The iPhone 4’s Siri voice controlled personal assistant was a better app before Apple got its paws on it, according to the tech giant’s co-founder and all-round loose-cannon Steve Wozniak.
In an impromptu Q&A to mark the Woz’s official meeting with a horse named after him (no, really), Steve told attendees that he was incredibly taken with Siri when he first came across it.
So much so, in fact, that he was “telling everyone this was the future”. Woz claims he even described Siri as the “greatest program” for the way it made users feel like “you’re talking to a human”, as well as its efficacy at web searches and comprehension of human speech.
He said: “I would say, ‘Siri, what are the five largest lakes in California?’ and it would come up, one, two, three, four, five.
“And I would ask ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ and they would come up all in a row. That was pretty incredible.”
But that all changed by the time it showed up on the 4S. In the intervening period, he claims that Apple’s attempts to ‘improve’ Siri, left it less functional and bloated with unnecessary features. The result was a “very disappointed “ Wozniak.
The latest outburst from Woz, who still holds a ceremonial position at Apple, follows his earlier, impolitic praise of rival Windows phones. He has also vociferously called for Apple to ease the famously rigid restrictions that it places on developers.