iPhone Life magazine

Siri and Me: Caught in a Bad Romance

 

I dare you not to have that Lady Gaga song stuck in your head now!

(Sorry, I had to share it. It’s all I’ve been humming as I write this post for you guys.)

It was love at first sight when I met Siri. Here was someone (something?) who took care of me. She was smart and understood my needs. I saw those ads on TV—the ones where people are having a conversation with Siri, and she’s taking dictation, finding directions, making calls.

“YES!” I thought. I do all those things. I had to have Siri too!  So I got myself a nice new iPhone.

In the beginning, it was young love. You know, that kind of mad obsession that takes over your life. I was asking Siri to set alarms. She was writing my text messages. She was all I could think about!

But time dragged on, and before long I found myself increasingly frustrated. Instead of looking forward to the day I propose to her, I became more and more relieved that we hadn’t already been married. We had more and more difficulty communicating. It was affecting the quality of our relationship.

Maybe it wasn’t love after all?

Don’t get me wrong—I still really like her and she’s good for many things—but I think we rushed into things too quickly. I feel things cooled off a bit, and we’re probably just going to end up as friends. We just don’t play as much as I thought we would!  Maybe it’s my fault for believing her friends when they told me how smart and accurate and helpful she was. Maybe she’s become older and lost her edge?

I know it’s not just her; there are two sides to this coin. I have to take responsibility too. I know that I’m not in the habit of using Siri, so many times I don’t. It’s hard to form new habits, especially when the rewards are inconsistent. Unfortunately, that is kind of like how it is with Siri: she does some things really well, and others she’s not so great with. It’s hard to tell which is which sometimes.

I like her for tasks like dialing a phone number or setting a reminder, where she’s fast and efficient. She was good at that stuff from day one.

But getting directions or searching the web?  These days I’m a bit ashamed to say that I look elsewhere for that more often than not. The problem is that she’s pretty error prone—lots of times she doesn’t understand me and I have to repeat or rephrase my request. If I say something the wrong way, she has no clue what I’m talking about and then we get into a fight. It’s like we’re speaking different languages.

Sometimes she basically shuts me out, ignoring my requests completely and telling me to “try again in a little while.”

I have maybe said some things I didn’t mean in the heat of passion, iPhone Life-ers.

I’m only human…

But you know, after talking to my wife, I got a little perspective. Nobody said Siri is a finished work, so maybe things will get better? Maybe that’ll happen with iOS6—that’s what Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has specifically stated, and he probably has some inside info. I hope so because in order for her to become a viable search engine alternative, Apple is going to have to work out the kinks. Microsoft and Google aren’t taking naps, you know!

I think Siri is still pretty useful, and I’ll continue to call on her for certain things. Some folks feel differently: I have a friend who can’t live without her. He uses her for everything. He has dyslexia, so Siri comes in very handy for him since he struggles so hard to read and type. That’s a benefit that I never realized Siri would bring to people with disabilities.

She may not be marriage material for ME right now, but I can only imagine how helpful she might be in the future.

Until then, I think we’ll just have to keep it casual.

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Adam Harvey's picture
While most kids were playing with Transformers and Stretch Armstrong, Harvey was coding on his first computer. And he's never looked back. Harvey helped develop some of the Internet's very first websites. He was an information technology director in the corporate world before bringing his technical expertise to GLAD WORKS in 1999. With a background in systems architecture, database development, programming, e-commerce, search engine optimization, social media, mobile development and all things technical, Harvey keeps GLAD WORKS at the forefront of the e-Industrial Revolution