Siri Helps Santa in Apple’s Christmas iPhone 4S Ad
By Daniel Ionescu
Santa has a new assistant this year to help him deliver gifts to good children around the world, according to the latest Apple TV ad. Before he comes slinking down your chimney, Santa makes use of Siri, the iPhone 4S voice-controlled assistant to find your address and local weather conditions at his delivery points on Christmas Eve.
“Go easy on the cookies,” says a message in the ad from Mrs. Claus, read aloud to Santa by Siri on his iPhone 4S. When he asks how his day looks like, Siri reports he has 3.7 billion appointments to make it to, rounding up Santa’s use of the iPhone 4S in the Apple TV ad (embedded below).
Although the iPhone does not get a mention in the ad, it’s clear Apple is expecting the iPhone 4S to be a very popular gift this year. The iPhone 4S has virtually no design changes over the previous model, so Apple is pushing Siri as the main selling point for the new phone, a feature exclusive to the device.
Since the iPhone 4S launched this autumn, Siri was under close scrutiny, first for its sometimes temperamental responses to questions such as “Where is the ghetto?” and later about its lack of understanding on the topic of abortions and birth control. Apple’s excuse for all the weird and wonderful Siri responses is that the service still carries the beta tag, so people might find the occasional glitch. In light of this, it’s unusual that Apple is using a beta product to heavily push the iPhone 4S (Siri has been featured in a separate iPhone ad as well).
Meanwhile, hackers have been busy at work trying to port Siri to iOS devices other than the iPhone 4S. There is still no viable workaround to get the service working properly on older iPhones or iPads, but a recent update for iOS 5.01 is reportedly giving hackers a way to explore the device’s filesystem unhindered using a Mac or PC, which should help towards porting the service on other iOS devices.