In a new report by The New York Times’ Steve Lohr the columnist notes that computational engine Wolfram Alpha has seen an explosion in usage over the last few months, with this burst of usage now having been put down to the ease and accessibility of one of the iPhone 4S‘s most-talked about features — Siri.
With Apple using the engine to provide users with the answers to everyday questions, Wolfram Alpha now claims that a roughly one quarter of all queries sent to its servers now originate from the intelligent assistant.
The news arrives as the firm prepares to usher in a new ‘Pro’ tier of the popular computing service this Wednesday, set to cost those who wish to take advantage it just $4.99 per month – ($2.99 if you happen to be a student).
The ‘Pro’ version of Wolfram Alpha is a quantum step-up from the service which has (thus far) been available to users for FREE, promising to provide full support for the detection of images. This, for example, will allow users of the service to drag an image containing data and have Wolfram automatically turn this data into a downloadable chart.
It is so far unclear if Apple and Wolfram plan to bring such features to the iPhone 4S (and indeed future devices which may carry support for Siri) – However, given the current extent at which the computing engine is already baked into iOS, it certainly couldn’t hurt, specially if Apple knew it could charge – (via a possibly deal struck with Wolfram) – for these “extra” Siri-linked, computation services.[via AppleInsider]