Monday, October 4, 2021

Siri’s 10-Year Anniversary

Benjamin Mayo:

Affected Siri domains include ride booking, configuration of vehicles via Siri over CarPlay, and third-party Photo Search. Many of these SiriKit intents were introduced when third-party Siri support was first added to the system back in iOS 10. Apple didn’t provide a reason for their abrupt removal.

Via Nick Heer:

As Clover reports, these omissions were first documented by users on the AppleVis forums who support disabled people who use iPhones. This may be a bug — the behaviour is also present in iOS 14.8 — but it amounts to a regression until it is fixed.

James Vincent:

Described by Schiller as a “humble personal assistant,” Siri gave 2011’s iPhone a dose of star power during a difficult time for Apple. Just months before the phone’s unveiling, a relative unknown at the company, then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, had been named CEO. The day after Schiller’s presentation, Apple’s legendary co-founder Steve Jobs would die from pancreatic cancer. Analysts were cool on the company’s prospects but praised Siri as a potential game-changer. One called it “a powerful harbinger of the future use of mobile devices,” while another said it was “the beginning of a new user experience [for] all of Apple’s mobile and Mac products.”

A decade later, the sheen has worn off Siri’s star. “It is such a letdown,” was how Schiller described the promise of voice interfaces past, and such a description could easily be applied to Apple’s contribution to the genre. Everyone who uses Siri has their own tales of frustration — times when they’ve been surprised not by the intelligence but the stupidity of Apple’s assistant, when it fails to carry out a simple command or mishears a clear instruction. And while voice interfaces have indeed become widespread, Apple, despite being first to market, no longer leads.


When I ask Siri for information I know is stored in iOS, like “show me photos from last August,” it just performs an image search for the phrase “last August.”

Dag Kittlaus:

We had a shared long-term vision with Steve which faded after he passed and my successor had no vision or accountability and is happily long gone from Apple. Steve and Scott F and the Siri founders had a plan that sadly died on the vine. But I’m confident Apple will lift Siri up.


Update (2021-10-05): Nick Heer:

Every Siri command — beyond adding Reminders and setting timers — feels like a tightrope walk I should attempt rarely.


A few years ago, I tried a bunch of the commands shown in the original Siri demo video from before Apple acquired the company. It did poorly. I ran through the same commands just now, and saw broadly similar results as I did then[…]

This morning I ran into a temporary glitch where Siri refused to let me make reminders, correctly transcribing what I’d said but complaining that there was no app available for that.

Update (2021-10-08): Federico Viticci:

A good summary of the Siri ecosystem for third-party apps:

The developers of @dueapp advise against using Siri because it doesn’t understand the app’s name “Due”.

So I tried to make my own shortcut for it, and Siri won’t run it.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Siri supported vehicle configuration requests over CarPlay? I’m really curious what that actually covered, as I was certainly not aware of any means for configuring vehicles over CarPlay.

Steve and Scott F and the Siri founders had a plan that sadly died on the vine.

The alternate history where Scott Forstall kept Steve's vision alive as Apple CEO is a "what if?" that will haunt me forever.

@ Lily: not that much, but things like climate settings.

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