Why doesn't Apple simply buy more servers for Siri?

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by kristoffer4, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. kristoffer4, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012

    kristoffer4 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2006
    Gizmodo recently did a test of Siri vs Google Voice Search showed that Google is much more responsive so I wonder why doesn't Apple use some of it's huge cash pile to buy a lot more servers? :confused:
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Yes - they need to really spent some money on the improvement of Siri.
  3. macingman macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2011
    The problem might not be lack of servers....
  4. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I think it would be useful if the voice recognition part of Siri was network-independent. If voice recognition were performed entirely locally, then it might be quicker and also it would be a feature that would allow dictation without a network.
  5. nepalisherpa macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2011
    'Cause they are busy suing everyone else!
  6. Brazuca macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2003
    I hated Siri's lag and quiet fails for a long time. But since iOS 6, it has been a night-and-day improvement. I'm really starting to like it, and the biggest critic, my wife, is starting to use it also.

    I no longer get the long waiting times and quiet fails. I get much faster response. I get much better results. IME, success went from somewhere in the 50% to about 90+%.

    Still frustrating that it doesn't understand "Wreck it Ralph" even in the context of a movie search. Instead it wants to search for "Rekkit Ralph".

    Current complaint: I want Siri to repeat driving instructions on demand.
  7. zbarvian macrumors 68010

    Jul 23, 2011
    I don't think our phones have that great of processing to do fully local speech dictation. Google did it with Android 4.1, but it's vastly more inaccurate. I agree, though, it would be ideal.
  8. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Google is well positioned to tap into their huge cache of content. Over the years they've built up a lot of content that Google Now links to directly.

    Siri is designed to work with more content providers but at the cost of speed. Eventually Siri has the potential to be more flexible as more domains are plugged in the backend but right now it's not as optimized to be as fast as Google's offerings.
  9. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Things like Siri are evolutionary products so they evolve as time passes. If they wanted to they could put a small dent in the cash reserves and make today's Siri outstanding but that's not wise business planning for the future. Siri isn't core business. It's an added functionality that has the potential to evolve into something enormous but right now it's not. As it extends into other sources of revenue, OS X, the funds will be proportionately applied in that direction.

    I think Siri is a great feature, but some people on here don't even use it or use it sparingly. It's just not worth the cost of all out blitz to make it extraordinary right now.
  10. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    At the very least I wish Siri would automatically fall back to the old Voice Control when there is no data connection. If you turn off Siri you can see that Voice Control is still built in to iOS. Voice Control works without a data connection.
  11. northernbaldy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2010
    the north, UK
    The only time I need Siri is in the car, which is also the place where I never get a decent data signal
  12. Aspasia macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2011
    Halfway between the Equator and North Pole
    It might be a matter of location and the amount of data traffic.

    I live in a rural area. Siri works just about instantly. Took her but a few seconds to answer of my query "local pizzerias." She named all four in town.

    On the other hand, when I asked Google for "local pizzerias," it came up with "local pizzerias at the Santa Ana Zoo" (I'm in Northern Michigan), "shop local Thanksgiving," and a bunch of other nonsense that had no relation to my question. Google may be fast, but it can't compare to Siri for accuracy in my area.
  13. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    Agreed. I suspect it would a dedicated chip. Then again, that's precisely what Apple did in the first Mac's that gave them an edge over competitors - they put QuickDraw into ROM. Hmmm.... a chip that processes speech could have other signal processing uses....
  14. RTWG macrumors regular


    Sep 12, 2008
    The main reason Siri doesn't have full voice processing on the device itself is that the database would be many gigabytes in size. With iOS builds now in the 700MB region, and some devices only having 8GB of storage, you can see why they made the decision.
  15. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    I'm sure this has been discussed before. It was found that googles solution is that as your asking the question it's already being transmitted to them where as Siri listens compresses sends then responds. Googles solution also used more data.
  16. Gutwrench Contributor


    Jan 2, 2011
    My experience in Minneapolis is Siri's responsiveness has gone from decent to excellent. I've noticed a significant improvement in the past three weeks. Almost no lag and very fast dictation.
  17. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    Its not inaccurate at all.
  18. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    That is something that perplexes me as well...
  19. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    IBM's Sequoia doesn't have enough processing power to unpick the mangled grammar in that sentence.
  20. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    ^ This. How did the OP determine that a lack of servers is the problem?
  21. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    What do you think the massive server farms in North Carolina and Oregon are going to be for? ;)
  22. Dan14 macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2009
    Has nothing to do with (or lack of) server power. There are so many more factors that play into it - data connection for one, compression of audio on the device, interpretation of the voice recognition mechanism, background processing, available RAM... etc.

    Siri needs to be optimised, not simply more servers.

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