It turns out Apple’s voice-based assistant software, Siri, isn’t completely useless.Siri, which Apple used heavily to market the iPhone 4S, has been regularly trashed by the tech press, and normal people, since it was released.
And when I first got the iPhone, I too, was let down by Siri. The crazy lady didn’t even know where I lived! She thought I was in New York, Texas, not New York, New York. She’s since fixed that problem and can now tell me the weather in New York, New York when I ask.
However, after a month using Siri, I can say that it’s not a complete and utter hunk of junk. It’s actually useful, but it’s definitely not for normal people, and Apple’s decision to market Siri as much as it did is a little suspect.
I ride my bike to and from work, so having a hands free option to send and receive text messages is great. If I get a text, I can squeeze on the mic of Apple’s Ear Pods and say, “Read me my unread messages.” Siri reads the message and gives me an opportunity to reply to the message.
Or, if I’m riding my bike and I remember something, like, buying toothpaste, I can say, “Remind me to buy toothpaste when I get home,” and Siri will set up a reminder.
On Wednesday night, I was riding home and passed a bar that had the Giants-Tigers game on. I asked Siri, “What’s the score of the game?” She told me, “5-0.” I was stunned since Justin Verlander was supposed to be untouchable. I asked what inning, she told me the fifth.
Siri also works well if I’m driving. I can ask her for directions some place and she’ll get them. Or, I can have her send or receive text messages.
That said, Siri can be very fickle. She can take a long time to come up with an answer. She can just conk out and deliver no results. She can rattle of a long list of options when you ask for directions, which is not all that helpful.
And, I personally don’t think Siri is simple technology that a normal person would immediately feel comfortable using. Right now, Siri is a nice thing to have, but if it went away tomorrow, I wouldn’t be all that upset. The way Apple pitched it, as a must have, revolutionary technology was a mistake. That’s why people hated it. Apple over promised and under delivered.