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Dropped from App Store, Siri Assistant to stop working Oct. 15

Siri may be coming to the iPhone 4S, but Siri Assistant's days as an iOS app are numbered.

The free search app had been available as a download from the App Store, but it disappeared shortly after Tuesday's iPhone 4S announcement, when Apple revealed it would build voice-driven search and dictation features directly into the new smartphone.

People who have already downloaded Siri Assistant, however, are being informed that the app will stop performing voice-driven searches on October 15. According to a screenshot provided by a Macworld.com reader, Siri Assistant tells users, "I've been replaced! The new Siri is even smarter and better-looking than me, and waiting for you on the iPhone 4S. I'll be leaving for home Oct. 15th."

iPhone users could tap into Siri Assistant to find nearby restaurants, movies, events, and other information. The app could also handle tasks like email directions, requesting taxis, and placing dinner reservations. Apple purchased the company that built Siri in April 2010.

Many of the features of the mobile app will be incorporated into Apple's latest iPhone. The iPhone 4S's Siri feature will be able to answer questions that you ask--what the weather forecast is, what restaurants are nearby, and how you can get to places. Siri can also set alarms, read you notifications, schedule calendar events, and reply to messages. In addition, the iPhone 4S will offer system-wide transcription, so users will be able to tap a microphone button on the phone's on-screen keyboard to dictate text.

Siri will only be available through the iPhone 4S, which goes on sale October 14. It costs $199, $299, and $399 for 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively.

We've put in a call to Apple to confirm the fate of Siri Assistant; we'll update the story if we hear back.

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