UPDATE [Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 7:35am ET]: Steve Wozniak commented on the original article on Facebook, saying he’s been misinterpreted (again). His full comment can be found at the bottom of this article.
Journalist Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) filed a report with The Daily Beast on Saturday that highlights Steve Wozniak’s thoughts on the iPhone 4S’s widely reported battery woes (that did not go away with iOS 5.1 Beta 3):
With the iPhone, something happened with the new OS or the new phone, and it just started running through the battery so fast. I’ve had a lot of issues with things I have to turn off just to save the battery life.
Wozniak, 61, who cofounded Apple with Jobs in 1976, also has gripes with Siri. The engineer thinks Siri is cool, but at times impractical compared to Android’s voice action. This is mostly due to Siri’s architectural reliance on network connectivity that is required to complete functions.
I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me. I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done. [...] On the 4S I can only do that when Siri can connect over the Internet. But many times it can’t connect. I’ve never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet. [...] Plus I get navigation. Android is way ahead on that.
Apple is thought to be creating its own navigation and mapping solution stemming from the company’s three mapping-related acquisitions: C3 Technologies, Poly9 in 2010, and Placebase. Wozniak is also good friends with Andy Rubin who heads the Android project and one said, “There’s more available [on Android] in some ways.”
Although Apple did not detail Siri, its voice recognition and artificial intelligence systems run on Apple’s servers rather than the phone itself. Siri may also infringe old Excite patents, said to be changing hands soon as a valuable asset in order to compete with Siri. In case you are wondering, the iPhone remains Wozniak’s primary phone. He loves “the beauty of it,” and he is first to recommend it to friends. However, Wozniak sometimes wants the iPhone to do “all the things my Android does.”
The people I recommend the iPhone 4S for are the ones who are already in the Mac world, because it’s so compatible, and people who are just scared of computers altogether and don’t want to use them. The iPhone is the least frightening thing. For that kind of person who is scared of complexity, well, here’s a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do.
That being said, Wozniak never shied away from admitting that he uses Android phones on a daily basis —in addition to his iPhone. The famous geek even received the Galaxy Nexus before the rest of the United States (although he likes the Motorola Droid Razr better). It should be noted that Wozniak is also a vocal critic of today’s smartphone design and is sometimes misquoted.
For more comments by Wozniak regarding the Apple vs. Google competition, read this post published on our sister blog 9to5Google. The Woz previously predicted Android would win smartphone wars; although, he hopes Google’s platform will never beat the iPad. He is currently chief scientist for storage startup Fusion-io, but he would consider a return to Apple, if asked.
UPDATE: Steve Wozniak commented on Facebook:
The original reporter exaggerated by leaving contextual parts out, and other reports exaggerated it further into deceitful headlines that were not true. To my, honesty comes first in life. Funny thing is, if you talk to people around me, they would hardly recall times I took a call on an Android, made a call on an Android, or did much with an Android other than navigation. But these articles make it sound like I’ve given up on my iPhone. Ha ha.
- ChangeWave: Siri helps iPhone 4S become the most beloved iPhone yet (9to5mac.com)
- Steve Wozniak receives his Galaxy Nexus before the rest of the U.S. (9to5google.com)
- Siri alternatives and knockoffs also land in Windows Phone Marketplace (9to5mac.com)