Ars Technica Recently Investigated Data Usage for Siri on iPhone 4S

This is a discussion on Ars Technica Recently Investigated Data Usage for Siri on iPhone 4S within the Apple News forums, part of the Apple News Room category; Some crafty iPhone 4S users over at Ars Technica recently did a writeup in which they investigated the relative data usage of the "Siri Personal ...

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    Ars Technica Recently Investigated Data Usage for Siri on iPhone 4S


    Some crafty iPhone 4S users over at Ars Technica recently did a writeup in which they investigated the relative data usage of the "Siri Personal Assistant" on the new iOS 5. Their results could surprise you. Obviously, if you've played with the Siri service much at all you've come to realize that it requires an active internet connection to function. The app actually communicates your questions to the Apple data centers, and then sends the data back to your phone, even when performing non-network functions. This could obviously put a huge dent in your data cap limit, and even potentially put you over your monthly data quota.

    This is apparently why Ars Technica wanted to do some testing to gauge how much data Siri actually uses. They performed 6 tasks that would be considered "local tasks" (shouldn't require an internet connection), and 5 tasks that would require an online search. An example of the local tasks would be having Siri set an alarm for a certain time. One of their examples of a search function was asking Siri, "How many movies has Kevin Bacon been in?". Their testing showed that local tasks tended to use less data across the network than search functions, which makes sense. In total, their 11 tests added up to 693.6KB, or about 63KB per query.

    They further broke down their estimates into distinct categories of usage patterns. Here's a quote from them with more details,
    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.
    Obviously, they point out that your results may vary because you may ask simpler or longer questions, so it is relative to your particular circumstance. Still, if you take their examples as averages, it becomes interesting that even under heavy usage, with 15 plus questions per day, you might use 30-40MB of data per month at most with Siri. Ultimately, their study seems to indicate that even though Siri uses a decent chunk of data we have quite a bit of breathing room before hitting the typical limits of today's data plans. Of course, this really depends upon how much data you typically use in a month.

    What do you guys think of their test? Does this give you food for thought about how much to use Siri?

    Source: ArsTechnica

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