Is Siri’s magic wearing off?

By , Jul 16, 2012

When Apple unveiled Siri last fall, the tech world seemed genuinely excited. Sure, other platforms like Android and Windows Phone already had voice control, but Apple’s assistant seemed to be on another level.

Over the next few months, however, that excitement slowly began to wear off. Siri’s beta roots started showing with service outages, and a noticeable drop in accuracy. And then the lawsuits started to appear…

That’s right, some iPhone 4S owners have actually lodged class action lawsuits against Apple over Siri’s performance. It’s silly, really. But it’s still a sign of the times. Last month, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster gave the digital assistant a “D” rating after it proved to be only 68% accurate in a series of more than 1600 voice tests.

The New York Times’ Nick Bilton writes:

“Apple introduced Siri as a beta test, meaning it was still a work in progress. That was unusual for Apple, but the company was counting on it to change the way people searched for information on mobile devices. It wanted a head start. But it doesn’t seem ready to change anything yet. Many people I have spoken to have switched Siri off and reverted to the iPhone’s voice dictation service (the little microphone next to the keyboard), which is more reliable because it doesn’t use Siri’s artificial intelligence software.”

All of that being said, there are [obviously] still millions of people who think highly of Siri. For example, FixYa’s recent smartphone report, which involved data collected from its 25+ million users, found that only 10% of iPhone 4S owners had a problem with Siri.

Also keep in mind that the assistant is slated to get a major upgrade in iOS 6 this fall, with new features and better performance. Tim Cook himself has said that we’ll be “really pleased” with some of the things we’ll be seeing regarding the feature in the coming months.

Here’s hoping that he’s right. Android’s new Google Now voice search looks good. Really good.

What do you think? Is Siri’s magic wearing off?

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  • jose castro

    yes

  • JaeM1llz

    Seeing as how it’s still in beta and I still use it on a daily basis, I’m gonna go ahead and say that this article is extremely premature.

    • http://twitter.com/AlbertoMS89 Alberto Martinez

      Voice recognition will always be on Beta, there is not one piece of voice recognition software that will ever be perfect(at least any time soon) because each person has they’re own voice and speech pattern, even Google’s voice recognition is not perfect but right now is better than Apple’s. This article is based on the facts right now, i think Apple’s decision to say that Siri is on Beta is because they’re smart enough to recognize what i explained in the start of this comment, but the reality is that Google’s Software (this time) is superior.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-N-Shanna-Bernauer/100002948594321 Thomas N Shanna Bernauer

    At first it was a funny gag to play around with friends that quickly wore thin. Then came along all the tweaks in Cydia, that’s when I really started to use her. But then the luster wore thin as well. Buuut I still use her from time to time like calling a business and setting timers and alarms. Siri can always be improved on, just wait a few years down the road with all this data collection apple is acquiring. This could be very well one of the best in the future for voice dictation.

  • himynameisBLiNK

    magic? oh lawd

  • Ronald Weaver

    I rarely use it. I think it should automatically open your web browser when you ask a question it can answer. I get annoyed by the response of. Would like to search the web for how many days in a week are there? I know that’s a silly question to ask . But that is Siri’s typical response. Mabe I am to demanding but that’s just how I feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheeky0ne Alex Collins

    Siri has lost it for sure, I asked Siri what the best android phone on the market and it told me the iPhone. So is the iPhone an android now pmsl

  • maurid

    Oh, Google Now is a BEAST. And Android Voice Typing overall, I mean, have you seen voice dictation on the Nexus?!

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      there is voice dictation on the iphone also

      • http://twitter.com/greghesp Greg Hesp

        The improved voice dictation in Jellybean is on another level though. Google have always been way ahead of any other vendor in this department

      • http://www.facebook.com/saul.rodriguez.771 Saul Rodriguez

        Don’t agree

      • http://twitter.com/Alekseriator Alex Golubev

        stop now, coz your dumbnes is showing!

      • http://www.facebook.com/saul.rodriguez.771 Saul Rodriguez

        Ok

      • maurid

        Yeah, but does it type exactly as you speak? (Literally asking though)

  • http://twitter.com/iioke Daver

    When I ask Siri what’s her name, she says “I can’t find ‘what your name’ of stocks” …. Of course idiot! who would pay for u!

  • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

    With ios 6 us none US users at last get a more useable Siri.. So at least we can use it how it’s ment to be with out a few jailbreak tweaks … So yes I’ll still use it and for more than just text messages

  • MadAndronicus

    Me: Siri, is your magic wearing off?

    Siri: I’m sorry, I can’t take any requests right now. Please try again later. 

    • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

      Your tokens have expired. Please use assistant connect again. Lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507068701 Jorit Studer

    she drains to much battery so I turned her off hahaha :p

  • http://twitter.com/Rirath Rirath

    Google Now looks awesome, but I’m still glad to get Siri on the iPad 3 and wish Apple would port it to the iPhone 4. I get the feeling that many of the folks who are sick of Siri never had any serious plans to use it to begin with. It was amusing to them for awhile to ask ‘funny’ or stupid questions, then the gag wore off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/saul.rodriguez.771 Saul Rodriguez

    The people who has problem with siri is the people who have ACCENT

    • Kok Hean

      You didn’t realise that everyone has an accent, right?

    • http://twitter.com/lambo_man_r2 Ryan R.

      Derp.

    • maurid

      So Americans have the TRUE English language, and everyone else just has “an accent”? Is that what you’re saying, american?

  • Luke Johnston

    The technology just isn’t there yet. It was fun for a short time but honestly there are rarely any situations where its more practical to use Siri than to just do it myself. It’s a big step up from Apple’s old voice recognition on the iPhone, but it was misleading and pretty pathetic that Apple used Siri has the biggest and almost only selling point for the 4S.

  • http://www.facebook.com/breaux.mike Breaux Mike

    iPad will have a download for,Siri in the fall, am I correct?

    • http://twitter.com/Alekseriator Alex Golubev

      Only for iPad 3rd Gen will there ever be Siri. It will be installed with ios 6 in Fall on your iDevice.

  • Falk M.

    Apple could bring a lot of the magic back by stepping up their game and releasing more extensions to Siri…
    I mean seriously, if you’re not a driver and not into sports, this year’s refresh really hasn’t brought a lot.

    Walking directions no more on iOS6? Really?
    I thought being green is cool? I walk a lot, even in cities I’m new to, to explore and feel them, but I guess I’ll just keep my eyes on Google’s Apple App Store page ;)

    Oh and seriously: make Siri run locally finally for heaven’s sake.
    It would speed it incredibly! -> refer to Jelly Bean :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=49402594 Marlber ‘Malberto’ Cruz

    It’s about time people see Siri for what it is, A USELESS GIMIC!!!

  • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

    For non english useres like me Siri has not much usefull features. I cant search a resturant or get directions. Asking for stock market is not my prefered funktion and I am not into making reminders a lot. So waht is it goof for? Seraching the web? With this poor ability to understand the words i am saying? Come on Apple, you can do it better!

  • http://twitter.com/tech_plus Cezar

    Yes, it is. Siri has problems keeping up with the requests. Apple needs to be ahead of it’s users and know what they might want before they want it. I hope iPhone 5 will be really cool, including Siri, because I’m really thinking about going back to Android. That One X is a real monster from all points of view. Even S3 but I’m not a big Samsung fan. They did steal iOS UI but didn’t implement it properly :)) (ex Galaxy S owner)

  • http://www.facebook.com/hugo.oskarsson Hugo Oskarsson

    Got siri on my iphone 4 using jailbreak (it is EXACTLY the same thing). I was really excited at first and used it for about a day. But then i relized it wasnt really good at doing more than setting allarms and taking notes (wich still was faster without siri) so i switched it of LOL. Also her voice is really robotic. Not as the jellybean one that actually sounds like a HUMAN.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=728548305 Miras Safadi

    “Apple introduced Siri as a beta test, meaning it was still a work in progress” you shouldn’t complain on something on a beta test! I’m think that “siri’s magic wearing off” is only psycholgical since goolge now was intoduced (beacause it’s slightly better than siri)