Last year Apple acquired Siri, a company working on voice recognition/personal assistant software for mobile devices. Today Apple explained what it will do with Siri: Not surprisingly, voice recognition and voice commands will be built into the new iPhone 4S.

Apple’s Scott Forstall showed off the new feature today by demonstrating how you can ask the phone questions and receive answers thanks to integration with Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha. Here are a few examples:

  • You can have Siri read your text messages or notifications to you.
  • You can ask for a weather forecast.
  • Ask for nearby restaurant listings.
  • Get word definitions.
  • Ask how many days there are until Christmas.

The company also showed off a new voice input feature that lets you enter text on your device by hitting a microphone icon on the keyboard — much the way you already can with most Android devices.

Voice recognition is available in English, French and German, and will launch initially in beta.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...