Sirius Cybernetics, the Lancashire based iPhone applelet company, have released the app that lonely people have been crying out for: iBud. As with all Sirius Cybernetics applelets their app hooks into the iPhone 4S's Siri, the artificial intelligence usually turned off in all new iPhones.
"Sirius Cybernetics have a long history of great apps," said App World! editor Mac Buck. "Their iThankyou app is sensational, I have it on my iPhone. The way it says 'thank you for opening me' when apps open is brilliant. Very Hitchhikers Guide."
The latest app extends the Siri artificial intelligence to allow it to hold a conversation.
"We've all been there," said Buck. "Sat in a pub after being stood up by Daphne. Or someone, doesn't have to be Daphne. Could be anybody. Well, anyway, the app allows you to make a phone call to the app. You can sit there and talk on the phone."
Buck, like many people, has pretended to have a phone call in the past, but these conversations appear fake, and everybody knows this. What iBud does is hold the other end of the conversation.
"It's very handy," said Buck. "I've had some very deep conversations with it about communism. Admittedly, I'd started having a conversation about local builders, but it shows how the conversation can meander like a real conversation."
As well as holding up it's own end of a conversation iBud will also ring the owner of the phone or send them text messages.
"That can be quite handy," said Buck. "When you're trapped into talking with some nerd from Android Monthly, a phone call from iBud can be quite welcome. It doesn't mind if you decline the call. Which is better than my real friend. Friends. I meant friends."
Sirius Cybernetics will not reveal the technology that allows Siri to hold a real conversation, but a patent application suggest that what iBud actually does is to link together two iBud users and the pair converse.
"I think this is where the random phone calls come from," said Buck. "Like when I'm lonely, I mean 'wanting to try out the app', I give it a quick bell."
The app always connects, suggesting that the app merely tries somebody else.
"There are a lot of lonely people in the world," said Buck. "Obviously, I'm not one of them. Or I won't be if Daphne turns up this time."