Here's Why Apple's Siri Has Lost to Rival Alexa

17 Marcha, 2018, 06:19 | Author: Misty Newman
  • Seven years after Siri launched on the iPhone 4S and it's still not as smart as it should

And even after Apple opened Siri up with SiriKit in 2016, it still isn't as intelligent as the Google Assistant or Alexa.

Right now, it looks like Siri won't be blown up and a rebuilt. The former employees spoke under condition of anonymity, and they paint an embarrassing picture of mismanagement that has led to the decline of Siri. One source claims Apple's original plan was to launch its speaker without Siri, possibly that would have given the HomePod some positive response. The digital assistant marked its debut on the Apple iPhone 4s - the first smartphone Tim Cook announced as he tried fitting in the shoes of the ailing Steve Jobs.

Siri began life as a third-party iPhone app when Apple purchased it for an undisclosed sum in 2010 (some reports put the figure at over $200 million).

One ex-employee blames the failure to properly deliver on Siri on the post-Jobs Apple: "When Steve died the day after Siri launched, they lost the vision ..."

Instead of continuously updating Siri so that it would get smarter faster, Richard Williamson, one of the former iOS chief Scott Forstall's deputies, reportedly only wanted to update the assistant annually to coincide with new iOS releases.

"It was slow, when it worked at all", Williamson said. Amidst this, Apple's Siri, despite having the leverage of gracing some of the most expensive hardware in the world, is still a notch behind rivals. The back-end software struggled to keep up, and the Siri team scrambled to improve the bug-ridden and unoptimized code to make it operate at such a large scale.

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"Members of the Topsy team expressed a reluctance to work with a Siri team they viewed as slow and bogged down by the initial infrastructure that had been patched up but never completely replaced since it launched". Problems between Williamson and the Siri team eventually led to the departure of Cheyer who was "among the most zealous proponents of getting Siri to reach its potential".

"We have made significant advances in Siri performance, scalability and reliability and have applied the latest machine learning techniques to create a more natural voice and more proactive features", Apple wrote in its statement. After a disappointing response for Apple Maps on iOS 6, both Forstall and Williamson were fired in 2012. Here are just five features where Siri has clearly lagged behind Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and maybe even Samsung Bixby. Apple needed years to fully modernize the system afterward.

Given Apple's nature of secrecy, the Siri team was apparently unaware of the HomePod until 2015.

The HomePod unit only learned about Siri's existence after Amazon released the Echo in 2014.

It's a telling change, one that signals a core shift in how the company thinks about Siri.


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