Feeds

back to article Apple: We never said Siri would actually work in the UK

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has quashed a complaint from a fanboi disappointed by Siri's lack of UK knowledge - and said the punter had above-average expectations compared with what it would expect from the "average Brit". Siri, the voice-recognising virtual assistant on the iPhone 4S, is unable to direct users in …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

looked pretty damn explicit to me

but what do I know?

39
4

Re: looked pretty damn explicit to me

Well, this is what happens when you advertise beta software. Based on the fact that Apple openly state and re-iterate that Siri is Beta (on their own website no less), and it's not inferred in the advertising, the ASA should have ruled against Vodafone/Apple. IMO.

3
0

Besides the point..

UK iPhone users are frustrated because they have a phone that has the technical capability for a feature they cannot use, when other users can. They paid a premium for the device, and yet the most cash-rich company in the world that sold it to them does not care to spend the money to make it work.

Legally, Apple are ok. Morally... draw your own conclusions.

82
6
Silver badge

Re: Besides the point..

I disagree there, that business location wouldn't work outside the US was a pretty well known fact - it wasn't kept secret. This was simply raised by a chancer.

And who is to say that they aren't spending the money to make it work? I imagine theres a fair bit of database creation required to make it work, there might be licensing issues to get someone else's data, etc.

11
35
Silver badge

Re: Besides the point..

"I disagree there, that business location wouldn't work outside the US was a pretty well known fact - it wasn't kept secret"

Well, it's news to me. There's plenty of data on Google that would allow any phone to do this, let alone an overpriced Apple product.

31
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Besides the point..

On the other hand, one could argue that someone shelling out £400 for a phone partly based on a certain feature should have the sense to do 5 minutes of internet research or try it in the shop, rather than trust an advert.

5
7
Silver badge

Re: Besides the point..

Great. How long will it take you Robert to turn this into a speech searchable form?

1
1
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: Besides the point..

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/fail_32.png

Well I did not know that the toy did not work though I have to say the whole iDross set has never appealed to me, I guess I have more sense than money.

It appears that everyone has heard that some apple phones have a speech 'thing', some know that it only works if you have the right apple phone, but very few knew that only a few bits work on the allegedly functional devices.

1
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Besides the point..

"On the other hand, one could argue that someone shelling out £400 for a phone partly based on a certain feature should have the sense to do 5 minutes of internet research or try it in the shop, rather than trust an advert."

a good and very valid point, except for one very minor exception....

this is apple customers we are talking about.... new apple product = must buy without question !

13
4
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Besides the point..

"......And who is to say that they aren't spending the money to make it work?..." Even Apple don't have enough money to make Siri understand Geordie, Scouser and Glaswegian!

1
4
Happy

Re: Besides the point..

Well.. They should.

But apparently, there has been a grass roots movement which claims the spec don't matter, and nobody researches because Apple products just work..

Except when they don't, and the customer gets blamed for believing in Apple's PR fluff, which up to then was scientifically proved fact..

7
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Besides the point..

They could always buy the database from google. Or said fanboi could wise up and get a galaxy, like he should have done in the first place :-)

5
2
Silver badge

Re: Besides the point..

This is an apple customer remember

2
2
Silver badge

Re: Besides the point..

Why would robert waste his time re-doing what google have already done?

1
0

Re: Besides the point..

I saw this today http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=46b_1328121189

5
0

Re: Besides the point..

they don't create databases and license data, siri just uses other services for all the heavy lifting. the only bits that are really 'siri' are the voice recognition stuff. it uses google maps or bing or something for the business searches, for instance.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Besides the point..

>the only bits that are really 'siri' are the voice recognition stuff.

Nope, that's done by Nuance Recognizer running (on Windows) in Apple's datacentre, its actually reasonably good with UK regional accents where its trained to individuals - but running heuristics over crowd sourced voicedata from a dozen or so phonetically discrete UK dialects is never going to work anywhere near as well or as quickly.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Besides the point..

This was Vodaphone's ad. Why the hell does the ASA let itself be referred to Apple?

Vodaphone may be repeating what they have been told by Apple, but they must know that what Apple was saying referred to the product in the US. When Vodaphone repeated Apple's words in a UK context, they were making an inaccurate statement about Siri in the UK, not an accurate one about it in the US.

3
2
Silver badge

Google Voice Search

"Pubs in Manchester"

...followed by a list of search results. Took about 10 seconds, though I guess it would be faster if you are in an area with better mobile coverage.

"The register we never actually said siri would work in the UK."

...followed by a search page with this article on top. Even got it despite the title not being exactly what I said.

"The register Chad H besides the point"

I'll let you guess what that comes up with.

Come on Apple. Keep up, won't you?

0
0
Silver badge

And what's more...

...I don't have to put on a faux American accent to help it understand me. It gets my unique mixture of South-east, Midlands and Lancashire quite accurately.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Besides the point..

"Look there's some data, bish, bash, bosh. There I knocked up a solution for you. Don't worry, it's good enough so don't sweat it."

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Shame on you ASA

Rubbish! The average consumer believes exactly what is implied in adverts. Advertisers know this, which is why they imply all sorts of stuff with 'sciency' soundbites and only put the real information in tiny small print which is generally rendered unreadable by MPEG artifacts.

48
4
Unhappy

Re: Shame on you ASA

I know, it's almost like the ASA are a toothless waste of %$^&ing space, isn't it?

Wait, drop the "almost" there and replace it with "exactly". *sigh*

29
0
Bronze badge
Flame

At it again

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/09/mobe_poll_result/

4
0
FAIL

Siri c.f. the ASA

Both utterly useless in the UK.

17
1
Devil

Apple - pay attention

Let us have that UK-friendly app they've said has to change to stay in the app store. If you won't do it properly.

0
0
g e
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Apple - pay attention

Or buy an Android phone and install Evi on that instead.

It. Just. Works.

15
5

Re: Apple - pay attention

Evi is not the same as siri. Siri can do anything evi can do. The issue is speaking the results rather than poitning them to a web page. For that functionality siri does more in the us and evi doesn't do it at all.

5
14
g e
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Apple - pay attention

There is however quite a large amount of 'World' outside the US...

For real, seriously.

20
2

Re: Apple - pay attention

Evi speaks the results and provides links to website links for more information.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Apple - pay attention

Yeah man, but he's prolly a creative or sommat :-D

1
0
Silver badge

A watchdog with no teeth ...

... nothing sucks more

From their own website:

"The ASA is a non-statutory body so we do not have the power to fine or take advertisers to court."

You've got to wonder, just what is the point of them.

23
0

Re: A watchdog with no teeth ...

There is a point, if we don't have an ASA, just who is going to employ all those advertising luvies when the young things come along and push them out of their jobs?

2
0
g e
Silver badge
FAIL

I should think it reasonable

For a UK user to have their 'Can Search Maps' app to search UK maps.

Especially as their device knows they're in the UK, speaking 'British' English (if they ever had the choice), etc.

I bet it installs stuff in French in France so to assume your device is properly localised is a reasonable thing.

It's half an application. So much for magical/revolutionary/whatever.

Utter fail.

14
4
FAIL

Re: I should think it reasonable

See that bright orange "Beta" icon right next to the damned name?

I'd say it's perfectly unreasonable to demand that a BETA release of a feature support absolutely everyone and everything perfectly, right out of the box, right this minute.

Apple was pretty bloody explicit about this during the iPhone 4S' official launch event. It's not their fault the media couldn't be arsed to mention that this was pre-release software, and still is. They've made its Beta status perfectly clear on their own website.

0
11
Anonymous Coward

Re: I should think it reasonable

But it's only alpha stage which is functionally incomplete. Beta is for when your core functionality is complete and you're finding and squashing application breaking bugs.

What they should have had was a US flag on it and the label "some functions do not work outside of the US" attached to it. Would be far more descriptive than the criminally abused "beta" tag.

9
0
FAIL

Re: I should think it reasonable

No, it's not an Alpha.

The application itself appears to be working pretty much as advertised. It's the back-end databases that need the work. There are roughly 3000 languages on this planet. How many would you expect to be supported from day one of a beta release?

Siri relies on third party databases and application to do its stuff—that's kind of its point, and why pointing at "Evi" and the like misses said point like a blind man trying to shoot a goose with a water pistol.

Wolfram Alpha's servers are clearly playing a major role in its ability to answer many questions, of the "What's the weather like in [X]?" variety. Try typing "Che tempo fa a Roma oggi?" into their search engine and see how badly if fails to cope with anything other than English. That question is Italian for "What's the weather like in Rome today?" Wolfram Alpha clearly attempts a translation, but fails to give any useful results. Ask the same question in English and it works fine.

At least in the UK, Siri is able to understand what you're asking it. Until the Italian language support is rolled out (this year, apparently), Italians don't even get that much.

1
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: I should think it reasonable

"How many would you expect to be supported from day one of a beta release?"

ALL iPHONE languages. Otherwise it isn't feature-complete, and thus is not a beta. To say 300 languages is incredibly trite - what should be supported is ALL languages that the iPhone supports, and this includes British English and many others.

As someone who was a software QA tester by profession for a good long while, I can say that we NEVER allowed beta acceptance on software that wasn't fully localised - spelling mistakes, fudged translation, and fart noises aside: missing localisation means NOT beta.

1
0
Bronze badge

@STB

So now its the medias fault that it wasn't mentioned in the adverts? Even Apples own adverts? You know, the ones without a major providers name tagged on the end?

Which begs the question, why the fudge is the app being used as a major selling point when still in Beta?

I know you would be the first to shit a Newton if HP popped up with adverts for pc's running Windows 8 now it is in beta.

Dumbass

0
1

Re: I should think it reasonable

So WTF are doing advertising it? If its beta then put it on the phone, and people will think of it as a cool extra, but they actually advertised as a feature of the phone. You can't sell something and then turn around and say "Don't expect it to work, we're still devolping some of it"

Its like LG selling a TV. You get it home, set it up, and then find that the built in PVR won't work. The adverts says it does, the grunts in the shop told you it did, but its okay because if your geeky enough you'd have watched the launch event on a website.

0
1

Re: I should think it reasonable

But surely if the back end whatevers aren't working, then it is impossible for the app to work as advertised in the uk. It doesn't matter which bit doesn't work, as it stands the app does not do what is advertised.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

So expecting a product or service to work as described should now be seen as an above average expectation. Imagine buying a car that would only work inside of the M25.

16
2
jai
Silver badge

totally agree. which is why the product wasn't described as working in that manner worldwide. _everyone_ knew that Siri wasn't able to provide this detail outside of the uk. it was in all the reviews on the web and in magazines. so how anyone was able to buy a 4S and be surprised is beyond me.

3
17
Yag
Bronze badge
Joke

or even worse...

This new uGizmoPhone can cure any cancer, generate energy out of thin air and will allows you to call your friend and familly*

* Cancer cure and energy generation may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cancer Cure is only available in alpha centaury sytem and energy generation in the center of your local star.

... What? This is a legitimate ad!

4
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

Imagine buying a car that would only work inside of the M25

AKA G-Wizz

3
0
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: Imagine buying a car that would only work inside of the M25

The G-Wizz *works* inside the M25?

1
0
WTF?

Actually...

... not being an iPhone 4S owner but having spoken to other iPhone 4S owners I was lead to believe that Siri did work in the UK. Not that I'm bothered either way as I still have a year left on my contract for my existing phone (Galaxy S) and I've never really used any of the voice features on any of my previous phones.

Still I'm sure there are probably folks out there who have bought an iPhone 4S after seeing the Siri adverts (actually, I can think of two people who did).

Rob

0
0

You're holding it wrong

Apple would obviously consider this user error. You're holding it about 5000 miles east of where you're supposed to.

56
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: You're holding it wrong

Dang...beat me to it.

1
1
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: You're holding it wrong

Crap! Another new keyboard needed!

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.