Why Apple’s new iPad doesn’t have Siri

“Why would Apple leave Siri out of the new iPad?”John Brownlee asks for Cult of Mac. “It all comes down to two things.”

“The first is that Siri requires an Internet connection to work, and with the iPad [unlike iPhone], Apple can’t count on an Internet connection being present at all times,” Brownlee reports. “Even with the 4G models, though, Apple can’t count on an internet connection at all times because the device isn’t linked to a wireless carrier contract: it’s pay-as-you-go. In fact, many people only pay for wireless internet on their iPads when they truly need it, like when they’re away from home and traveling.”

Brownlee reports, “There’s another reason why Apple didn’t put Siri in the new iPad. Siri’s broken. That’s going to be a contentious statement, but it’s true. Siri — a beta by Apple’s own admission — is quantifiably dumber, less intelligent and less useful than it was just five months ago when it first launched… The fact that Siri is so much dumber now than it was at launch points to Apple having problems ramping it up to the extreme demand of the iPhone 4S. I don’t know for certain, but my guess is that so many people are hammering on Siri right now that Apple has to devote far less time and processing power to calculating Siri’s answers, returning measurably less intelligent answers than just a few months ago.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What do you think, has Siri beta gotten less intelligent and less useful than she was at launch? Answer below and/or in our poll on our main site on the left.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Lava_Head_UK” and “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

75 Comments

    1. I think the prudent point is the ‘noticing’ part. When we get something new like Siri, we are in wonderment and awe. After using it for a while, we become accustomed to it and expect more from it.

      I think that Siri is just the same and maybe even better but my expectations have grown faster that Siri has.

      1. the great expectations,
        yes your point is both wise and believable

        at first we laughed and played – enjoying whatever Siri gave us – not worrying if it was accurate or true – the novelty has now run off and we want solid replies

        we expect more

    1. Siri’s like a garden- she needs attention to grow. Though she’s moddy and has memory lapses. She doesn’t know the right date for DST, and I had to go straight to Google even after “educating” Siri about local pizza places. Siri needs to function and evolve without an internet connection, and with third party apps, too. Siri,my Beta Belle…

          1. Yup, just interjecting to keep things in order.
            I chose to stay clear of sewer talk and wear a clean dress.

            http://www.i4sSiri.com also looks promising.

            Why hasn’t Apple allowed Siri on other devices?
            My guess (rude or not) that billyjackblacks’ comment has some merit… Apples’ servers will get plugged pipes.

  1. I put Siri’s problems here in the Uk down to (a) being a beta and (b) Siri in the UK is a bloke. Should be a woman – better at multi-tasking (so they say !) {;-D

    1. Then do I gender reset in prefs 🙂
      I’ve noticed little to no difference with Siri here in UK – the results were always pretty random, but then Siri is not optimised for UK use anyway. I’m wondering if it’s more to with the US carriers like the dropped call issues that in my experience was never a problem here. Was in Detroit doing some film work about a month ago and Siri was pretty hopeless but I put it down to the weather cos’ boy, was it cold. So carriers may be interrupting packet transmission?
      On a side note, I could hardly believe the changed look everywhere…it’s not the city I remember from the early nineties.

    1. Absolutely. Woz was right when he noted that Siri is returning stupider results. She used to be able to do so much more. I have a feeling her “learning capabilities” have bugs in them (she is a beta)

      Hopefully, apple will have fixed the code by next year and have her up and running at 100% before the iPhone 5.

    2. Agreed. But perhaps Apple has shut things down for a while OR perhaps Apple is trying other search engines to gather replies and those engines are not so good.

  2. I have always had some problems with Siri — either she doesn’t understand what I’m asking for (hears words incorrectly, even when spoken slowly and clearly from myself and others), or Siri’s network connection is down even when I have 3G or WiFi showing available.

    Plus, I find it ridiculous that Siri needs a network connection to set a reminder, read or compose a text message, or call someone from my Contacts.

    1. Hear ye, hear ye. It shouldn’t need an internet connection. I understand what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to make the idea of being ALWAYS online a given. They’re trying to do to phones what a broadband connection did for personal computers.

      However, the nature of mobile is that you CAN’T rely on an internet connection and when you usually have downtime is when you want to do things with Siri. Things like setting appointments while you’re on the subway or composing messages when you’re on the plane, waiting to take off, or in another country and don’t want to pay exorbitant data fees.

      1. Feel your pain.
        However the amount of power of this AI to be place inside any device will not likely happen in another 10 years. Until then Siri will be partial OS and partly Cloud service – sorry.

    2. The reason Siri always needs an Internet connection (even for setting a reminder) is because the translation is done in the cloud. Your voice has to be sent to the cloud for Siri to know what you said after which she can then act upon your request. Btw, Siri works very well for me. : )

      1. And hence – believing Siri will be implemented differently on other device is odd. It is really a one UI set within the OS and tied to a Cloud service in order to function.

      2. I suspect AppliPi knows this as do I. The point is if the speech translation was done locally, 90% of Siri’s tasks (for me at least) would not need an internet connection. Calendars, reminders, calling. I am hoping that the reason we are in Beta is that Apple plans to bring Siri “home” once they’ve got processor capable; the A5 is probably not up to the task. This beta period is providing data as to the types of usage to expect so they can test and tune future iterations of Siri that run locally. At which point we will see Siri migrate to other Apple devices as well. As for Siri getting dumber, I don’t believe it. I just asked about the rainfall in Brazil and had her do some square root calks, and I got my answers.

        1. Interesting – so you feel Apple might one day burn Siri on to the Chip. Example an A7 might get Siri logic onboard to do tasks like voice to text without cloud help. Okay. Dragon dictation embedded. Then only search responses get handled in the cloud. If not on a network 3G/4G/wifi Siri will say – sorry I am not presently connected to a network try asking me when I am in the mood.

        2. LoL it’s as clear as daylight. Apple is no different than google or Facebook when it comes to wanting to capitalize on user data. This is why they have fallen under the hot seat for privacy issues also. First and foremost the translation is done in the cloud so they can learn new commands that people want and aren’t available in Siri. Secondly yes, apple wants everything to be in the cloud. Not cause its the cool thing to do, but simple because it’s the best way to make more money in this day and age. Siri is nothing more than a data mining whore who is duping everyone again.

          1. I have heard this patently false claim before from Googke apologists. You could not be more wrong.

            Some examples. The carrier IQ scandal. Apple had their version strictly sandboxes and very limited what data they would allow to be collected. Then they voluntarily ended the service before anyone knew about it.

            Google Android? It collected almost everything from people and was reportedly sending out key logging data, and other highly personal information the carriers had absolutely no business collecting and in violation of Federal wiretapping laws.

            Bottom line, Apple respects your privacy and your data. Google happily flaunts the law and illegally searches you and your data, trespasses on your property and posts photos of your home online for profit .

            There is an enormous gap between what Google has already been caught doing and what Apple does. And this is strictly based on what we *know* Google is doing. Who knows what they are doing but haven’t been caught at yet.

            It’s the difference between an ethical company that cares deeply about it’s end users, and an unethical company with no respect for privacy or the law sees its end users as a commodity they can spy on and sell data for millions in profit.

            In short violating your privacy and selling your information is Google’s entire business model.

            Deal with that.

          2. Sorry, I don’t catch your point and does not compute any criteria paralleling that in which I had made.

            I had commented that – Spark mentioned Siri one day would be local. On the device entirely. I pondered the idea; thinking if so would he be suggesting Siri be implanted on the silicon chip of a A7 for example.

            You however are saying Siri will remain cloud base and the reason is Apple chooses so for capital gains, earning control and power over privacy… like Dude switch to coke, that pepsi buzz is a downer.

  3. In my tests, Siri has snappy comebacks for more odd and pop-cultural questions now. On the first day I had a 4s I asked “What is the average flight velocity of an unladen swallow?” and she answered by popping up a printout from Wolfram Alpha. I was disappointed with her answer. Now she asks back “An African or European swallow?” a much better answer in my book.

    1. In general, she has gotten less useful and less responsive than at launch.
      Oh, and regarding the swallow question (laden or unladen, not whether she does or not), she just answered: “the last person that asked me that ended up in a crevasse.”

      1. She may be less responsive and I’m sure they are working on expanding her server resources.

        I love that new answer, I hope they keep adding more silly/fun answers like these.

        I also agree that simple things like contact information, calendar events, phone calls and other local data actions would be better if she didn’t require an internet connection.

    1. wrong. Siri WAS on prime time. (big bang theory)

      Siri works fine for me, not slower. The reason Siri isn’t on iPad makes sense, no sure net connection. But half of Siri is there.. The dictation part.

      They should put Siri on the new iPad, but have the disclaimer that it’s only on the 4g versions and only those with the service plans. (or on at least wifi)
      Maybe apple didn’t want to have the consumer confusion. IMO I think Siri will eventually be fully a part of the iPad. But maybe not until next gen.

  4. Siri certainly has not improved since launch. Frequently, it is simply unavailable for varying reasons. It does not consistently handle the same request satisfactorily, ie, (Call Joe Smith’s cell phone.) Most questions just result in a “search the web” response. “Play my favorite song” yeilds an album with the word “favorites” in it rather than the song I most frequently play. Siri does not seem to learn from repeated failed attempts of the same request. While it is a great step forward, Siri appears to be stumbling over successive steps.

  5. Siri was very responsive to me in the past. Errors were few and far in between. These days, I get many errors – i.e. when the network is not congested and I can actually get a response. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area. I don’t know if location makes a difference.

  6. I, too, have observed that Siri is getting slower. She seems to more often now get the names wrong in my address book. Sometimes it would be quicker to go to Dragon, dictate, copy, go to new application, paste. I wish there were a setting that would allow something like this to happen so that Siri doesn’t always have to go to North Carolina.

  7. From what I’ve seen with many people, it’s been useless from the start and still useless today. Great potential though – Apple shouldn’t let Siri get a (currently deserved) bad rap

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