Keller @ Large: Putting iPhone 4S’s Siri To The Test

BOSTON (CBS) – The new iPhone 4S is faster, takes a better picture, and has an interactive, personal assistant that can talk to you.

It’s being hailed as a huge step forward in interactive technology. But, is it all it’s cracked up to be?

There’s no question that Siri, the female voice that answers your questions in the new iPhone, is a useful new gadget. But, how useful is it for the unique geographical and cultural needs of Bostonians?

Shoppers lined up in the rain on Friday for a first look at the gizmo Apple is hyping as a revolutionary breakthrough.

Watch Keller @ Large:

WBZ-TV commandeered the iPhone 4S of Christian Nolen of Watertown and gave it a Boston-specific test drive, with mixed results.

Which restaurant has the best corn chowdah?

“I found a number of restaurants,” Siri said.

Where can I get the best frappe in Boston?

“I found a number of places fairly close to you,” Siri said.

While the restaurant’s menu looks great, chowder and frappes are not on it. Oh well.

But, the phone did better on a topic dear to some Red Sox pitchers.

What is the best takeout fried chicken in Kenmore Square?

“I found a number of restaurants whose reviews mention fried chicken and are fairly close to Kenmore,” Siri said.

The gadget struggled with local syntax.

How do you get from here to Haverhill?

“Sorry, I don’t understand,” Siri said.

What is the weather like in Bar Harbor?

“Sorry, I don’t know where that is,” Siri said.

Give Apple time, they’ll figure us out. After all, according to Siri, nothing is beyond her grasp.

What is the meaning of life?

“I don’t know, but i think there’s an app for that,” said Siri.

Don’t try to get too familiar with Siri. She will briskly suggest you get back to business. And judging from the crowds who flocked to get the new iPhone on Friday, the lack of regional familiarity is not a sales deterrent.

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