Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How does it work? I heard it sends all your data off to the internet to be translated. But it seems like it's integrated into my phone.

Does it run on the phone or on the internet?

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Siri makes use of NLP(Natural Language Processing) - NLP computing takes significant resources and while the iPhone may be powerful enough to process them, it's likely to drain the battery.

For this reason, Siri application records your commands on your phone & sends it off the servers for processing. The results are returned back to the phone & does the commands.

So to answer, yes, it's part-phone, part-Internet service & it does send data to Apple's servers.

share|improve this answer
If the recorded voice commands are saved and sent to a server, which has to queue and process it and then send back the answers; how can it be so quick? In all of the hands-on demos it seems pretty fast. – Znarkus Oct 13 '11 at 23:33
Sathya: Sounds like speculation. Is there a definitive reference on whether it's processed in-phone or on-server? – Pete Oct 22 '11 at 4:56
@Znarkus if you see it in action, there is a distinct delay between the time voice as accepted & the command was processed – Sathya Oct 22 '11 at 6:46
@Pete I don't have any definite references – Sathya Oct 22 '11 at 6:47
@Pete this pretty much confirms that the processing happens on Apple's servers – Sathya Nov 4 '11 at 4:30

It runs on both.

What Siri does requires multiple layers of processing, from audio processing, to mining huge databases, to speech synthesis, etc., and lots of other stuff in between and around.

Apple is shutting down the server component for the previous free Siri app, thus disabling that app. This couldn't be done if all the processing was local.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.