Earlier on Friday, Wired reported that Apple’s voice app Siri, which is perhaps most famous for its comical misinterpretations, keeps users’ data for up to two years.

Now Google has told the FT that it stores queries to its voice search service for the same period. The difference is that Google stores the actual audio samples for up to two years, unlike Siri which deletes the audio after six months and then just retains the queries. So, is two years too long? Read more

Why is it that text-to-speech services so often come with that cool-yet-sexy synthesised female voice straight out of a male fantasy?

Ivona, a Polish company, is no exception, judging by this avatar from the company’s website. She is likely to be coming to more Kindle devices soon, following Amazon’s acquisition of the company on Thursday. The most tantalysing question, though: Is Ivona also Amazon’s answer to Siri and a sign that it will soon be in the smartphone business? Read more

by Daniel Thomas, Telecoms Correspondent

Just one per cent of subscribers consume half of all downloaded data with the latest devices from Apple in particular fuelling demand for bandwidth-hungry mobile content. Read more

iPhone user

The iPhone 4S includes a new voice recognition feature

You don’t have to go far to get the best business education degree these days. In my case, it is only 1.8 miles – or so Siri, my “humble personal assistant”, advised when I asked her the other day where the best such learning could be found.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Magazine publishers are already claiming Apple’s Newsstand service, which was launched with iOS5 last week, is boosting sales and orders, PaidContent says. Exact Editions reports that downloads of its sample editions have jumped by 14 times in the past few days, while Future Publishing says that it has ‘sold more digital editions in the past four days through Apple’s Newsstand than in a normal month’. Read more

By Dan Thomas

Google wants to get the world talking using their Androids with an application that will translate speech into any of 14 languages.

Although lacking a cute moniker as Apple’s also loquacious new personal assistant (“hello Siri”), Google Conversation will allow many Android users to speak to each other in their own languages – albeit in a slightly robotic female voice. Read more

Those who use the mobile web use it a lot. In urban centres it’s not uncommon to see dozens of people walking down the street peering into a smartphone screen.

Sometimes they are surfing the web or checking email, but oftentimes they are looking to do something — make a reservation at a restaurant, find a show or movie to go to, or make travel arrangements. But navigating the full web on a tiny screen can be cumbersome (especially when you’re walking or driving or on the train).

Siri, a startup that just launched its “virtual personal assistant” today, has identified this pain point and come up with an elegant solution. Read more