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Before Apple Took Interest, Verizon Was To Install Siri On Every Droid Device

siri ios 6

Making the rounds today is an interesting story, given that it could have greatly affected the way we think about our smartphones and the competitors in the smartphone race. In 2009, before the Siri startup was purchased by  Apple, Verizon made their own bid in an effort to have the software installed on every DROID-branded device they sold. Verizon was so far into the deal that even commercials were filmed to tout DROID’s newest halo feature. 

Sometime soon after this, Steve Jobs had a meeting with the co-founder of Siri and shortly thereafter, Siri was Apple’s. Siri now ships on every new iPhone, still being marketed as one of the main selling features. Plus, she can even tell you jokes after failing to do simple web searches. It’s a win-win.

Now, I wanted to go back to how I said it would have changed the way we think about the smartphone race. For example, if Siri was in fact bought by Verizon instead and installed on all of their Android devices, we as Android users would be the ones defending this software. Down the road, and say Apple created Google Now Apple Now, we would be the frustrated Siri users who would dream of something like that coming our way. If you ask me, we all dodged a bullet. Shout out to Steve Jobs for sparing all of us.

Via: The Verge

  • so instead of being available on all iphones, it’ll be only available on the more limited verizon phone (only in the US)? seems a bad idea

  • Justin

    Siri is a whore

  • angermeans

    Considering that more than likely if Apple hadn’t started pushing Siri so much and google wouldn’t have been pushed to make google now how did we “dodge a bullet?” Not to mention I have both and Siri is much more usable than google now. How does competition not help?

  • Thank God this never happened, or we wouldn’t have Google Search/Now

  • joejoe5709

    The big difference for me is that Google Now/Voice Search is flexible, updated constantly, and much more future proof than Siri ever will be. Google Now is still arguably slightly gimmicky like Siri is, but it will get more and more useful as time goes by. For me, that’s why Google Now is superior to Siri.

  • Pat Hamilton

    The only time I have ever seen anybody use Siri outside of a commercial was watching my cousin tell his phone poop jokes to see how Siri would respond…

  • fartbubbler

    unlike some of the haters, I really liked Prometheus.

  • PyroHoltz

    Siri doens’t do Scottish…maybe it would have been better if Andy took part?


  • Daistaar

    Wasn’t there a commercial awhile back from Google about Siri coming to iOS soon?

  • Thanks Apple!

  • Jim McClain

    anyone had any luck at getting their wallet working?

  • As somebody who hates Apple with a passion…. Verizon would have killed Siri.

  • If you have to pick your poison here, I’d rather have Apple. It at least makes Siri independent of carriers and countries. Limiting it to just one platform *and* just one carrier would’ve guaranteed that Siri died an ignominious death, no matter how much respect Verizon gave it.

  • George Fayad

    I love all the one sided arguments in here.
    Siri and Google Now both have features the other doesn’t, and features I want available in one package. As someone who carried a GNex running 4.2 and iPhone 5 at the same time for a few months, I can honestly say that Siri is better integrated into the phone’s hardware, while GN is better for search and “google apps” interaction.

    • zionlion02

      Who down votes that? Lol. I love this place sometimes – cracks me up.

      • George Fayad

        downvoted because it was a rational response. oh and because i carried an iPhone 5 in my pocket for a while.

  • Scott Martin

    i think we’re missing a big thing here. if apple didn’t have siri, how would the 4S have differed from the 4? would they just have sold a different color? would they actually have made it 4g? would there have been no new iphone at all? without siri, there would have been no second iphone4.

  • sparticus

    Would have been deemed bloatware. And removed

  • DroidBricker

    I’m not so sure if Android users would be defending this software. Most of Verizon’s apps are considered “Bloatware” and rightfully so due to how the company lies to and spies on its customers. I’m sure Verizon would have concocted some way to charge for the app as well and it would have been written off as more Verizon “bloat”.

  • picaso86

    How often do people use Siri? Honestly…..

    • I use both Siri and Google Now on respective devices. Siri is incredibly handy for reminders, timers and more fine-tuned weather (“will it be warm this afternoon?”). Google, of course, wins where general search is important.

  • Alan Marchman

    Well thank goodness that bullet was dodged.

  • But Siri would only be on DROID devices, not all Android Devices. We still would have gotten Google Now because it is Googles baby, not Verizon’s. So if anything Verizon Droid fans would be defending it, not Google fans. Same thing that has happened with S-Voice on Samsung. Its Sammy’s baby, not Googles.

    • mos0ne

      And yet googles baby runs on EVERY iOS device and a small minority of android handsets…and they still have series as well. Makes sense.

  • itsgonnalast

    I’m glad this didn’t happen. I’m not a huge fan of voice search regardless of whether it’s Siri, Dragon or Google Voice Search (often mislabeled as Google Now).

  • “Siri unlock my bootloader”
    “Im sorry I dont understand”

    • EvanTheGamer


    • joejoe5709

      Comment of the week. Easily.

    • angermeans

      Post of the day!

  • Scott

    Is there a way to make Google Now add to my calendar?

  • DanWazz

    Thanks Steve!*

    *the only time I will ever say that.

  • greeknasty

    If vzw bought it no one wouldve used it..itd just be “bloatware”

    • KleenDroid

      Because they wouldn’t develop it and it would be junkier than it is now.

      • michael arazan

        Siri would be nagging us to turn on wifi and pay our verizon bill

  • Arie Hoogendoorn

    Sounds like Verizon Bloatware to me….

  • Inquizitor

    Honestly we would have just flipped sides and then read a story talking about how “Apple almost bought Siri” and breathed a sign of relief that didn’t happen. I like Google Now, but I’m only lying to myself if I say that it’s “light years ahead of Siri” or that I believe Apple users “dream” of its better features. Neither app is that amazing.

    • Can’t say I agree with you completely. Google Now is pretty legit in terms of an app. And yeah, it’s light years ahead of any functionality Siri has. You can admit it! 🙂

      • iWebDroidBerry7

        I’m confused… a Mod that… trolls?

        • EvanTheGamer

          He’s not trolling, he’s only speaking the truth.

          • iWebDroidBerry7

            But it isn’t the truth, both have common and different functionality. Nothing Google Now does is “light years” ahead of Siri and vise versa.

          • Tyler

            Google Now goes one step ahead of Siri and tell you stuff before you ask, and uses data to notify you of stuff. For example if you have an appointment and there is a lot of traffic, Google Now will either tell you to leave early or route you a faster way. Yes Siri is conversational but ill take straight to the point and faster any day.

        • How is that a troll? That’s nothin’ but da truth syrup on freedom pancakes!

          • iWebDroidBerry7

            It isn’t the truth though, what feature of Google Now is “light years” ahead of Siri?

          • if you have to ask that question, then you haven’t been using Google Now. You can find Google Now’s features here: http://www.droid-life.com/tag/google-now/

          • iWebDroidBerry7

            Try again. I am well aware of Google Now’s capabilities because I have a Galaxy Nexus. Nice deflection of my question though.

          • You’re welcome? lol

          • Copy and pasted my answer to someone else’s Q.

            “Tracking packages, traffic cards, and checking out nearby points of interest when you are in unfamiliar territory are some of my favorite things about it. Sure, some of the cards may be un-useful to you and myself, but other people probably use them.

            Another great one is the new boarding pass card. I can’t wait for my next trip to test that one out! :)”

          • EvanTheGamer

            Freedom FTW!

            Lie with Android and get nothing but the best in customizable possibilities, ie, freedom, or lie with Apple and be a slave to Apple in terms of not doing what you can with Android! What is more appealing? Freedom or slavery? You decide. (Not directed at you, but at Apple lovin’ iSheep)

      • JoshGroff

        Both have their advantages, but the card feature in Google Now is pretty awesome.

      • EvanTheGamer

        PLUS not to mention that at least Google Now’s voice doesn’t sound like a blasted robot.

        • Preach it

        • LionStone

          Her name is Majel!

      • LionStone

        Agree Tim-o…When I ordered my HTC Media Link, the next day in G Now it informed me my package was shipped. Sent a screen shot to my apple friend saying, ‘look, how cool is that’? His reply, ‘oh I have something like that’. Then all kinds of questions followed. I mentioned all I did was place an order and use my gmail for a confirmation. So he eventually did concede it was cool 🙂

      • Inquizitor

        Some things, like natural-sounding text-to-speech and all of the predictive functionalities (including hooks into Gmail) are certainly pretty awesome. I’ll give you that technologically it’s far more advanced than Siri. However, I think it’s a bit fishy to necessarily give Google Now that much credit for speech-to-text and text-to-speech tech, since Google developed those anyway and just hooked them up with the Google Now app, especially the speech-to-text which we’ve had for a few years.

        Personally, I find little useful functionality. 90% of my Google Now usage is either checking the weather, setting alarms/timers, or asking for unit conversions. I’m not a big voice-actions guy so it doesn’t help that much. Also it fails to hook into my two most-used applications; Google Talk and Google Voice, and its predictions aren’t that well-tuned yet. It’s been telling me the traffic for the airport every day for the past two weeks since I’ve flown back to school, even though I keep telling it I don’t want that info. I guess you get out what you put in.

        • Tracking packages, traffic cards, and checking out nearby points of interest when you are in unfamiliar territory are some of my favorite things about it. Sure, some of the cards may be un-useful to you and myself, but other people probably use them.

          Another great one is the new boarding pass card. I can’t wait for my next trip to test that one out! 🙂

          • Inquizitor

            Would/will love the boarding pass card if/when it expands to my airline of choice. The package one is fairly useful, though I don’t order many things online. As a college student the traffic card is almost useless to me. Again, it all depends on the client. Still offers a completely different product than Siri, to be sure.

    • KleenDroid

      I get what you are saying. But with some use Google Now is very helpful.

    • Max_Freedom

      Is there anything like Google Now on iOS? Siri doesn’t seem even remotely similar. She is pretty much worthless, IMO.
      I just upgraded from Gingerbread to iOS 6 though, so what do I know?

  • Good thing this didn’t happen because I can see Verizon blocking Google Now..which IMO is still a underrated feature…I mean Hell I got to do workarounds just to get Google wallet, I don’t want Isis Verizon!

    • Jim McClain

      how did you get your google wallet working ?

  • YEMan0443

    I agree completely. Google Now is light years ahead of Siri. Just would’ve been another reason to be on the hate side of the the love hate relationship with the Big Red. They’d probably find a way to block Google Now as they do with Google Wallet.

  • Charles Hobbs

    Probably for the best because Verizon would have charged $9.99 a month to use the feature, impeded updates, and it never would have caught on…

    • La2da

      And then they would tell us that Google Now must access the secure element of our phone so we couldn’t use GNow, and we would have had to use Siri instead, Isis style!

  • SMoose

    I wonder if Verizon’s Siri would have provided data to Verizon or Google. Verizon has recently been making moves to try to mine their customers for data in order to send advertisements…something that Google’s business is kinda built upon.

    I imagine that, if Siri would have been used in a similar way (I believe Apple collects data using Siri as well no?), Google still would have made Google Now…especially for all non-droid Android phones…just a thought.

  • monkey082506


  • EvanTheGamer

    SO glad that that never happened. Siri is overrated.

  • Uriah Bullard

    Had Verizon done it, I would have never bought another “Droid” branded phone again…I’ve tried Siri….Google Now > Siri

  • SirSoloDolo

    Glad it didn’t come to that. Google Now has way more real use then Siri. Let Apple have it

    • EvanTheGamer

      Siri is only good for those who like having conversations with robots.

      • JoshGroff

        It’s entertaining for a few minutes every once in a while, not worth buying an iPhone for though.

        • EvanTheGamer

          HELL no! There is no good reason to own an iPhone. I don’t care if they have some decent apps…only a matter of time before Android gets those same exact apps anyways.

          I’ll never own an iPhone, not even if in the future the iPhone is the last device standing. No thanks. I guess in that world I’ll be phone-less. I’d rather communicate with folks via the ole can/string combo anyhow. lol

          • Tyler

            If Android died i would just wait for Ubuntu phones to be the new thing 😀

          • JoshGroff

            If the iPhone was the last phone left, I would buy it. I’m too addicted to speed and mobile web access to live without a smart phone.

          • EvanTheGamer

            Then I guess we don’t share the same views on the iPhone. I would rather be without a phone until the end of days before I’d ever buy the overly hyped up iPhone. Never means never. I love ever-changing technology as much as the next guy, but when it comes to ever-changing phones, I’ll always bet on Android, never the iPhone or Apple in general.

          • JoshGroff

            Don’t get me wrong, I hate the iPhone as much as the next guy, but I can’t go back to a dumb phone. Unless it was a rehash of the original RAZR, then maybe I could. I remember when that thing came out and was half as thin as most other flip phones.

          • EvanTheGamer

            Or just go phone-less! It’s all the rage in 2025. Or perhaps go with the can/string combo; it’s coming back in the year 2040.

          • JoshGroff

            Or just learn how to communicate telepathically, it can’t be that hard.

          • EvanTheGamer

            OR learn morse code. I heard that form of communication is coming back in the year 2075 when all other form of communication is obsolete.

          • someone

            That’s the funny thing though. Flip/feature phones can have applications installed on them, and they had a huge library of games. Heck, my old Sony Ericson flip phone could video edit!

            Only thing smart phones have over smart phones is a slightly better processor and maybe some extra sensors.

          • jboogie1289

            Either go phoneless or…….gulp….go back to Blackberry. Ugh, I almost threw up! My brother works in Cupertino and every chance I get I go at him with my Android devices. He loses every time no matter what the task or test is!!! And wait till he sees my new Galaxy Note 2. Bwaaa Haaaa Haaaa!!!!!

    • T4rd

      True, but Google Now would have happened anyways and if Siri had been put on Droid phones, it would have just been one less feature Apple could tout over its competition. So it would still be cool to have the option to switch between Siri and Google now, just as Samsung phones have the option of S-Voice and Google now. Options are never bad.

  • Greg Morgan

    O.o that would have changed things….and maybe not for the better.

    • EvanTheGamer

      Definitely not for the best…for the worse.