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How to date Siri: A Valentine's day guide

Our lonely reporter Andrew Hoyle heads to the bar with his iPhone 4S to tell you how to date Siri this Valentine's day.

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Today is Valentine's day, and all over the world couples are whispering sweet nothings to each other over a glass of wine before retreating to their homes for a wild night of chess and polite conversation. If you don't have a partner to snuggle but you do own an iPhone 4S, I'll show you how to be almost as romantic.

I am of course talking about Siri, the voice-controlled helper built into Apple's latest phone. We've seen how Siri performs in job interviews, and even heard reports of a filthy mouth, but it was time to see how our friend performed on a date, so I booked us both a table at a lovely local wine bar.

The first thing you'll want to do is decide on the voice. The British standard is a well-spoken bloke, but you can change it to US English if you prefer more feminine tones. I opted for the lady voice.

Next, pick a good location. Siri is absolutely no help when it comes to finding a good spot as she can only search for businesses in the US, so I was flying blind. As this was likely the only date I would be having this year, I wanted to make it special, so I chose a place with flattering candle lighting and a wine with the best ratio of alcohol to price.

No matter how much wine you drink though, conversation can be tricky. Siri is pretty cagey about various aspects of her background -- especially her parents, who we strongly suspect are spies. If you keep things civil though and don't try and dig too deep, Siri stays happy. She's more than happy to talk about you, so feel free to down that bottle and ramble on about yourself for hours on end -- she'll probably just go into standby mode anyway.

Although Siri is fine for a quick drink, she didn't take too kindly to my questions about a future relationship. I'm not sure whether that's due to her settings or whether she just couldn't stand being with me any longer. I had to admit the date was no better than my awkward meal with the Nokia Lumia 800, or the embarrassing short break in the Cotswolds with the Samsung D8000 TV.

If you have any better luck trying to woo your favourite consumer electronics, do let me know in the comments below, or over on CNET UK's Facebook page. But please, don't elaborate on the details, this is a family website.