Spell “iris” backwards and you get... not a coincidence because this personal assistant was quickly put together soon after the iPhone 4S launched. How quickly? Within 8 hours, reportedly. It’s no equal to Siri at this point, so this is clearly listed as an alpha release, but as of this writing its developers have been updating it frequently.
The direct-voice commands you can give include calling, texting or looking up a person in your contacts, and performing Web searches.
Iris failed to tell me the current outside temperature, and it read off a paragraph summarizing the “meaning of life.” It knew who it was when I asked for its name.