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Apple's Siri nearly 'doubles data usage'

APPLE’S Siri app, its new voice controlled software, is causing users of the iPhone 4S to use nearly double as much of their monthly data allowance as they did with the previous Apple phone, new research has found.

According to new statistics compiled by Arieso, a mobile network optimising service, iPhone 4S users are using nearly double the amount of data than they were when operating an iPhone 4 and on their iPads, and one of the main causes is Siri.

Michael Flanagan, Arieso’s chief technology officer told Bloomberg: “Voice is the ultimate human interface. As you lower the barriers consumers will use their smartphones’ functions even more often.”

Siri was a major new feature of the latest iPhone model which came out last October. Billed as the iPhone’s ‘humble assistant’, the voice-controlled software, which requires an internet connection, allows users to ask it for weather updates, write text messages and search the web.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

A different study by technology site, Ars Technica, found Siri's data usage to be more efficient, depending on the type of query and the amount used.

The additional use of data is putting extra strain on the mobile operators, many of which have already limited the amount of data offered in customers’ monthly plans and in the case of Vodafone, users are now charged based on their data consumption rate.

The new research, which measured the activity of more than one million mobile phone users across Europe, also showed that a minority of mobile customers are responsible for using half of the total amount of downloaded data. Flanagan said that the “the hungry are getting hungrier”.