And we’re not buying that the ginormous HD, 3-D TV is for us.
What women really want this year is a cheeky little vixen named Siri.
“My new best friend,” “a blessing” and “loyal assistant” are the ways some women have described Siri, the new voice-controlled, personal assistant iPhone app.
Women want her. They covet her. They’ve even told me they “lust after her.” See: Twitter, #iwantsiri.
“I would love to have her,” Janet Vander Ley of Arlington County told me at the Clarendon Apple Store the other day. She looked at her sad, little iPhone 3, which will never house Siri. “My 16-year-old son has her. We got him the 4s. . . . He asks her questions all day long.”
What would Janet do with Siri?
“Oh, I know you could ask her to make reservations, schedule appointments, get directions,” she sighed. “She’d be so useful in my life.”
And yes, the app is a she. That was made quite clear to me by another woman in the Clarendon Apple Store, when I asked her how she liked “it.”
“Siri is a she,” said the woman, a federal worker and mother of two teens. “She’s my new best friend.”
Of course. Who else but a best friend would tell you, when you ask about the meaning of life, that “all evidence to date suggests it’s chocolate.”
Of course, a good deal of Siri’s energy will be spent answering questions like that.
Mostly, by men.
Late-night host Conan O’Brien made that point just a few days after Siri made her appearance, in a sketch that spliced Apple’s own scenes of women asking Siri to remind them to buy milk, or for directions to a hospital, with two recliner kings asking her to make “reservations for two at 7 p.m. between your [breasts]” and so forth.
Siri has a sense of humor designed to deal with these men’s persistently raunchy questions.
When dorks ask her to talk dirty to them, she responds: “Humus. Compost. Pumice. Silt. Gravel.”
And when she is asked, “What are you wearing?,” she responds, “Why do people keep asking me this?”
Obviously, this is designed to deal with Man Humor. Women, of course, would ask her who she is wearing.
But let’s get back to the purpose of Siri. A personal assistant.
Most men I talk to tell me that the utility of the app is underwhelming. Well, duh, for the most part, men don’t multi-task the way women do.
“She is terrific. I can make lists, she’ll remind me what to buy at the grocery store, she’ll help me keep it all going,” said Krista Reusche, a team manager at a tech recruiting firm
in Arlington. She uses Siri to set up meetings, make calls and set reminders. “For women, it helps with organization; our nature is to be very organized on a lot of fronts.”