Siri, The Most Confused Personal Assistant In The World

Do you find Siri useful, or annoying?

The other day, I came across this tweet and laughed:

I basically never use Siri. Half the time she has no idea what I'm asking her for, which is only funny when you're not in a hurry. The times she'd be most useful to me, I'm usually out on the streets of New York City, and the background noise seems to confuse her, which leads to me yelling the same phrase at my phone over and over while worried New Yorkers hurry past me, shielding their children.

I can't remember the last time I used Siri on purpose, but I must accidentally launch her at least once a day. For some reason, it always happens when I'm on the subway: "Siri not available. Connect to the Internet," she tells me in her humorless bot voice. Usually, the other people in my car pretend not to notice, tho earlier this week another passenger helpfully shook my arm with both his hands and told me, "Siri doesn't work when you're underground!" I thanked him and moved to a different seat. I should probably just turn Siri off, but I keep thinking I might suddenly think of a great reason to use her.

A quick Twitter search proves I'm not the only one who has a rocky relationship with Apple's faceless lady:

I think Siri is a great idea and has lots of potential, but so far she hasn't lived up to it. Maybe that will change with the iPhone 5 (or 6). As Ilya Gelfenbeyn, CEO of Speaktoit (Siri's Android cousin), told Fast Company recently "The field is still in a really early phase of development. It’s something like the search engines in the beginning of the '90s."

Do you find Siri useful, or annoying? Share your best—and worst, and funniest—Siri stories below, along with any tips you might have for the unconvinced (me).

[Image: Flickr user Scott Moore]

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  • Teresa

    I will also say that Siri sends more accurate texts then I when I am typing.  Darn autocorrect! She is not perfect and I would not buy a phone without her.  I trust her enough that I get into my car and expect that she will be there to give me directions.  All I have to do is tell the name of the place.

  • Tech Gospel

    The problem isn't Siri. The problem is the overhyped capabilities that Apple advertised. Voice recognition is the future. I use Apple's Speech Commands, and Google's Voice Actions on a daily basis. They are both quite capable once you know their limits. Biggest weakness I see at the moment is the microphone and noise rejection technology

  • Albo Raison

    Wake up everyone.  Anyone who thinks SIRI is anything but a bridge feature to get Apple from the iPhone4 to the iPhone5 is not paying attention.  It's a distraction.
    In reality, Siri is little better than the Newton from the '90's.  Only more annoying.

    Just go try google voice search.  Faster, better results.  And I'm not with google.

    Apple paid a govt research contracting house, SRI International, $200m for this ruse.  Silly, but probably a good deal for what Apple marketing has milked it for.

  • Mtroy Hughes

    I use her to set timers when I'm cooking or brewing beer. Other than that, she's a dolt.

  • Afoote71

    My friend's 12 year-old daughter found a good use for Siri.She sings a few lines of her favorite songs and sends Siri's translations of them as random text messages. They are pretty much always funny and it is usually impossible to guess the song...

  • Kelly Fincham

    In Ireland, we asked Siri the following question: "Who is Enda Kenny?" The correct answer would have been "The Irish Prime Minister." The answer we actually got was "Who, Indeed."

  • Durgesh Kumar

    i haven't tried it with no internet connections, and she won't work anyways perhaps in that case.
    though i use over 4-5 times average, in a day for setting alarms, reminders.with iOS 6 (beta versions) You can actually ask #Siri to launch apps and she does that perfectly well. She's still learning, You truely said, like the search engines in their 90s...

  • Karena

    I asked Siri for the nearest Chik-fil-A.  She said "I do not know chick fillet".  After driving about 5 more minutes I found CHIK-FIL-A on my own.  Thanks Siri. 

  • CathyF

    Thank you, Anjali!!  Siri has been a nightmare for me.  I'm a recent convert to all things Apple (love my Mac laptop, iPad and iCloud), but in my experience Android's virtual assistant is far more capable of interpreting what I say and providing valuable responses.

  • 起重机

    Not very useful here in Canada. Not only does she not understand a flipping thing I say, when she does she can't even help because I'm not in the USA. 

    Search for music? Nope. 
    By Artist? LoL
    Genre? Anti Flag is somehow classical music now!

    Overall Siri is a huge disappointment in this region. And yes. I activate her by mistake at least once a day, followed by "I'm sorry. I can not complete your request in Can NA Daa.

  • Simone Peer

    A little of both ... sometimes frustrating gobbley-gook and other times AWESOME!  I actually love siri, and have lots of fun asking her existential questions or when i habitually say thank you, she's my private fan club: your satisfaction is all the thanks i need... who doesn't freakin love that!!!

  • Scott Bryson

    I find Siri useful when driving for questions like: "Distance to Portland..." and a map pops up showing the miles and time left, along with an active map showing where you are and the trip remaining--really useful when running late and deciding to go over the speed limit.

    Otherwise I don't use too much, once in a while to look up a business while driving to place a call. Works about 2/3rd of the time.

  • TMC

    I know it's a crazy thing to attempt but has anyone else ever tried to actually, you know, use an iPhone as a phone? By putting it to their ear for a CONVERSATION? Without fail, every time I try this archaic feat I activate Siri. What follows is a comical touch-screen dance where I try to save my phone call but stop whatever function I've voice activated. 

  • Teresa

    She was working very well for me until the last week.  Really, it is the talk to text feature on text that is not working.  She does understand me.  I spend a few days talking to her so she understands me, even with background noise.  I use her a lot!