There’s a lot to love about the iPhone. Apple puts an enormous amount of resources to ensure the iPhone is the cream of the crop of mobile devices. That work has paid off: the iPhone X is arguably the best smartphone ever made.
Yet there is still one issue that plagues the iPhone often and continuously: Siri still doesn’t work very well. In fact, at times, she kind of sucks.
For the basics, Siri works admirably. Asking it to set alarms, timers or reminders is pleasantly easy. Same thing when you ask it to call somebody, launch an app or play music. Again, the task is performed in a satisfying manner. But asking it more complicated questions results in disappointing answers. One of these most frustrating aspects of Siri is its knowledge. Easy questions are answered, but anything more nuanced and you are presented with a web result. This happens a lot.
It’s too inconsistent for its own good. One of Google Assistant’s best functions is context awareness, in which you can keep asking questions about a specific topic without mentioning the topic in every question. Siri can do this too, but only with a few select subjects.
Asking Siri multiple questions about Kobe Bryant, such as how old is he and where is he from yields informative results without having to mention his name again after the first question. I tried this with director Christopher Nolan, and all I was presented with was a web result.
Again, this is something Siri has the capability of doing, yet doesn’t do consistently.
Another minor detail Google added to Google Assistant is the ability to read web results. Often times, Google Assistant too delivers web results, but since it reads the information, it feels like your question is answered. Siri does not, and thus, you feel left hanging. For my Christopher Nolan query, Siri pulled up the proper information, and let me know he is a Hollywood director, but it didn’t read the results. It’s a minor difference that goes a long way.
What makes Siri’s shortcomings so frustrating is that Apple was the first company to create a smart assistant in 2011, yet now, it lags behind Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa in key features. And what compounds this frustration is that for all the resources Apple has dedicated to Siri, the assistant is still a work in progress—seven years after debuting.
Apple is said to be focusing on the reliability of iOS 12 instead of working on new features. Hopefully, this means Siri will see some much needed upgrades. What do you think? Does Siri work for your or do you find it frustrating too?