The Times has an article today about the etiquette of talking to your cellphone's "personal assistant" in public. Surprise: most people don't like when others do it and think it's creepy. We are still working out the rules and behaviors for using this new feature on our phones. And while the best implementation is on the iPhone 4S, it won't be long before Android and Blackberry phones add personal assistants. We're only going to see more of these apps.
I have a iPhone 4S, but I haven't gotten into a habit of using Siri for much more than the occasional reminder or alarm. Even at home, where I'll talk to my cats like they're people, I'm reluctant to talk to my phone lest my girlfriend think I'm crazy. And at work? Forget it. My co-workers would think I'd lost my mind if I dictated messages to my phone. So that leaves out in public on the street, where I don't care what people think. Unfortunately, Siri doesn't work well in loud environments or in areas with poor network coverage, so dictating alerts or web searches is difficult. As the service improves and our societal comfort level with it increases, I'm sure I'll use it more. But for now I'll stick to typing out my messages as much as possible. It's cramped but it certainly is quiet.