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iPhone Hardware and Accessories Discuss iPhone hardware

Serious Siri Problems


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Scott Baret

 
Member Since: Mar 30, 2008
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I'm having some serious issues with Siri on my iPhone 4S, purchased a few weeks ago.

I really haven't used it much at all aside from making two phone calls to test it out early on. I figured I'd play around with it a bit and I've been disappointed.

I asked it if it was going to snow tomorrow. This resulted in a "no match found".

Figuring I'd do something simpler, I asked how many inches are in a foot. It replied by attempting to call some random number.

My next attempt at asking a question resulted in the phone nearly calling one of my contacts. Finally, I asked to e-mail someone and it tried to set up a FaceTime chat with someone completely different.

Any idea what's going on here?

Education is life.
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Scott Baret

 
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Never mind...I found the problem. Siri had been turned off in settings, leaving me with just "voice control". I compared this against some else's iPhone who was not having issues.

I'm surprised it wasn't activated out of the box.

Education is life.
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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Maybe you got one of the Chinese ones by accident? Who knows - Siri goes up and down periodically - maybe she's having some issues. Were these issues all in one sitting or has this been the case every time over weeks? If so - you'll probably want to ask Apple what's going on.
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Scott Baret

 
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I think it had more to do with Siri not being turned "on" in my settings. Again, I'm not sure why it was turned off when I got the phone, but it seems to be working OK now--it's actually setting up an e-mail to a contact instead of playing all my Bob Dylan songs (the contact I tried is named neither Bob nor Dylan) and answering questions normally.

For what it's worth, all of this was tonight, which was my first chance to really get to play around with Siri.

Education is life.
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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Yes - I think you posted your discovery just as I was clicking post. Glad you're up and running.
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Timmorris9

 
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Ive seen this a few times --but today I paid closer attention..

I ask about the closest men's clothing store. The response was I have found several near you...then when I looked at the list they were all 5 miles or more away when I knew for certain there were several across the parking lot from the hotel I am staying in..

Now one of them was a dedicated men's clothing store..go it's not about whether it was a generic vs men's clothing store..

So next I tried clothing store...without saying men's clothing store....again the closest one given was 3.4 miles away..the ones across the parking lot not even mentioned..now I have the wireless on and working..and the 3G on and working with AT&T..and I see my position is accurate on the map..so why does it only tell me about some stores, but not all of them? The ones it missed were national chains..and all had been there some some..? To me this is a serious flaw..and makes me doubt the usefulness of this app..

I travel all the time as a pilot , so I got this hoping it would help me find restaurants and hotels, shopping , points of interest etc..but it's not accurate..and to me that's not acceptable..when I don't have a car to use..the difference between the closest whatever is going and not going..

If it can't handle something simple? What am I missing here?

So now I tried sushi restaurant..again the closest it gave was miles away..then I switched to yelp and there were 2 within walking distance..

I haven't had this long but it looks like a bust to me..
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chas_m

 
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Originally Posted by Timmorris9 View Post
I ask about the closest men's clothing store. The response was I have found several near you...then when I looked at the list they were all 5 miles or more away when I knew for certain there were several across the parking lot from the hotel I am staying in..
You have Siri confused with God.

Siri only knows about businesses that are listed with its sources (which should include Yelp, so I'm not sure why you're getting different results than Yelp). Only god knows everything.

Please note also that Siri is in beta. It's not done yet. It's still learning.
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Scott Baret

 
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Honestly, the whole release of something in beta really bothers me. Apple has never done that before (unless you count the embryonic OS X 10.0, which felt a lot like a beta) and has released polished products, going so far as to spend months and years to perfect things.

Yes, Google releases everything in beta and then keeps it that way for a half decade or more, but I expected more from Apple. It's like they rushed to get it out so they'd have some exciting feature to sell the 4S with, even though it wasn't done.

The last overly rushed product outside of 10.0 I can think of was the IIvx--a Mac everyone complained about due to its generic case design, sluggish performance, and intentionally crippled bus. (It came about because Apple wanted to release a machine with a CD-ROM within a certain timeframe). The IIvx was one of those products that gave mid-90s Apple a bad name.

Yes, Siri is a little different, since it's an "exciting new item" (definitely more exciting than a CD-ROM) and a favorite toy for novice users, but for a 23-year Apple veteran, the entire concept seems to be one of the most unpolished things to come out of Cupertino.

That being said, I think this has a lot of potential, but if they are even thinking of putting it on Macs, iPads, or a forthcoming TV, they'd better perfect it.

Still, it can be sort of fun. My friends jokingly told me to tell Siri that I loved her. I did, and it said "I bet you say that to all your Apple products." Mine was the first Siri I have heard say that, so perhaps it read into iCloud to see that I have two Macs, an iPhone, an iPad, and an iPod Touch linked to iCloud?

Education is life.
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Siri also, to become fully useful, needs something those other products really didn't need. It needs actual use. It needs this to learn standard queries and tasks. Unfortunately, that comes with growing pains. It's also the kind of use, that to be honest, that in limited beta would take YEARS to even come close. Of course, since it's completely new function and isn't in anyway a requirement for the phones use (or to be honest enjoyment) you can always choose not to participate in this very public beta.

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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Baret View Post
Honestly, the whole release of something in beta really bothers me. Apple has never done that before (unless you count the embryonic OS X 10.0, which felt a lot like a beta)
Not to be argumentative, but I must disagree. Apple has released beta products MANY MANY TIMES, but always pointing out that it was a beta. I have a copy of the Mac OS X Public Beta (which sold for $30) in a drawer next to my desk as just one example. This came out BEFORE 10.0.

Also, Apple very often puts out software that represents a huge break from what's gone before, and spends several revisions polishing it up. Remember iMovie 07? Oh the howls and gnashing of teeth!! But nowadays everyone thinks its awesome, and it has in a big way pushed the entire video industry forward.

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It's like they rushed to get it out so they'd have some exciting feature to sell the 4S with, even though it wasn't done.
You could be right, but I would say Siri's pretty remarkable as-is. A group of us were over at a friend's house last night and played with their iPhone 4S and Siri for hours ... no problems with anyone's voice, of course one much enunciate clearly as English is a language loaded with homonyms and such. There were of course many things it couldn't do, but what it can do is remarkable, particularly in the area of translating natural language.

I would also note that the smartphone business is INCREDIBLY competitive, far more so than computers, which may explain the motivation to get the technology out there first. Also, the whole idea behind Siri is that it will learn and get better from collected user input, so a huge "beta test" is actually a very good idea. By the time copycat Android manages to get something half as good as Siri out there, the next-generation Siri will be out or in the wings.

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Still, it can be sort of fun. My friends jokingly told me to tell Siri that I loved her. I did, and it said "I bet you say that to all your Apple products." Mine was the first Siri I have heard say that, so perhaps it read into iCloud to see that I have two Macs, an iPhone, an iPad, and an iPod Touch linked to iCloud?
This is exactly what I'm talking about. Try some of these:

"Will I need an umbrella tomorrow? (wait for result) What about on Thursday?"

"Where is the movie Tintin playing near me? (wait for result) Is there a showing after 8pm at the (name of cinema)?"

"I have locked myself out of my house."

"Read me the email from (bob) about (his vacation)."

"Sing me a song."

In most cases, you will get an answer much more quickly than you would if you had just fired up a web browser or email program and tried to find the results yourself. It's particularly remarkable that it understands context, such as when you say "what about on Thursday" and it knows you mean in relation to your last question. That's a HUGE advance in voice learning, not to mention the fact that it requires no training at all.
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