Siri Update For Thick Accents
With most people’s initial thoughts about the iPhone 4S being that it looks a lot like the iPhone 4, it is a wonder why it has so easily managed to smash sales records not just for iPhones but smartphones in general – with more than 4 million sold in its launch weekend alone. Now it has been revealed that one of the main reasons for the phenomenal iPhone 4S contract sales is Siri.
Without Siri, most people would probably be opting for a much cheaper iPhone 4 contract – but the witty voice control system is tantalising enough for most people to fork out the extra money. While Siri does offer more depth and integration than existing voice control systems, such as those found on Android, it is not without its flaws.
For one thing, location based services do not seem to work quite so well outside of the United States. Ask to find a decent Chinese restaurant in your local town, and Siri will assume you are referring to the town with a similar name state side. Fine if you happen to live in the US, but not so great if you are one of the millions of iPhone 4S owners in other countries.
But perhaps the biggest problem is with the voice recognition itself. Apple it seems, did not give Siri much testing outside of the United States, as Siri can have difficulty in understanding non-US English accents. The biggest problems seem to be experienced by Australians, New Zealanders and the Scottish – whose accents are so indecipherable to Siri that they have not been able to make use of the feature at all.
Apple is now launching a patch for Siri that should make it work better for those down under, although there is no news yet on when Siri will become full functional in Scotland. It should be remembered that Siri is still in beta, and Apple never made any claim that it was a finished product. It just seems a bit of a shame that the biggest selling point of the iPhone 4S is a rushed feature that does not yet work properly.