We Asked Siri To Search Wolfram Alpha For A Bunch Of Pokémon And It Did Not Go Well
Siri < Dexter. Calling it now.
After learning that Wolfram Alpha had added 649 Pokémon to its Siri-accessible database, we were pretty stoked. Now you can use your iPhone just like an actual Pokédex, right? Well, in theory yes. In execution, not so much just yet. We tested the new feature out and here’s what we have to report.
We started with the easiest, most easily identifiable Pokémon of them all. It should be noted, of course, that we had to ask Siri specifically to search Wolfram Alpha. That used to be a given, but since the new iOS switch she’s also now equipped to search Wikipedia, Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Once you get past that, however, the feature seemed to work just fine.
While it’s not a completely comprehensive list of Pokédetails, it gives you a lot of the weird stuff you’d get in a pokédex entry, such as height, weight, gender proportion, natural abilities, and general statistics, as well as an associated plane curve that is pretty insightful:
But of course, everybody knows about Pikachu. Let us branch out a little:
Success! It doesn’t tell you what’s under a Diglett, unfortunately, but odds are that we’ll never figure out what’s happening there.
Now we were feeling pretty good about our chances, so we decided to up the stakes and ask Siri about one of the newest generation of pokémon. I had one in mind — Sylveon, the adorable new fairy evolution for Eevee that I’ve been obsessed with for days.
Siri, however, did not share my adoration.
Okay, that’s fair — it’s the newest generation and not even the standard sources of pokémon information like Serebii and Bulbapedia are up to date on those yet. Let’s try an earlier generation — Cyndaquil, maybe?
Fine, let’s try a later generation pokémon that even people who don’t necessarily know the newer games would still recognize. I heard you like them, after all.
No!! You’re so close, Siri! You’re so close!
So clearly this feature still needs a lot of work before you’ll be able to use it as seamlessly as everyone would like to, which does makes sense if we’re being practical. After all, the first generation of pokémon has been around for 1996 — well, 1998 for their American names, technically — and as popular as the new games have been of late, they’ll never live up to the insanity that surrounded those first 151. So of course everybody knows how to pronounce Charizard ans Pikachu and Diglett. It’s basically part of the zeitgeist for 20-somethings all over the country.
In the meantime, if you want to be able to use your phone as a pokédex, there are plenty of apps that can help you out with that. And the browser version of Wolfram Alpha still has a good chunk of information about all the pokémon prior to Generation VI. Yes, they even have charts for every pokémon.