When the iPhone 4S was released, Siri was lauded as the best innovation that a smartphone could come up with and it got a lot of people buying the iPhone. However, several months after the release of the 4S, it appears as though the voice assistant’s appeal has died down and it has nothing to do with users being bored of hearing the same tone over and over again! In fact, the reasons appears purely technical and are in fact legitimate.
Several users have found that they are having trouble communicating with the voice assistant service because Siri is either unavailable or doesn’t have the capability to provide the right information. This discomfort seems rather widespread and studies have shown that the voice assistant goes wrong as much as 38% of the time, meaning it provides correct results 62% of the time. Moreover, if the conversation is handled in a calm room, the result improves to 68%. However, this doesn’t appear to be satisfying enough to users who regularly use Google’s typed search. Google Search reportedly has an accuracy of 86% and though it is unfair to compare a voice assistant to a type search, it is inevitable and Apple’s innovative feature is clearly losing out to the more straightforward Google approach.
Several users have also turned off Siri on the iPhone and have resorted to using the voice dictation feature to take down messages and the like. It is not fair to compare this to typing but the only way that Siri is seen as a viable alternative is if Apple can beef up the quality. When it was initially released, the voice assistant feature was said to be in its beta mode indicating that it was still under development and analysts believe that the iOS 6, which is scheduled to be released this fall will have an improved version of the feature.
One key area that Apple should be looking at is the phrasing of the request. Usually Siri performs a task only when it is told in a certain manner and having alternates in this regard will be better for those habituated to a particular manner of speech. Troubles like this have caused several users to jump directly to doing the task themselves. Hopefully, the new Siri can improve upon the current phase and perhaps users can give it another go.