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Thread: Quirks Noticed when Using Siri

  1. #1
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    Quirks Noticed when Using Siri

    This is my first post here, and I haven't noticed anything of the sort on this forum so here goes. I realize that Siri is beta software, and still has a long way to come before it is a "must-have" for any phone. I'm loving what Siri can do thus far, from the witty, sassy comments, to the plain-downright quizzical replies. I have been trying to find ways to "break" Siri's brain, and I have managed to do it quite frequently (which saddens me and enlightens me all at the same time) I'll list some of them here, and I was hoping that the community would share their experiences, and maybe Apple will take note of the feedback in order to improve the functionality in a future release.

    - Siri has difficulty showing me places that are "near" me sometimes. While to its defense, I asked it something it didn't quite understand. I said "When should I goto bed?" It found me a Bed, Bath and Beyond that was "fairly close" to me...89 miles away. There is a Bed, Bath and Beyond that is 1.8 miles from where I live. Why didn't it find the close one?

    - I have found a few times where asking Siri something it does not understand results in a "Something went wrong, please try again." When this happens, it does not re-activate the microphone, like it does when I'm replying to a command that Siri requests of me (like when composing a text or setting up a reminder). I'm curious why that was left out.

    - Siri does not work well when using it in your pocket. The microphone works pretty well with noise cancelling, but I've found that it has difficulty picking up what must be muffled conversation. I asked Siri "What is the weather forecast for tomorrow?" while my 4S was in my pocket. It interpreted what I said as "Jean" and pulled up the first contact with the name "Jean" it could find.

    - It's curious that Siri works really well with some built-in apps and not so well with others (even though it does work somewhat with most of them). For example, Siri can set up Reminders, but once they are set up, it cannot delete or edit them for you. This is really a surprise as if I need to change my reminder I can't use Siri, but I could use Siri to set up a new reminder with what I wanted my original one changed to.

    - Another app with this curious functionality is the Calendar. You are able to create, edit, change, delete appointments using Siri unlike with the Reminders app. I managed to set up an appointment, confirm it. Then I told Siri to move the appointment to an hour later, done. Finally I told Siri to "clear my calendar for today" and it deleted all of my appointments after confirming that I wanted to remove it.

    - I have also found the same quirks with the Notes app. I can create notes and add items to existing Notes, but I can't edit or delete notes.

    - Siri also can't do anything with contacts which is a little frustrating. It would be really nice if I could say "Store new contact Bill Smith Mobile Number 1234567890", but Siri can't create, edit, or delete any contacts.

    - I have noticed too that while Apple was experiencing server issues with Siri, the voice recognition was awful. I was trying to send a message and said "Send" to confirm. Siri replied "I'm sorry, I don't understand 'And'." I eventually had to push the Send button manually after retrying 4 or 5 times. I ran into the same problem saying "Yes" as it interpreted that as "Yet" which it couldn't make heads or tails of.

    There have been reports that Siri can still function as voice recognition when it doesn't have a connection to Apple's servers, has anyone verified this is the case (with what apps have you found this to be true)? I was having trouble yesterday, and it seemed to let me call someone in my contacts, but later I ran into difficulties when trying the same thing.

    Like I said, I know it's Beta software so the bugs and quirks will be worked out over time. What other quirks have you guys noticed when using Siri, or what do you think of the ones I've mentioned?



  2. #2
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    Please post this on the official Apple forum. This is very well written and should be read by the Siri team.
    Facts are the first casualty of bad information.

  3. #3
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    I posted this over on the Apple forum, thanks for the idea!

    Moderation Notice: This post has been edited by a member of staff in accordance with the Forum Rules
    EDIT: Sorry, I didn't realize posting a link to the Apple forum was against the rules. I'll be more careful in the future.
    Last edited by Nemesis; 11-04-2011 at 11:45 AM.
    iPhone 4S 32 GB White

  4. #4
    jpcamaro70
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    i know this isn't a quirk but by design. Siri doesn't rely on on-board voice control it's all through the network and yoiu need to have a very good connection for it to operate. That's ok, except when driving, an on-board voice control system to text only would be wonderful and would work well, like droids. I find this voice system to be well behind the curve, yes it's smart, but so what that funny stuff fades away after the first day, I want useful voice control.

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I'm not defending Siri as the best thing ever either, but I find that when I'm in my car, it is so easy to send a text message via voice, and that said, so much easier than it was with my Droid. With my Droid, sure I had the ability to use the microphone and interpret speech into the body of a text message, but I had to be 'typing' already for that to work. I had to "type" somewhat while driving, which I was unhappy doing. With Siri, you can say "Text Bob that I will be 30 minutes late". Siri looks up Bob and creates a message that says "I will be 30 minutes late", at which point you can change the message, cancel or send it. Not to mention, when Siri is set up with Bluetooth it will read the message back to you so you can verify that you are sending the right message.

    Maybe you're just saying that you'd like it have voice to text capabilities without using the network? I find that with the network, Siri does a much better job than my Droid ever did with voice control. I tried out Vlingo a week or so before getting my 4S, and I was incredibly disappointed by what the app claimed it could do, and how it failed to perform up to expectations. Siri manages to at least meet my expectations within the limits of its programming. I don't mind that it needs the network to use its functionality, if it enhances the experience. I'm sure that Apple will upgrade the servers over the next few months to ensure that Siri has better connectivity for us users once the product finally loses the "Beta" tag.

    Have you tried using Siri to send text messages to your contacts while driving? I don't think it even compares to the Droid, personally.
    iPhone 4S 32 GB White

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE="Nemesis"

    Have you tried using Siri to send text messages to your contacts while driving? I don't think it even compares to the Droid, personally.[/QUOTE]

    yes. Tried messaging my boyfriend letting him know that "i was on my way home and will be there in 30 minutes". What Siri did was text him Saying "I'm on my way home for a bender in 30 minutes"! Not quite what I was trying to say!

    She has trouble understanding me. I'm an English born Aussie so you'd think I'd stand a chance. But no. She's hopeless! Funny but hopeless.

  7. #7
    jpcamaro70
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    I appreciate the last two replies as they relate to my specific problem. While driving is when i need siri.

    sometime she works and sometimes she doesn't, mostly doesn't. i get network errors, "i'm sorry i'm having a problem with that". I cannot connect to the network stuff. I live on LI, NY and we have pretty good 3g around here. I use the phone in a minimalist case (griffin reveal) and drive a relatively new (2010) car that is pretty quiet, also, I speak proper english.

    Since i have to keep asking siri to do something, or to write something and just waiting for her to tell me no, this is where the droid was far better. I would open a text, hit the microphone button and speak. It was basic stuff compared to what siri can do, BUT, it worked 99% of the time. While siri works 40-50% of the time.

    Regarding contacts, yes, especially when you update your relationships to people or make sure their last name is in there. So that works good, " Text my daughter" and siri will start a text to my daughter, that's great but not the major part of voice to text.
    bostondoppler likes this.

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    8nobody8, I don't want to assume anything, but are you saying that Siri has trouble understanding you because you have an accent? I do find that the speech recognition is not perfect, but then again neither was my droid. I have to enunciate certain words to show that I'm saying "game" versus "gain" or something similar.

    As for the relationships aspect, all you need to do is ask Siri if she knows who your son/daughter/brother/sisiter/girlfriend/wife, etc is, and if she doesn't know she will ask you to pick a contact for her to remember for that designation. I have found that it works pretty well to ask Siri to text/call or lookup those designation contacts, but you may see mixed results depdending on how similar those are to other contacts in your phone.

    I discovered another disappointing quirk this weekend too. Siri doesn't have the ability to control the phone; I can't enable/disable Bluetooth, I can't enable/disable Wi-Fi, and I can't launch Apps by asking Siri. She just says "I'm sorry I can't do that" or she won't understand what I mean. It is probably the biggest gripe I have with my iPhone thus far compare to Droid, that there is no easy on/off switch for the Bluetooth. Sure, I can go into Settings > General > Bluetooth > ON / OFF, but my droid had a dedicated button I could push on the home screen to turn it on and off. My phone before that had a physical button I could push to enable/disable Bluetooth. It would be quite a nice thing to have because I use the hands-free setup in my car when I'm driving, but I don't like my phone killing its battery when I'm not in my car so I turn it off when I'm not using it. It's unfortunate that Siri cannot assist with this task.
    iPhone 4S 32 GB White

  9. #9
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    Hey nemesis, I don't think it's an accent thing to be honest. I have a German mate whose English Siri understands perfectly. I think it may be the speed at which I speak! I guess I had made the assumption that because Siri comes in English and Aussie versions she would actually understand me when talking normally. I have been trying to speak at slower speeds with more success!

  10. #10
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    Oh yeah the lack of control like Bluetooth is especially irritating. I have faith that apple will install this feature as a future upgrade... At somepoint.


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