Why does Apple get a free pass with Siri?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by BearerOBadNews, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. BearerOBadNews, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

    BearerOBadNews macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Why is it when anyone has an issue with the way Siri works, the response they receive is "it's a Beta"? Why does Apple get a pass for releasing Beta software and then touting it as their main selling point? If this happened on another platform like Android, the people here would have skewered them, saying that they just threw something out there, or that once again an incomplete product was rushed out, or that it "lacks polish". While is Apple allowed to release products that aren't finished (even though they use it as a major selling point)? Why does apple get a free pass here?
  2. Randomoneh macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2011
    While it's true Siri has flaws, in many instances it works better than what others have to offer.

    Apple could have called it finished product. They didn't. Not a big deal, if you ask me.
  3. digitard macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2004
    Gilbert, AZ
    Because people still understand how great of a product it is, and how much more polished/solid it is than competitors.

    If there was an option existing that was 10x better already than people would be like "why didn't they use X".

    Instead they see this product that does it better than what's out there and in most cases works fine. Plus Apple has announced more Siri integration, updates, etc.

    Doesn't hurt they acknowledge it's beta as well.
  4. BearerOBadNews thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Constant server problems...it's accuracy could stand to see some improvement. Those are two big issues that I have with it. When I see people on here mention these things, every throws out the "it's a beta" excuse. I'm sorry but I don't think that's a valid response when you're talking about a feature being touted as the main selling point for a device.
  5. kdesign7 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2010
    earth, for now.
    Also, I believe the reason Apple labelled Siri as being "BETA" - so that Apple lets the general public know that the product is indeed... BETA, and beta does in tale having bugs, flaws, issues... but for the most part, workable.

    Plus.. if Apple released it labelled as a 'stable version' and had lots of bugs/flaws... then it would just give more wind to those who like to b*tch.
  6. BearerOBadNews thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I'm aware, the commercials don't inform you that it's a beta. The people in the store don't inform you that it's a beta. The only marketing leg apple has to stand on with the 4s is Siri, so they push the hell out of it. People don't care to hear about processors and gpu's so they can't really market that. In the end they present a product called Siri that happens to be in a beta, but present it like a finished product. Why is it that just because they throw the "beta" tag on it, that gives them license to release a work in progress? I could see if it was something you had to download to your phone, but this is their main selling point. Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I think your main selling point should be finished.
    Take this example: Google had "Google Music" in beta for quite a while. It was their for public consumption, but they did not publicy push the product. Once it was complete, they held an event, made deals with a cell phone carrier, etc. The key here is they didn't put the carriage before the horse. They waited for the product to be complete.
  7. mijail macrumors 6502a

    Oct 31, 2010
    Maybe the question should be something like, "Why is this Beta from Apple so good that it trounces others' 'stablished features'?"

    Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHoukZpMhDE

    As noted in Daring Fireball, a Microsoft Executive said that Siri was just marketing because Windows has had something similar for a year. In that video you can see how similar they are, and how good Apple's Beta actually is.
  8. BearerOBadNews, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2011

    BearerOBadNews thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2011
    So I'm not allowed to post about the issues that I have? I'm only allowed to post good things that you want to hear? Why's that? It's not like what I've posted is unreasonable. The things I have posted are legitimate and have merit. If you don't like it, nobody is forcing you to read it nor respond to it. *points at exit*


    I wouldn't go as far as to say it "trounces" anything. Basically, what they did was take existing voice controls and instead of using commands it uses context and that context looks for keywords and does actions based on them. Simply put, it still does commands, it just has a different way of triggering them (context). Them calling it AI is just marketing. It isn't actually AI, it's just context triggered voice controls. I will concede that they gave it more commands than what was previously out there, but it definitely isn't anything groudbreaking.
  9. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    I think they also want to collect voice samples and questions so they can improve the product. If they kept it in house they would be limited by their own voices and their own minds and ideas. But yes I agree the marketing with teh comercials and stores acting like its finished is very close to being labled underhanded. Do love it though. I use the Australian one as I prefer a women and she sort of is Kylie Minouge like.

    So a bigger question. How long before Siri All Stars hits the ap store? the app with your favourite stars voice siri style.
  10. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    Adding context is a step towards AI development. Especially when there's a bit of memory behind it to allow it to interpret that you're still talking in a certain context though your next commands are done in fragments. The ability to retain you're still talking "in relation to" a previously brought up subject is a major step. So in a way, it's kind of a necessary part of AI development even though as a whole it's not quite reached what one would call AI. The bigger issue is that until someone gets as far with said technology to truly convince people it is AI, all AI development would be not called AI by some. For me, AI fragments (considering that's the only use for them) is nothing to scoff at.
  11. mijail macrumors 6502a

    Oct 31, 2010
    You didn't even watch that video, did you?

    You have no idea what you are talking about.
    AI is a big field, which got maligned in the 80's and 90's (google for "AI winter"); that's why you barely hear about AI in itself nowadays. But effective AI is everywhere now (from grammar checking to suggestions in web shops to translators to pathfinding homecleaning robots). And having something as comprehensive and streamlined and intelligent as Siri in your telephone (or through it ;P), is groundbreaking. Or gameshifting. Or mindboggling. I'll let you choose.

    If your image of AI is C3PO or HAL, you should read a bit, or refrain on commenting on what you don't know.

    Yeah, just context. How cute.
    And brain surgery is just opening the skull, doing a bit of that surgery thing in the brains, and closing the skull. Just that.
  12. BearerOBadNews thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2011
    That is an interesting theory I hadn't considering. I think you are probably correct here, as I know for a fact that Google keeps voice recordings on hand. I also agree with you that their marketing is somewhat underhanded because to a degree I feel they are misrepresenting the product.

    This is true. I think adding context is definitely a step in the right direction as it allows for more normal speech instead of issuing a specific command. It will be interesting to see where things progress from here. Not just with Siri, but the tech industry as a whole as far as AI is concerned.

    It would seem that it is YOU that doesn't know what they're talking about. AI means that the piece of tech thinks. Siri doesn't "think" per se, it is programmed to look for certain keywords in what you say. It's called context...this may be something earth shattering in your world, but it really isn't. And if you think using context is even close to the same level of achievement as brain surgery then you are dense.... Context is a very simple progression in voice control. While I do find it to be better and easier to use than some other command issued voice controls, it isn't exactly "mind boggling" as you call it.
  13. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    I agree and I am looking forward to Siri improving. I too get tired of beta being the fallback excuse when Siri fails (and it does plenty) when a huge selling point of the 4s is... Siri.

    It's annoying that Apple can do no wrong in the eyes of its most vocal loyal users but this fact doesn't keep me up at night. Getting riled up about it doesn't do much but get you the passive-aggressive down-vote on this forum.

    My biggest gripe with Siri is how quick it is to misinterpret and default to calling someone, usually at a very inappropriate time of night. "Do you want to call ___?" I yell "NO!" and off it goes anyway! :eek:
  14. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I agree with the OP. I dislike how it's the main selling point of the phone (and that's how it's being used to sell the device), but whenever it screws up or doesn't work right, people just say "Oh, it's beta." and no one stands behind the product that they advertised.

    I still want one :p, but my opinion still stands.
  15. digitard, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

    digitard macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2004
    Gilbert, AZ
    I apologize for the original comment, but when you generally see a new person come in with no other posts than negative ones... you tend to gravitate towards troll. As fanboys, on both ends, tend to think their OS is superior forums for both Android and Apple are constantly bombarded by this (as you can see by many negative posts here on these forums that have well thought out counter's that the OP's always ignore). So I'm sure you can see my train of thought.

    Having said that. Going to the AI comment. I would classify Siri as a basic AI. I mean AI doesn't mean that it "thinks" persay, but it makes deductions. Sure AI's goal is to replicate the ability to think on all sort of planes, but basic AI can be defined as the ability to make deductions/responses.

    So if Siri is taking your vocal pattern, and then matching it up against what you're saying via algorithms, etc, into a form it understands. Then, based on what comes back, it deduces your phrase into a means of completing an action then isn't that AI? It's taking your comment, and then determining the action based on the way you said it. This is how it determines actions, requests, etc, apart. I would classify that as AI. We're not talking military grade here, but we are talking about the ability to deduce, and choose a logical solution to your request.

    As for beta. Again I see your arguments, but I also think that Siri is leaps ahead of competitors. Because of that the base for comparison is so low compared to Siri you tend to gravitate towards its strengths. Other groups do it as well, and depending on how strong the product is people either gripe or accept it.

    LTE is amazingly fast and that's what most people talk about, but you don't see commericals saying it's a new product and it has issues like severe battery drain, and possible long handoffs. They ignore that, but we know the strengths so we don't yell at the companies advertising it. I took my Droid RAZR back because of the battery issues from LTE (and some things I just didn't care for in general).

    I get where you're doing, though, I do. I'm sure it's in the fine print somewhere (I haven't honestly watched the commericals... HD-DVR). I just, like many others, see it as something that works much better than others and is improving. If there was a product that set the bar just as high, or higher, then people may be a bit more vocal, but it's just got a leg up on the competition.

    Small update:
    Apples Siri page does say Siri is in Beta.
  16. mijail macrumors 6502a

    Oct 31, 2010
    You still didn't watch the video, so it looks like you are discussing for the sake of discussion.

    I know you haven't watched it because if you did, a) your first question about Apple's Betas would be solved, and b) you would maybe realize how lacking you characterization of Siri is.

    Absolutely, fundamentally wrong. That's why you should read a bit.

    If your point is that Siri doesn't think as humans do, then you are obviously right.

    But that has very little to do with AI. Go read even the Wikipedia, for God's sake. Even OCR was considered a hard AI problem in the 50's, but now in fact OCR is so good that we have to use complicated CAPTCHA's to filter out bots.
  17. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    How come when anyone dares to say anything against Apple he is always called a troll. :mad: Apple is no God, it is a electronics maker. It is only natural to see their products come under fire. There is lots of new technology out there and all Apple could do was the 4S.

    How many of you are being dazzled with the speed of the new processor in the 4S? Sorry but I can not tell a difference! Siri works pretty good but in the end I use it very seldom. It is nice to see the speach to text improve which is useful but my Samsung Galaxy Nexus does speech to text with the text appearing on the screen as you say ti rather than waiting for the server to digest a few words at a time. That is improved technology!:eek:

    Just saying the 4S is not exactly cutting edge anymore and I guess it is hard for some to come to grips with this fact!:p
  18. digitard macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2004
    Gilbert, AZ
    Did you notice where I apologized the OP? I'll paste it since you seemed to skip over a fairly large post.

    It's not when someone says something against Apple. Like all companies they have strengths/weaknesses and you weigh them and decide which product is best for you.

    It's more on the lines that "generally" when someone just joins, and goes straight to multiple "why can't they" type threads it's a troll. In the OP's case I apologized to him, for now :), but my initial reaction is based on previous experience in the forums. You can't deny that it's a constant trend. Happens here with people going anti-apple, and it happens the other way too. It's just a fact of fanboyism for any product.

    Back on topic now. I still say a lot of the forgiveness people give is because it's leaps above other products, and that sets the benchmark for what people expect lower and Siri eclipses other products in general. I mean tons of sites have done "side by sides" with competing products, and while there are some that are on the right track Siri keeps coming out in top overall.
  19. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Have to agree with the OP. There's nothing wrong with releasing beta software, in fact I wish Apple would do it more often (FCPx springs to mind). The mistake is to advertise it as the major selling point.
  20. digitard macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2004
    Gilbert, AZ
    I guess I'll have to watch the commercials, but do they have a "blurb" on the bottom anywhere about it being in beta?

    I know for things like let's say "sales" commercials tend to have a tiny fine print piece saying the large restrictions.

    Fine Print - You have to be in the top 1% financially. Otherwise we violate you anally after you've already fallen in love with your vehicle, and started the paperwork!

    Is there anything like that on the Siri commercials. I'll Youtube one when I get home.
  21. mysterioustko macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2011
    You're right. I while the 4s processor is no doubt a great chip, I really think it's like taking a machine gun into a fight against a 5th grader. It's just not needed. iOS is pretty light and doesn't run very many background processes. This is why things ran fine on the iPhone4. While having the extra horsepower comes in handy for a few things (like people who do heavy editing), overall I don't really see it having the same benefit that you'd notice on the android platform. Also, I have to agree with your statement about it not being cutting edge. The 4s has a great gpu, which comes in handy for gaming. However the gpu is still overkill, as lesser gpu's are still more than capable of handling not just today's but also tomorrow's games. Also, since we're on the topic of games, though the iphone has the best game selection hands down, I refuse to game on that tiny screen! When my fingers are on the controls it leaves a substantially smaller amount of visible screen. NFC, will be picking up in 2012 which the 4s won't be able to take advantage of (which is a big one for me as I use my phone to pay for things now already). I'm a tech geek (I've owned the who's who of top of the line gsm phones) and I'm not a fan of one particular platform over the other but due to how it's fallen behind, I cannot and will not use the iphone as my daily driver. For me, they have some catching up to do to get to that point.

    Yeah it's there but most people aren't going to go to a page specifically for a particular feature of a phone just to read about that one thing. They see it in the commercial, they go in the store, the employee tells them about it, and they buy it. A person shouldn't have to seek out that information. Not that I think it would change anyone's mind about it, but I think they should at least tell people.

    That's the problem with voice controls in general. Sometimes they can misinterpret what you say. Contextual voice control seems to have this issue moreso due to the way it works. I'm sure in time they will improve upon it.
  22. BearerOBadNews thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2011
    No worries.
    I can see your point about calling it perhaps a basic AI. Though, I still tend to think it's pretty much the same voice controls that have already been available, just with a different way (and easier way) of triggering it. While I do find the way of triggering the commands easier I wouldn't say it's leaps and bounds better. While I do agree it is better, I cannot say that it is a night and day difference from what was previously available. Now one area I will say I think apple did do very well compared to their competition is location based reminders. I think that was a very good move, though it seems most people overlook it. I think that concept was very strong, they just need to work the kinks out of it...primarily them finding a way to implement it without the battery suffering. But the concept of it is great!
  23. Ashin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2010
    Imagine if Samsung pulled the same...

    Wow, Apple fanboys would be all over it:rolleyes:
  24. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    Who here doesnt skim over words on the internet and interpret the context and meaning rather than reading every sngle word?

    who here doesnt half listen and sometimes replys the wrong thing and gets accused of not listening to a word thats been said?

    Siri's AI seems very real to me LOL

    ok that was sort of a joke. Sort of :) because she cant pay total attention like we can, its always our error.
  25. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Again, context is everything. You must understand that at the end of the day, you are posting in a forum frequented mostly by apple supporters. If you expect your posts to be taken seriously, then you will need to phrase your message in a manner that will not turn them off.

    Very often, it is not what you say, but how you say it. :eek:

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