Steve Jobs didn't like the name 'Siri'
Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus says former Apple CEO Steve Jobs didn't want to name the iPhone's virtual assistant 'Siri.' But he eventually gave in.
Appleâ€™s Steve Jobs saw the potential in Siri back when it was a standalone application, but when it came to integrating the software into the iPhone as a virtual assistant he was resistant to keeping the name Siri, according to Siri co-founder (and former CEO) Dag Kittlaus.
Speaking atÂ the Chicago startup event Technori Pitch yesterday, Kittlaus regaled the story of how he came up with the name Siri, and Steve Jobâ€™s initial hesitance to keeping the name, reports Network World.
Shortly after the iPhone 4S release last October, Siri quickly reached iconic status in popular culture. It was partly due to Siriâ€™s sometimes magical capabilities, and partly to Appleâ€™s slick marketing efforts. But Siriâ€™s simple and unusual name likely helped cement it into the public mind as well.
Kittlaus explained that Siri means â€śbeautiful woman who leads you to victoryâ€ť in Norwegian, and it was also a name he was saving for his future daughter. But after his first child ended up being a boy, he ended up shelving the name until it came time to name his software.
During his discussions with Apple, he pushed to keep the name even though Jobs wanted to use something else. After failing to find an alternative, Siri ended up being the name of Appleâ€™s new virtual assistant in the iPhone 4S. As Network World notes, Jobs was similarly hesitant to the names iMac and iPod â€” and look how that turned out.
Kittlaus described how Jobs initially got in touch with him, as recounted by Network World:
Three weeks after we launched I got a call in the office from someone at Apple that said, â€śScott Forstall wants to talk to you and heâ€™s the head software guy.â€ť
And I said sureâ€¦
Only it wasnâ€™t Scott that called it was Steve. And Steve never announces where heâ€™s gonna be and what heâ€™s gonna do because thereâ€™s too much commotion around it. So he said, â€śDag, this is Steve Jobs.â€ť
And he wanted me to come over to his house the next day, and I did, and I spent 3 hours with him in front of his fireplace having this surreal conversation about the future.
And, you know, he talked about why Apple was going to win, and we talked about how Siri was doing. And he was very excited about the fact that.. you know, he was very interested in this area in general but, you know, theyâ€™re patient, they donâ€™t jump on anything until they feel they can go after something new and he felt that we cracked it. So that was his attraction.
I ended up very lucky, timing wise. I got to work with him for a year before he got real sick. And heâ€™s pretty incredible. The stories are true. All of the stories.