What's Up With Siri?

In all the various discussions about the Apple and the past decade I’ve seen little discussion about Siri.

Since updating to IOS 13 Siri seems to be even more inconsistent than it has been in the past
It is all well and good for Apple to join/drive an initiative to unify IOT in conjunction with Google and Amazon but until Apple can get their own voice assistant to function properly this initiative seems like a lost cause.

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Siri’s ability to understand my voice has plummeted since upgrading to iOS 13. My wife frequently has to repeat what I say for it to be understood.
I have a shortcut called ‘Potty’ that turns on outside lights for the dog. One would think this would be a distinctive phrase, but it is often ignored or misunderstood. Similarly when I say ‘Sunroom’ to toggle the sunroom light, Siri frequently forgets it is a light and says she can’t do whatever she misunderstood it to be.
It’s frustrating.


Edit: Using HomePods

I think the mic is an underrated choke point. I find that Siri is fantastic with understanding me when using my HomePod, especially when I give even complicated band names. And it’s pretty good when invokes directly on my iPhone. But while wearing PowerBeats Pro it has a pretty hard time clearly understanding what I’m saying; it couldn’t figure out ‘remind me at 6pm to add keys to keychain’ while using the PowerBeats Pro, but got it perfectly (and faster) speaking to the iPhone directly.

I find it’s like speaking in a foreign language: if I say one word in Thai/to Siri I am misunderstood, if I say a longer sentence I am understood fully as there is context.

For automation, I either give slightly longer names, or use the keyword ‘run’ at the start.

(With the language I blame myself, with Siri I don’t, which may be unfair)

Interesting. I find it to be pretty good with Airpods and Airpods Pro so I wonder if there’s a difference, or whether you find it the same with all Apple’s ear-worn devices?

Holding the side button of the phone is also what I use when I want to guarantee it’s picked up the first time as well. Watch is still the most frustrating. It hears okay, but it’s least likely to return a response. It feels like a failed handoff from phone processing to cellular/on-watch processing.

The actual answers have been good for awhile. I’m probably under-using it at this point but I add something new to the tasks I hand off to Siri a few times a year. While I want to see total natural language processing, I’m a power user, right? :wink: So I don’t mind remembering which query/command formats work best.

Siri often transcribes me perfectly, but then for some reason when I finish speaking, completely changes the phrase and tried to execute it. This REALLY frustrates me.

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Happens to me too, especially frustrating when navigating. It’s annoying too that Siri prioritizes searching for companies that pay for ads over my own content in my contacts.
Scottish English is my native accent, but I live in the USA. I set Siri to listen for UK English, which may be a bit of a stretch for Scottish accents, and speak in US English because hey, that’s her voice.

It puzzles me that there is little to no attention paid to how inconsistently this tool performs by the various apple related podcasters and commentators. I can’t remember when, if ever, the MPU podcast has discussed this. “Six Colors” has an excellent report card on various aspects of the Apple ecosystem but Siri gets little attention. Siri may have entered a development backwater similar to the situation that Apple TV hardware seems to be in.