If you have bought Apple’s new iPhone 4S then you probably know by now that Siri – iPhone 4S’ intelligent personal assistant needs an active internet connection for it to work. That’s because when you ask Siri to do something, the voice data is sent to Apple’s data centers where your request is processed and the results are sent back to your iPhone 4S.
So how does Siri impact your data usage? Ars Technica have carefully analysed data usage while performing 11 different queries through Siri and while dictating two short emails (one was roughly 15 words and the other 40) and two text messages (6-10 words apiece). Here are some of their findings:
- 6 tasks which included things like, “Set an alarm for 3 hours from now,” “Make an appointment for 2pm on Friday” (and then telling Siri to cancel the task), “Remind me to file expense reports when I get home,” and “What is the contact info for Ars Technica?” used up a total of 220KB of data usage, or an average of 36.7KB per query. The average KB per query ranged from 18KB to 60KB depending on the complexity of the query and the language used to perform it.
- 5 tasks that required online lookups such as “How many calories in a muffin?”, “How many movies has Kevin Bacon been in?” , and “What is Lady Gaga’s real name?” that either required information from Wolfram Alpha or Google used up a total of 473.5KB of data use, or an average of 94.72KB per query. So as you can see the online lookups used up lot more data than the local tasks.
- While using Siri’s dictation feature, the two text messages used up 18KB and 12KB for an average of 15KB and the e-mails came in at 36KB and 109KB, respectively, for an average of 72.5KB.
- This works out to roughly 20MB or so in a 30-day month assuming you ask the same queries every single day for a month over your iPhone’s data connection.
Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica summarizes:
If you use Siri 2-3 times per day at an average of 63KB per instance, you might expect to use 126KB to 189KB per day, or 3.7 to 5.5MB per month. For 4-6 times a day, that might come out to 252KB to 378KB per day, or 7.4 to 11MB per month. If you use it 10-15 times per day, you might end up using 630KB to 945KB per day, or 18.5 to 27.7MB per month.
Thanks Cheng for investigating the data usage. It is good to know how much data Siri uses rather than getting a bill shock after a month of using your shiny new iPhone. Frankly, we were expecting Siri to use a lot more data. What about you?
Btw, we also checked with Siri how much data it uses and we got this:
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