Jan 23 AT 4:53 PM Dustin Earley 33 Comments

Siri was almost a Verizon Android exclusive


Of all the features to be introduced alongside new versions of iOS, the iPhone and iPad in the last several years, Siri is easily the most ambitious. Siri is the future of how Apple sees its customers interacting with Apple devices — their official stake in the voice-enabled virtual assistant craze. And it almost never happened.

The Huffington Post is running a story covering the past, present and future of Siri, sharing some interesting facts on the AI personality, including one that’s particularly relevant to Android users. According to the HuffPost, before Apple absorbed the company behind Siri, Verizon had reached a deal to make the virtual assistant a Droid exclusive. In other words, Siri was originally destined for Android. Verizon went as far as shooting commercials centered around Siri before the deal was later canceled.

If Apple had never bought Siri, would Google have ever felt compelled to release Google Now? Would Siri have been a multi-platform virtual assistant, lost among the Evas, Robins, Jennies, Hals and S-Voices of the world? We’ll never know the answer to those questions, and it’s all for the best. Much like the platforms they run on, Siri and Google Now push each other to become better products. Google Now may trump Siri in terms of usefulness and functionality right now, but it may not always be that way. Who know what the future of smartphone interaction holds? I can tell you one thing, it doesn’t hold the Verizon Motorola Droid 7 with Siri+. Right now, it feels like Android users really dodged the bullet on that one.

I’ll never get tired of this video; skip to 3:15 for the good stuff.

Via: the Verge

Source: Huffington Post

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    I’m glad it didn’t happen. I like how Siri fueled the google now and everything android has added after apple launched Siri.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      Totally agreed! I don’t think Google Now would quite be what it is today if Apple didn’t have Siri.

      • epps720

        There’s no way Verizon would have kept the Siri, question is what would they have changed the name to? Had to be something revolving around Droid. Commercial definitely would have been them prying someone’s head open like a can and sticking the phone in there. (Verizon has the worst phone commercials)

    • 787 Burnliner

      Siri is the best, Apple is light years ahead and the rake in billions of dollars $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      • honourbound68

        you might want to read on google’s earnings too. as for Siri being the best, you are entitle to your own opinion (however wrong it may be) :)

    • Raptor

      i am truly amazed by the magnitude of blatant out of control copying of everything by Google. It’s a Greatest Gigastealer building its monopoly at any cost. 90% of ad money are grabbed by Goggle which is now “shopping” for anything talented. But even more amazed that steal is ok with 99.9999% (read – all) Neanderthals of this site. Monopoly will be bad for you dumb kids of dumb service/salespeople, let them do their searches and stop them destroying America hi-tech

      • w00x

        But what are you saying? Literally. What did you try to say?

        • Raptor

          Sherman Act.

      • Alberto De Armas

        well, Apple steal Xerox’s idea… MS steals Apple’s idea version and Linux steals both ideas of GUI for the open source community. It’s happening again. Google is stealing Apple ideas and MS is stealing Google idea versions… so why are you complaining?

  • romy134

    But if Verizon got it, why would this stop Google? I don’t think Verizon would have shared Sir. I think Google would have gone on to make Google now regardless.

    • Tangent

      Possibly, but having a direct competitor release a product globally is a much bigger incentive to innovate than having a single carrier of your own product release it. Why pour lots of effort into duplicating the efforts of somebody selling your product? The companies with something to lose in that case are the other carriers. Apple getting Siri made *Google* the company with something to lose which pushed them into developing Google Now.

  • PhaseBurn

    I don’t care much for Siri. There are a lot of Siri clones on Android, and I don’t like any of them, either. I don’t even like Google Now’s voice component. I do love the notifications it displays for me using information it gleans from my inbox and other sources.

    I know that these services are being installed on phones, but I guess I’m kinda anti-phone. I wish I could buy a data-only service for my phone (no minutes, no texts, just data), and pre-pay for minutes that expire after a year. Buy a block of 100 that last till I use ‘em, etc. I think I spend *maybe* 30 minutes on the phone a month (no, I don’t use VoIP, either), so that should last me 3 months or so. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m anti-talking. This, of course, impacts my opinion of Siri and its clones.

    While I’m not opposed to the services existing – choice is a great thing, after all, I do love the direction Google Now is going with their non-voice interactive features. Something Siri totally lacks, mind you. I’m truly glad Apple got the company and Verizon got the finger, because I doubt we’d be in the position we are today if this happened differently. Being an Android application, it would find its way to all types of Android devices. Yes, yes, the article mentions “Exclusive to Verizon”, but we all know that hasn’t ever stopped the fine folks at XDA before. And with a solution such as Siri already present on Android (given that scenario), what would Google have done differently, to not piss off their biggest partner? Who knows…

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      FYI, I know this wasn’t the core of your post, but you CAN get data-only service for your phone. There are lots of prepaid options available which support that model (Ting and T-Mobile both have data-only options off the top of my head).

  • nandy

    thank god, that did not happen, i would hate to see verizon ads on siri maiking it look geeky

  • Anjie Cai

    Good thing we have google now :D

  • Nathan D.

    Thank God that didn’t happen

    • jamal adam

      I agree. I wonder how those ads they did looked. Anyways, it’s good that Apple bought Siri because now we have Google Now and it’s pretty awesome. Competition is always good and provides for more innovation and new ideas to make these AI’s even better.

  • One4Closer

    Siri did not open the door for Google Now. Voice recognition was already on Android devices before iphones. It was just a matter of time till Google released a good application for it! and good thing this never happened. Siri is a useless piece of crap. It does absolutely nothing. It was just a gimmick to sell the iphone 4S, and of course isheep fell for it.

  • jonstle

    I agree with most here… happy that siri did not come to android. I love what Google is doing with Google now.

    Loved the head to head in the video.

  • thel0nerang3r

    There is an interview with the Woz where he says that Siri was better before Apple took it over. I do wonder what it would have been like.

    • donger


  • Rovex

    Glad it didnt happen, but maybe Siri on Android would have been less of a smug douche.

  • DatenrettungFestplatte.de

    i dont want siri – and i never will haahaha

  • SnipesYan

    Meh, siri seems more like an apple product anyway. Fancy but unfinished.

  • Tico4674

    In siri’s defense it does handle some tasks better than Google Now. They’re actually two different types of apps. Google Now is much better for searching and it doesn’t hurt that Google has such a vast knowledge base.

  • Jeremy Sheehan

    This would have been a disaster in Verizon’s hands. They’re closing up shop on their “app store” so I’m sure that Siri on the Droid phones would just be sitting and doing nothing. It was probably best that it made it into Apple’s hands. Too bad it doesn’t work so well there like a few of the other Apple debacles as of late. lol

  • Max.Steel

    Siri is garbage.

  • Stella

    I don’t think if Verizon purchased the technology behind Siri that Google wouldn’t have continue their advances on Google Search. They haven’t been collecting data on searches over the years for nothing. I’m looking forward to what’s next for Google Search/Google Now.

  • alex

    Siri uses Google.

  • E-man

    Go android!

  • aufan1

    That video cracked me up.

  • vagnerlandiop

    video creacked

  • Chris

    Google now is not marketed by google as an assistant like siri! It just happens to set alarms and calender dates as well, thats why it will go to the web when asked some things siri does. Google didnt intend it to compete in this way. But i have used both and i have to admit google now is pretty flawless in operation, txt msg offline just cant be done on siri like it can on google now, thats a big plus on any platform