveted feature and they're not afraid to say, "hey, if you want it, you're going to have to buy the newest iPhone," even though there's no technological reason that Siri can't run on older devices. It's a dick move for sure, but the history of computing--indeed, the history of capitalism--is littered with similarly annoying tactics. I'm sure some iPhone 4 users are hoping that after the iPhone 5 is announced and the shine fades on the iPhone 4S, that Apple will somehow find it in their hearts to put Siri on the iPhone 4. But I wouldn't hold my breath. These phones are Apple's bread and butter--they will do whatever it takes to make sure you want to buy a new one after each and every upgrade cycle. The only pressure they're feeling to make the hardware better is coming from the Android device manufacturers.

I think it's pretty clear by now that I'm neither an Apple fanboy, nor an Apple hater. I find such binary thinking to be simplistic, naive, and largely irrelevant in light of the fact that there are no completely honest actors in the technology sector, and there never will be.

comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849083)

Stretch marks treatment
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For what it's worth... (1)

pinqkandi (189618) | more than 2 years ago | (#38849275)

The H1 actually gets fairly good mileage for its size because its diesel... the H2 is the 10 MPG beast. You know, just splitting hairs ;-)

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