With the HomePod showing up on my doorstep next Friday, I’ve been doing some thinking about Siri lately. Why is the overall impression of Apple’s digital assistant so negative? There are recent surveys and tests showing it as being competitive with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana in some areas. There is real evidence that many “normal” users aren’t as dissatisfied with it as we in the tech community and the “Apple bubble” are. So what is the problem? Where is the disconnect?
When you live with something for a while, it can be difficult to detect little changes that occur over time. The subtle differences and small tweaks can slip by without notice. I am definitely having this experience with Siri in my daily use over the last few months. I can’t tell you when both Siri and the on-board Voice Dictation started replacing and correcting words after the fact based on grammar rules, but I see that it’s happening on a regular basis now. One direct example I noticed recently would be Dictation replacing “there” with “their” based on the context of the sentence after I had dictated a few more words. I’ve seen the same with “your” and “you’re,” as well. This makes voice dictation far more flexible and usable, since I don’t have to go back and edit as often.