Siri: Waiting, waiting, waiting. . .

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
2,923
3,777
I understand Siri is technically a beta product (and has been for over a year now.) I don't care about all the things it can't do. There are plenty of useful things it can do for me now that iOS 6 has been released and it's been updated.

My biggest complaint about Siri is the time it sometimes takes for it to respond. Sometimes, the response from Siri is instantaneous; but lately, more often than not, I'm waiting 20-30 seconds for a response. When the delay occurs, sometimes I will eventually get the response I was looking for, and other times Siri just says, "Sorry, there's a problem. Try again."

Didn't Apple build a new data center in North Carolina to help manage the huge influx of data they were going to be receiving thanks to iCloud and Siri requests and the like? Why, after a year in beta, is this delay still occurring? They should be overestimating on their forecasts for demand and server loads. Based on the relative unresponsiveness of Siri, it seems like they're not keeping up.

On another note, my experience with the voice dictation is that it's almost always instantaneous -- even when I dictate an entire paragraph. Clearly, they're using a different cluster of servers for the voice dictation feature. Anybody else's experiences different from mine?
 

12dylan34

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2009
877
3
Same experience here. It was annoying me so much this morning because I really needed directions somewhere when I was driving and it wouldn't work. It really makes it look like a terrible quality service. It might be the reason that I switch to Android when my contract is up.
 

Drag'nGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2008
1,753
28
I've had this issue when using the app from the lock screen. If I first swipe to unlock and then use it from the home screen the problem goes away. Odd... But since it's intermittent I made a behavior change to just unlock the phone before using Siri. I usually have something else to do than just ask it a question so this is faster in general to me.
 

AlphaVictor87

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
797
27
Saint Louis, MO
I'm right there with you OP. I use dictation and as long as i'm not in my building at work (where my internet is super slow on my phone) its pretty instantaneous.

however last night i was taking a new route home from a friends house at 10pm on a sunday night and i figured that most people wouldn't be bogging siri down at that time, but it still took a good 30 seconds before my route came up and i almost missed the turn thanks to that.

very much looking forward to updates to all this
 

cyks

macrumors 68020
Jul 24, 2002
2,090
7
Westchester County, NY
Adding another 'me too' to the list as there's been a noticeable difference over the past few weeks.

My biggest complaint about it is that, more often than not, it will have no problem displaying "call ____" or "play _____" but won't follow threw with the request.
 

Sankersizzle

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2010
838
2
Canadadada
Usually it's super fast for me but lately, she's been sitting there spinning around her stupid purple microphone for significantly longer than usual.
 

Joesmith13245

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2012
180
21
Siri is still beta? I would hope after close to a year it would now be official.

The waiting you are experiencing is due to the inconsistent backend processing performed in the Apple datacenters. I experience this 1 of 4 times I use Siri. Even when connected to wifi.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,860
645
Hawaii, USA
Adding another 'me too' to the list as there's been a noticeable difference over the past few weeks.
Same here. Siri used to respond within one second. More often than not, it will now take a few seconds, and even then it doesn't always come back with the response. My guess is that their servers are overloaded. Perhaps they have the turn-by-turn navigation routing working with the same servers and are giving it priority? It's pretty disappointing to see that a company as cash-rich and user experience-focused as Apple could suffer from problems like this, and for this length of time.
 

urkel

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2008
2,783
864
I don't mind waiting or getting a time out when I'm asking her to fetch data. But what gets me is when it's a local command like dictating text or opening an app. it would make sense to split what gets sent to their servers and what should be processed internally.
 

TableSyrup

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2012
313
1
To add to this, I wish, when data is unavailable, she could still perform internal commands like 'Call Kristin' or whatever.

Sucks really bad that she's completely data dependent.

They need to build her into the OS for local tasks like making calls, sending texts, reminders, notes, reading messages, etc etc etc... data for the rest...

EDIT: I see this was also already mentioned.... so , yeah , duh ..... drives me nuts
 
Last edited:

Hornet9988

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2011
20
3
It depends on what I'm asking...

The response from Siri has been very inconsistent lately. Sports scores are coming up instantly, but in recent weeks simple tasks, like playing a specific song, take very long to complete, if I'm not given the line about a problem. Turn by Turn has been working but asking, "What's my ETA" yield no response. I couldn't even get it to set an alarm while on WiFi.
My guess, adding the iPad and the activation of more than 5 million iPhone 5's (we can assume that most iPhone 4S's are still running since people who updated out of contract would absolutely sell their 4S to make a little back) has overloaded the servers.
Also aren't the new iPod touches making their way to customers?
 

PrometheusGeek

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2012
231
0
For me, when I ask Siri something that requires a location result, it takes a while to get an answer. Immediately, though, it recognizes my question and puts it on the screen, then sits and spins waiting to answer. However, if I ask something that doesn't involve a location (like, "how many cups in a quart"), the response is much quicker. Here's what's think:
The servers are working fine (for me, at least), given that it recognizes my question immediately and answers certain questions quickly. But with location based questions, the response is slower, because it is taking a while to determine my location. Whether this is due to the GPS spinning up, or what, I'm not sure. But the issue doesn't seem to be Siri itself, rather the GPS/location services on the device.
 

ECUpirate44

macrumors 603
Mar 22, 2010
5,750
8
NC
Here too. I don't understand why she needs an internet connection for reading messages or dictating a text.
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 2, 2010
2,923
3,777
The response from Siri has been very inconsistent lately. Sports scores are coming up instantly, but in recent weeks simple tasks, like playing a specific song, take very long to complete, if I'm not given the line about a problem. Turn by Turn has been working but asking, "What's my ETA" yield no response. I couldn't even get it to set an alarm while on WiFi.
My guess, adding the iPad and the activation of more than 5 million iPhone 5's (we can assume that most iPhone 4S's are still running since people who updated out of contract would absolutely sell their 4S to make a little back) has overloaded the servers.
Also aren't the new iPod touches making their way to customers?
If they're not yet, they will be soon. It just drives me nuts that this delay issue is happening. Apple's had a year to analyze the usage patterns of Siri and to know how much data their servers need to be ready to process.

I wish they would've basically taken the amount of server resources they had for Siri for the 4S launch and increased it eight or nine fold. That would've probably been more than adequate for bringing the iPad third gen, iPhone 5, and latest iPod Touch online with Siri.

Another thing. . .had this been any other company, I could give them a pass on account of either lack of financial or technological resources. In Apple's case, neither of those things really apply because as the most valuable company on the planet, they should be able to hire the most technologically savvy people on the planet to knock this stuff out of the park. I just don't understand why a year later, Siri is not close to flawless at what it does. . .beta label or not.

----------

For me, when I ask Siri something that requires a location result, it takes a while to get an answer. Immediately, though, it recognizes my question and puts it on the screen, then sits and spins waiting to answer. However, if I ask something that doesn't involve a location (like, "how many cups in a quart"), the response is much quicker. Here's what's think:
The servers are working fine (for me, at least), given that it recognizes my question immediately and answers certain questions quickly. But with location based questions, the response is slower, because it is taking a while to determine my location. Whether this is due to the GPS spinning up, or what, I'm not sure. But the issue doesn't seem to be Siri itself, rather the GPS/location services on the device.
I haven't had the same result. Earlier, I asked it what a sports score was and it took close to 20 seconds to put my question on the screen and once it did that, I had the answer within a few seconds. I've had the same thing happen with reminders.

It's inconsistent, though. Sometimes it will put my question up on the screen immediately, sit there, and answer it 20 seconds later or tell me it's encountered a problem and to try again.

I haven't been able to nail down a specific pattern for a particular question or task.
 

KeepCalmPeople

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2012
1,292
355
San Francisco Bay Area, California
The bottom line:
For me (and a lot of other users, the majority even) Siri is not reliable enough to be anything other than a novelty. I would not want to be in a position where I had to rely on it.

As people have noted, given Apple's deep pockets, we are all disappointed that a service that was the 'gotta have' feature a year ago has not advanced more. It doesn't give me faith that another of their server-side 'gotta have' apps, Apple Maps, will get better very quickly either.
 
Last edited:

Ecofriend

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2012
43
0
I don't mind waiting or getting a time out when I'm asking her to fetch data. But what gets me is when it's a local command like dictating text or opening an app. it would make sense to split what gets sent to their servers and what should be processed internally.
The complex voice recognition. Software necessary for Siri to recognize all of the different phrases and question and requests is liejly too much to run on the iPhone. The requests just use too much memory and processing power to support, so for the time being, all requests to Siri need to be on data. I believe that this is the same with androids voice software
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,871
I try to use Siri any chance I get for text dictation, reading text, setting alarms, looking up data, making calls, etc etc.

It's always been hit or miss for me. It's very annoying it usually likes to not work when someone else is around. Lol

I wish a lot more data was local like data for text messaging. It's very annoying to get those 3 purple dots that just go away when it fails.
 

cyks

macrumors 68020
Jul 24, 2002
2,090
7
Westchester County, NY
I was on the phone with a support manager regarding the maps and decided to bring up this issue as well.

As was (somewhat) expected, they gave me the same exact advice that they gave me for the useless maps in my area - restore my phone.

When I questioned why it would sometimes work instantly and other times take 30 seconds (or fail), the scripted response was that Siri is software, that sometimes problems arise with it and the best thing I could do is back-up my phone and restore from it or, if that doesn't work, do a complete factory restore.

Helpful, no doubt... :rolleyes:
 

dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2005
1,539
64
It really makes it look like a terrible quality service. It might be the reason that I switch to Android when my contract is up.
Ya right. Where they may not even have equivalent function.
My Thunderbolt has a firmware bug where half the time the microphone wouldn't pick up at all. Much worse than a slow Siri server. And even worse, the Android error message would tell me to speak louder. Many time I almost threw it out the window and hope someone would run over it. I may still do that...

----------

My biggest complaint about Siri is the time it sometimes takes for it to respond. Sometimes, the response from Siri is instantaneous; but lately, more often than not, I'm waiting 20-30 seconds for a response. When the delay occurs, sometimes I will eventually get the response I was looking for, and other times Siri just says, "Sorry, there's a problem. Try again."
Same thing happens to me. I hope they increase capacity or fix the network issue. I've found that if it takes more than a couple of seconds, I can cancel and tell it again. More often than not, it responds quickly the second time.
 

sneaky butcher

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2011
345
0
Last edited:

Dominicanyor

macrumors 65816
Apr 1, 2012
1,124
214
Florida
Same experience here. It was annoying me so much this morning because I really needed directions somewhere when I was driving and it wouldn't work. It really makes it look like a terrible quality service. It might be the reason that I switch to Android when my contract is up.
I Agree with you it takes to long for many things.

----------

I was on the phone with a support manager regarding the maps and decided to bring up this issue as well.

As was (somewhat) expected, they gave me the same exact advice that they gave me for the useless maps in my area - restore my phone.

When I questioned why it would sometimes work instantly and other times take 30 seconds (or fail), the scripted response was that Siri is software, that sometimes problems arise with it and the best thing I could do is back-up my phone and restore from it or, if that doesn't work, do a complete factory restore.

Helpful, no doubt... :rolleyes:
I did the factory restore and I'm not going to do that again.
 

HelveticaNeue

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2010
635
41
I've noticed the issue on my 4S ever since the iPhone 5 launched. At first, I chalked it up to millions of additional users playing with Siri for the first time. But it's been weeks and Siri is deadly slow on both my 4S and 5. I have stopped using Siri now because it takes less time for me to set the timer or reply to a text myself than to ask Siri.

Really hope Apple fixes this issue soon. From using a 4S all last year, I know how snappy Siri can be. But people who are used to Siri must really think this feature sucks.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.