In the past month, there have been two reports about ex-Apple employees expressing their dissatisfaction with Siri, calling the personal assistant “clunky” and underwhelming. However, this is not a new issue, as Siri has been criticized since its launch. The strange thing is that what makes Siri unique, its focus on privacy and processing requests directly on the device, is also what makes it fall behind its competitors.
Apple’s commitment to keeping user data private means that Siri does not access the internet to perform tasks. This means that when you ask Siri to play a song on Apple Music, your data is not sent to advertisers or social media platforms. While this is commendable, users are getting tired of Siri, especially when using the HomePod.
HomePod highlights how poorly Siri represents Apple
In 2017, Apple released the HomePod, which was later discontinued, and the company shifted its focus to the mini version. However, Apple has now introduced a second iteration of the original HomePod, with a fuller sound. While I have not yet had the opportunity to try it out, there are still some issues that make my experience with a pair of HomePod minis and a single original HomePod worse than ever.
For instance, I once asked Siri on HomePod to check the weather, saying, “Hey Siri, is it going to rain?” Siri replied, “Yes, it appears to be raining,” even though there were no clouds in the sky. The personal assistant’s performance becomes more complicated when asked to perform basic tasks with the Apple TV.
When I ask Siri to pause a TV show, the personal assistant responds with, “There’s nothing playing right now,” or “I’m having trouble connecting to the internet,” when I ask it to turn off the TV. These issues become increasingly strange, such as when I asked Siri to add eggs to a list, and it said it couldn’t find eggs on Apple Music. Apple has been addressing these bugs with updates, but it seems like for every bug they fix, several more emerge. Furthermore, Siri lacks multi-language support, which is a significant disadvantage for those who appreciate songs, movies, or books that aren’t in their native language.
While Alexa and Google Assistant can identify commands in English with foreign songs, Siri struggles in this regard. This could be why, despite being on the market for almost six years, the HomePod is only available in a few markets. Unless you’re an American who only uses English and doesn’t care about non-English content, Siri can be a frustrating experience.
There are numerous issues with Siri and the HomePod that users face and compared to Amazon or Google, Apple charges two to three times more for its products. It raises the question of what the point of a smart speaker is if it’s not smart. Will Apple ever address these complaints?
Recent reports indicate that even Apple doesn’t know how to fix Siri. I wonder if Apple should admit its failure and follow Samsung’s lead with Bixby and pretend it never existed. One thing is for sure if Apple doesn’t address the issues with Siri, it will continue to hurt its business. In a few months, people may start saying, “Apple’s Mixed Reality headset shows everything wrong with Siri.” We’ll have to wait and see.