We added an iPhone to our box of tools last week and so far have mixed reviews. Apple fans will probably cry foul here but so far we’re still leaning toward our Android phone.
Before we get into further reviews we found an issue with Siri worth noting for all iPhone owners.
Siri, for those that have been living in a cave, is the personal assistant that helps iPhone owners through voice commands. It is a nice feature, although as we discovered, can be used inappropriately as well.
Siri lets you send text messages, look up the weather and other items even if the phone is locked. While the phone is locked, hold down the home button and Siri pops up ready to help by default.
Where we found issues with Siri is the command to “Call home.” Our default contact information was displayed on the screen revealing our home address, birthday and more. We didn’t initially indicate a home phone number for ourselves thus the “Uh oh,” message we received from Siri followed by our information being displayed. When we tried the “Drive home,” command in a similar manner we received a warning that a map could not be retrieved since our phone was locked. It would have been nice to get the same message before displaying our home address.
We added a phone number to our contact and repeated the test of calling home. Siri announced our name and phone number placing the call. While this may be a nice feature to use if your phone ever gets lost, we highly doubt a good samaritan is going to pick up a lost iPhone and ask Siri to call home to find the owner.
We played around with some other voice commands on our “locked phone” to see what they would display. The command “Who is my mother?” brought up a nice, “I don’t know who your mother is. But if you tell me, I’ll remember it.” along with a display of all of our contact information (Name, phone numbers, address, and birthday)!
Researching a little bit more we found this security issue has been known for some time. A good article was posted on MacWorld detailing the ability to send emails from a locked phone. The article also gives step-by-step instructions on how to turn off Siri if your phone is locked.