Siri Is Apple’s Broken Promise

Mat Honan:

I’m sorry. Beta? Beta is for Google. When Apple does a public beta, it usually keeps it out of the hands of the, you know, public. It typically makes you go get betas. It doesn’t force them on you, much less advertise them. Not that it is an effective disclaimer for the vast buying public. For most people who see Apple’s ads, and buy iPhones, the word beta means nothing at all.

I like Siri, and use it, at least for text dictation, almost every day. But even for me — for whom Siri’s dictation accuracy is remarkably good — the whole thing still isn’t up to Apple’s usual level of fit and finish, not by a long shot.

But I’m still glad it’s there. I think the iPhone 4S is better off with Siri in its current state than it would be if Apple had waited until Siri was further along to release it. And I think part of why they released it as a beta is that it’ll be easier to improve voice recognition while it’s being widely used. But there’s no denying that it’s damn weird for the flagship new feature in Apple’s flagship new product to be so rough around the edges.

★ Monday, 5 December 2011

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