Siri: A Massive Data Hog? Another Myth Debunked

More often than not opinions can generate a world of pain for the holder, especially if the said opinion is based purely on myth rather than fact. Take Paul Farhi from the Washington Post for example. On Friday he wrote an ‘opinion’ article about why the Skynet-esque voice assistant Siri is a massive data/bandwidth-hog.

This is simply NOT the case.

ArsTechnica has analyzed the exact data usage amounts that Siri consumes. They summarized that if the average user used Siri to perform the 11 basic actions – six of these were ‘local tasks’ and the remaining five were online tasks that required the extra bit of data usage.

They found that the local tasks consumed on average 36.7KB per query. The actual numbers ranged from 60KB down to 18KB. The online tasks consumed an average of 94.72KB per query. The range went from 23KB to 187KB, depending on the query. In total the 11 queries added up to 693.6KB, or an average of 63KB per query which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t actually much data at all for a days worth of lazy mobile-tasking.

All in all they were able to then calculate the approximate monthly usage of a minimal user, average user & also the data intensive user. Here’s what they had to say:

Here’s where the numbers are going to get rough. As we’ve already pointed out, your own numbers will be different depending on how wordy you are, what kinds of queries you’re making, and how frequently you do it. So please take these estimates with a grain of salt—they’re more like general ranges than exact numbers.
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.

As you can tell from the above stats, Siri isn’t about to take over the mobile networks quite yet, however this may change as time move forward. Not in regards to Siri alone, but in regards to the abundant voice-assistants taking shape in the labs of mobile device makers the world over in the wake of the astounding reception the Siri-toting iPhone 4S has received since it’s fourth-quarter launch last year.
Personally I can afford to spare the extra 11MB a month for the 5 tasks (on average) I perform using Siri on my iPhone 4S but what about you? Get in touch with us and lend us your thoughts on the subject through the usual portals of communication!


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