With Siri, Apple has moved the on-device voice recognition engine, called Voice Control,
firmly to the cloud. This means that the universal ability Apple used to have, whether you had data connectivity or not, to call friends and family by talking to the phone, is no longer there.
Is this a bad regression?
On the face of it, this is a tremendous regression – you now have to ‘pay’ to use a capability that was previously ‘free’ – either through the use of data minutes, or through a WiFi connection of sorts.
In addition, even with fast 3G connections, the latency to call someone in the addressbook is very noticeable now, with a round-trip conversation with a cloud-hosted Siri required, before a simple call can be made.
Or a masterstroke to get a free ‘Gold Set’ data?