By Jon Keller

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.

Jon Keller

Comments (7)
  1. tsal says:

    hahahahahahaha – very funny, Jon.

    I’ve heard some say it’s not worth it but in many cases suspect it’s a jealousy thing from those who don’t have it. I remember when the 4 came out and was met with the same lack luster reviews but everyone who has it likes it.

    I have the 3GS and will not give it up until it dies. It isn’t the phone I am attached to but the unlimited data plan. I use it all of the time and in the car listen only to music from Pandora (and am surprised that everyone doesn’t) and suspect it would cost me a fortune. I just keep upgrading my OS and know it isn’t the same but it’s close enough. Of course if they said I could keep my unlimited plan, I’d be getting the new phone!

    I also made a decision when I got my iPad that I didn’t also need an upgraded phone when it came out.

  2. tsal says:

    On the topic of technology, Jon. Why is it half of the posts here do not post. It gets very frustrating when you type a response, hit submit and it goes somewhere other than here – especially if you are using a iPhone or iPad keyboard! Just declaring my curiosity :)

  3. No Fan o'Apple says:

    tasl, it’s Apple’s way of reminding you it is time to upgrade at the unbelievably low price of $399 plus a data plan for a model with a respectable amount of memory.

    But such is the joy of being an Apple customer.

    1. tsal says:

      Clearly it isn’t working since I’m not upgrading – and do you have an iPhone. I find many who don’t do not like them until they have one.
      And the one I would buy would be $199 – two years into mine and I still have plenty of space with tons of apps

  4. mikey says:

    All sizzle and no steak perhaps?

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