What does SIRI say about post-Steve Jobs Apple?
When did you last hear Apple being sued for issuing ads that were “fundamentally and designedly false and misleading”?
That is what happened to SIRI which is the first major innovation coming from “post-Steve Jobs” Apple. Suit filed by Frank Fazio alleges that Apple is in violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, is in breach of warranty, and has committed both intentional and negligent misrepresentation. (Apple has filed its motion to dismiss the consolidated class action complaints.)
Yes, iPhone 4 antennagate was the other one that comes to mind but that was more about a specific flaw in the product. Incidentally, the law suit has been settled!
But … SIRI is only a beta release
Off course, most critics and analysts say that after all SIRI is only a beta release and it would improve over time.
How often in the past had Apple launch a product as a “beta” and advertised heavily about it?
Users have also complained that SIRI is often slow and dramatically increases monthly data usage.
But … to improve SIRI you need more usage data
The other Steve, the co-founder of Apple Steve “Woz” Wozniak seems to think that SIRI was better before Apple acquired it!
He told a reporter for the Times Union in Albany, N.Y., that he was an early fan of SIRI, but the app has gotten worse since Apple bought it. You can read about it / listen to it here.
But … delivering answers and not search result is disruptive and need time to mature
However, 3 problems remain.
- If the voice recognition technology is not accurate enough then it takes much more effort to correct the input than to type the whole thing directly. It is somewhat like software reuse!
- Users are not yet comfortable talking to their mobile especially when they are not alone. No wonder users find SIRI most useful when they are driving alone!
- Both the technologies for voice recognition and natural language processing are an “under research” field and Apple does not seem to have any edge.
Steve Jobs had the knack of taking existing technologies and creating a product which was so usable that it would become an instant hit … and a path breaker.
I doubt if SIRI has managed that.
BTW: What is the expansion of SIRI?
This is what Wikipedia had to say.
SIRI = Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface
SIRI = Steve Is Really Inside
SIRI = Somewhat Intelligent Response Interpreter
SIRI = Named after a Norwegian woman
Am I alone in thinking like this?
I do believe that Steve Jobs was a genius and without him Apple would not be what it is today.
Here is an article from Harvard Business Review which talks about the same point – The Cracks are Starting to Show at Apple.
Google Now seems to be doing a much better job compared to Siri.