A Closer Look at How Much Data Siri Uses

By , Nov 2, 2011

Siri requires an internet connection to connect with Apple’s servers, and Ars Technica has taken a closer look at exactly how much data Siri consumes on the iPhone 4S.

While Siri’s data footprint isn’t that significant, it’s still interesting to see what the technology will cost you on your monthly bill. Siri requires a constant internet connection to work, so keep that in mind if you’re on limited data plan…

Ars Technica performed 6 local queries, such as setting reminders or looking up contact info, followed by 5 tasks that required Siri to access information online through services like Wolfram Alpha and Google. While all of the tasks remained under 1MB, the tasks ranged in KB size based on the complexity of the voice interpretation that Siri had to digest. Obviously, local tasks that didn’t use an online search required much less data consumption.

Dictations in apps like Mail and Messages also returned very minimal data footprints.

What Ars Technica discovered after putting Siri through its paces:

“Here’s where the numbers are going to get rough. As we’ve already pointed out, your own numbers will be different depending on how wordy you are, what kinds of queries you’re making, and how frequently you do it. So please take these estimates with a grain of salt—they’re more like general ranges than exact numbers.

If you use Siri 2-3 times per day at an average of 63KB per instance, you might expect to use 126KB to 189KB per day, or 3.7 to 5.5MB per month. For 4-6 times a day, that might come out to 252KB to 378KB per day, or 7.4 to 11MB per month. If you use it 10-15 times per day, you might end up using 630KB to 945KB per day, or 18.5 to 27.7MB per month.”

For most people, this amount of data usage is not anything to sweat over. If you have a 200MB plan for your iPhone 4S, you may want to be careful about using Siri, but otherwise you’ll be fine.

What do you think about Siri’s data footprint? Did you expect it to be higher or lower?

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  • NERDGEEK

    Man.. That’s wild.. And Apple iPhones are supposed to be data friendly.. Imagine all the people who don’t read blogs and use Siri.. Let’s see there faces when AT&T/Verizon sends them a notice saying “your at 50% of your data usage” lol only after a couple weeks.. Glad I have 4GB tether plan

    • Ionic

      I don’t think that people who don’t read this blogs use siri over 15 times a day.

  • fulvin

    I’ve got unlimited data (3mb/s) for 12€ (16$) per month, so, bleh..

    • ASDASDASDASD

      I have 7.2MBPS + 300 texts/calls each month for $42 a month x’D

  • http://aamir.info Aamir

    I thought it would be much higher than that

  • MrA

    Alex, please tell Sebestien for the love of everything iDB needs a new comment system. The current comment system is a piece of crap and is in need of a (looooooooong overdue) complete overhaul. We are still getting errors that our comments aren’t posted (even when they are) and when you unsubscribe from all posts your email inbox continues to be flooded with updates. Every. Single. Time. A. New. Post. Is. Made.

    Now I know you all have been looking for a new comment system for months (years?), but I would like to recommend disqus again. I know you say it’s a chore and extra work to remove/edit/manage the comments, but maybe that is worth it?? Half the hate filled comments get left on here anyway. Plus all the major sites, engadget/timn/Bgr/every single other tech site uses it and it seems to work well for them. If you need extra help to handle the comment sections I’m sure you would have several volunteers (me included) to assist you. But coming to my favorite iOS blog is becoming a chore. Please update comment section. Please. Please. Please.

    /end rant

    P.S. im glad I’m grandfathered into unlimited data. Siri can have all she can eat!

  • kokhean

    It doesn’t really matter, because we are mostly always around WiFi hotspots.

  • http://jailbreakme.com comexplus

    i’m in iran and in iran with cellular data if you want to connect to google you should wait for about a minute .
    but my wifi is 1mb that is good.

  • David

    OFF TOPIC: Does anybody remember the keyboard post on here, it looked like Apples wireless keyboard but was obviously made by somebody else?

    Also does anybody know any good cheap keyboards for an iPad 2 that looks like Apples keyboard?

  • David

    Just posting so I can get emails of follow up comments.

  • DEDE99

    The only thing is what if I have only EDGE speed or even lover that means I cant use SIRI @ all :( on the other side I have 3GB dataplan so this is not that much data whats going thru except you have low speed connection.

  • http://twitter.com/geekinit @geekinit

    Sounds about right. Siri needs a higher sample rate for better voice recognition I’m sure and someone with a 200 meg per month really just needs to just spend the extra $10 a month for the 2 GB plan. I’m keeping my unlimited plan as long as I can.

  • Gutentag

    In Germany, we use Siri to find out when it is a good time to strike!

  • slapahotribe

    Siri….Welcome to what Android had over 12 months ago.

  • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle joshua miranda

    Yeah switching to h20 wireless for the unlimited data at 60$ a month can’t go wrong so I won’t worry of Siri is data hogging lol!

  • Luca D’Intino

    if you’re an iPhone user and abuser as i am, i don’t know how anyone can survive an entire month on 200mb!!
    I just upgraded to a 6Gb plan (the largest available in canada) and NOW i’m ready to rock my 4S!
    I can’t get enough of Siri. she deserves a break, i ask her to write EVERY text message and most emails, as well as help me with math equations and settle arguments with my friends over silly facts (Thank you Wolfram Alpha!)

  • jo macral

    I love my iPhone 4S, but being in Asia, Siri is all but useless.. Still fun to play with however.