What's most intriguing about the iPhone 4S is not the phone itself but Siri, a software-based personal assistant based on technology Apple acquired last year. Siri represents a bold bid to leap ahead of Google in the realm of voice-based interaction. As demonstrated by Apple, Siri looks like a convenient way to interact with one's phone to perform a limited number of tasks, like setting the alarm clock, sending text messages, and rearranging one's calendar entries. What remains to be seen is whether it's really more efficient than touch-based interaction, whether people feel comfortable using it, and whether it's flexible enough to execute a broad range of tasks.
If it works, it might just be the revolution that people have come to expect from Apple. If not, well, Google will help people dig up old jokes about the Apple Newton and its handwriting recognition skills.