Apple's Siri voice assistant hit by another outage

By Lee Kaelin on November 7, 2011, 8:30 AM

Apple's newly launched iPhone 4S voice assistant feature is once again under fire after it was hit with more outages over the weekend, according to numerous users. Reports began surfacing on Twitter Thursday, with users complaining of connection errors when trying to use the new feature. Others found the service just didn't respond at all to any requests.

Siri works by connecting to Apple's servers and sending over the voice request for processing on a remote data center rather than on the phone itself. Thus, when the network is down, Siri can't even perform basic tasks like voice-to-text or creating a reminder. In fairness, Apple launched Siri as a beta, though it is seen as one of the main selling points of the new iPhone.

Apple has released no statement regarding the outage, but its support community now has a 19-page long discussion thread on the subject, read by over 28,000 viewers since it was created during the first service outage earlier in October. A user on Apple’s support forums reported that a company help line representative said the problems were due to “server issues.”

The outage affected users in the U.S. mostly, but those in the U.K. still used the latest problems as an excuse to moan about the somewhat patchy service. One Twitter user commented that the problems faced by people in the U.K. were "like what's happening in the U.S. - but permanent." Another Twitter user complained that the "iPhone 4S is now downgraded to an iPhone 4 with a better camera."

Last week Apple confirmed there were issues with reduced battery life for those using Apple's iOS 5 software after complaints began to surface shortly following the iPhone 4S launch. An update to fix the issue is currently being tested by developers and should be available to iOS device users in a few weeks.




User Comments: 10

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mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

It's a beta service, but Apple isn't helping themselves by advertising it as a killer feature.

So "it's a beta" shouldn't be an excuse. They really need to get their sh*t together with online services, MobileMe had a very clumsy start and looks like Siri is in the exact path.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm sorry, but I have issue with the "Apple released Siri as a beta" comment. They are making it front-and-center on all of their 4S advertising, and it is an app that was present in their store and working for some time prior to being incorporated into the 4S. Seems suspiciously like a typical Apple "it's not us" diversion, finding other blame targets whenever something doesn't work right. This whole thing will either get fixed quickly and blow over, or continue to be an issue and become Siri-gate.

Guest said:

Ya mine wouldn't work Friday or Saturday..>Went to show a few friends considering the phone...Needless to say they weren't impressed. Thanks Apple!

Tomorrow_Rains said:

Guest said:

Ya mine wouldn't work Friday or Saturday..>Went to show a few friends considering the phone...Needless to say they weren't impressed. Thanks Apple!

So you paid a substantial amount of money just to show your friends?

you just defined a whole generation of apple consumers

Guest said:

^^^ Ya thats the ONLY reason I bought the phone...I just love APPLE so much I buy their products to show all my friends so they buy them too...how can anyone live without an Apple product is beyond me

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

^^^ Ya thats the ONLY reason I bought the phone...I just love APPLE so much I buy their products to show all my friends so they buy them too...how can anyone live without an Apple product is beyond me

Once reality hits you, you'd be surprised...

Besides, your trolling is as clear as day. I take it you haven't been on the internet long enough?

Guest said:

I guess my sarcasm didn't show through...lol

My point was I was just trying to show a few friends how cool Siri was and with it being down it didn't impress anyone... But I guess people are so hung up on hating Apple they think anyone who uses an iPhone is an Apple worshiper... This is my first iPhone. I like how everything just works..well till the cloud failed Siri..but when she works is is pretty amazing what she can do. People who hate iPhones usually don't have a valid reason other than they never owned the phone and thus hate anything they aren't using. How do I know this? I was a hater to..But I got fed up with my phones never working right I decided to see what the hoopla was about. Glad I did...The iPhone and Siri are really cool....But if something better came out I wouldn't hesitate to switch. Oh and I like how the iPhone only cost $199... These new phones coming out at $299 are over priced.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Sprint also only charges $199 for their new phones (32GB and 64GB iPhones 4S excluded), I'd guess you were looking at verizon, I think they ask more up front.

Either way... Apple really shouldn't use beta as an excuse the service is spotty. They're using their prime NFL advertising spots for their Siri commercial. It's their biggest and latest and greatest feature right now and if you saw an iphone commercial this weekend I'd bet it was the Siri one. That's not a beta feature.

princeton princeton said:

"In fairness, Apple launched Siri as a beta"

No citation, no evidence, nothing. Siri is not a beta, it's a selling point and if it was a beta then the phone wouldn't ship with it installed, it would be optional.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

"In fairness, Apple launched Siri as a beta"

No citation, no evidence, nothing. Siri is not a beta, it's a selling point and if it was a beta then the phone wouldn't ship with it installed, it would be optional.

While Apple did ship it with the 4S, your attitude towards Apple clouded your judgement.

Siri is currently in beta and we'll continue to improve it over time.

Source: [link]

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