California police officers say it’s ok to talk to your friend Siri while driving, but only if you don’t touch her. Problem is, in order to initiate a conversation with the assistant, you need to give her a tap on the shoulder first.
Siri is Apple’s revolutionary personal assistant born out of a simple iPhone app that ended up embedded in iOS 5 as a standard feature. It comes with the latest version of the handset - the iPhone 4S.
Officially announced and launched to the masses this month, the iPhone 4S is the only Apple device currently (and officially) capable of handling Siri by the book. The assistant does half the work locally, and half the work on Apple’s servers, meaning it requires constant access to the Internet.
Siri can help you do all kinds of things just by speaking.
For example, you can send an SMS to your your spouse saying “text my wife saying I’ll be late tonight, don’t stay up waiting for me”. Siri will ask you to confirm at which point you can say ‘yes’ and the text will be sent.
If your wife also carries the new Apple iPhone, she can answer back saying, “reply to John saying ‘you’re a prick, don’t ever come back, I’m taking the kids and moving back to my mother.’”
Perhaps that’s not the best example in the world, but it does work like that. The same goes for reminders, appointments, driving directions, you name it. Just ask Siri and she’ll do her best to please you.
However, to make Siri listen, you first have to press and hold the iPhone’s home button for a couple of seconds. That, according to California state law, is a no-no behind the wheel.
"It's legal to talk to Siri, as long as the phone's not in your hand,'' says
San Jose police Lt. Chris Monahan. "But if you have to push the phone to activate her, or if you ask for directions and she puts them up on her screen for you to read, then California's hands-free law says your're breaking the law."
Ouch! So even if your iPhone 4S is mounted on your dashboard, like a regular GPS device (which the iPhone is, by the way), you’re still not allowed to use Siri for directions. However, going by Siri demonstration video, you can also activate the feature with your 'Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic'.