By Jared Newman | Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm
I’m having trouble wrapping my head around Andy Rubin’s dismissal of Siri, the virtual assistant built into Apple’s iPhone 4S. Here’s what Rubin, Google’s senior vice president of mobile, told Ina Fried during the Asia D conference in Hong Kong:
“I don’t believe that your phone should be an assistant,” he said. “Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.”
A few thoughts:
I understand that tech companies aren’t supposed to praise the competition. No one expects Rubin to go ga-ga over Siri. But when the guy who oversees Android, the world’s biggest smartphone platform, blows off the idea of natural voice interaction with a computer, it’s flabbergasting. And disappointing.
I mean, seriously, Andy. Please grasp the importance of an almost-AI in your pocket. Tell me you’re doing that thing Steve Jobs did where he would pretend to dismiss something, but was actually subtly suggesting how Apple’s implementation would be even better. Because I’d hate to think that the higher-ups at Google took one look at Siri and decided that they weren’t interested in the concept.