Apple acquired Siri on this day in 2010 so this 14-year anniversary post just went viral — and everyone is saying the same thing

Siri on iOS
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

14 years ago today, Apple bought Siri, a little-known app that allowed people to use their voice to talk to an AI. Or more accurately, a digital assistant that couldn't really do all that much. But that didn't stop Apple from paying the people behind it a reported $200 million before rolling Siri into iOS, the software that powers iPhones the world over.

Those who are feeling charitable would say that the Siri buyout was the first step towards bringing a viable digital assistant to the iPhone, allowing them to bark orders at their miniature computer and have it perform tasks or offer up information. These days, Siri can be used with HomePods to turn lights on, control TVs, and more. It can be used to interact with apps thanks to recent improvements to iOS, too.

The less charitable would suggest that perhaps Siri hasn't improved one jot since that 2010 buyout was confirmed and that, perhaps, it's all been a bit of a waste of time. Can you guess which response flooded the replies of a now-viral post announcing the anniversary on the X social network? I think you probably can.

14 years, little change

That X post came from Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman with the anchor sharing some screenshots of the Siri app of yesteryear. But it isn't the post, which you can see embedded below, that's most interesting. It's the responses, many of which suggested that buying Siri was a "waste of money," while others asked allowed "did it work any better in 2010?"

The answer is no, it didn't. Although it didn't work a whole lot worse, either.

Apple's Siri situation is of course extremely complicated. Apple might suggest that if it was to go the route blazed by Google and others, it would be able to make Siri better than its current state. But that route wouldn't be as private, safe, or secure and those are three watchwords that Apple would rather not compromise on. Unfortunately, Siri has suffered because of that.

Those watchwords also make rumors of potentially huge iOS 18 Siri improvements more interesting, too. The update is expected to bring with it new AI features based on Apple's own in-house large language models. Those new features will, initially at least, run on the iPhone itself which makes for speedier performance and improved privacy — no data needs to go to any servers, keeping everything on-device.

But Apple is also reportedly in talks with OpenAI and Google about using their server-based chatbot tech, ChatGPT and Gemini respectively. How that jives with Apple's privacy stance remains to be seen, but there is little doubt that such a partnership would surely make huge improvements to the way Siri works. Or most likely, in most cases, and for most people, doesn't.

If everything goes the way that we expect it to, Apple will announce iOS 18 at WWDC in June. It'll then undergo a months-long beta process before shipping to the public this fall, likely towards the middle of September. It'll also come preinstalled on Apple's new 2024 iPhones, the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max — all set to go on sale that same month if Apple sticks to its own self-imposed release cadence.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.