Siri’s father: “It’s a complex problem”

Recently, Dag Kittlaus, the man responsible for that little voice giving you directions from your iPhone (also known as Siri), was speaking at a Crain’s Tech Talk Q&A session in Chicago. And he had a clear message for users who can’t get the hang of using the virtual assistant:

“I completely disagree with people who say it doesn’t work very well. You don’t launch a product that isn’t into the 90th percentile of working if you’re using it properly,” Kittlaus said.

For years, Apple has promoted Siri as the marquee feature of the new iPhone 4S. But there has been a lot of talk recently regarding Siri’s flaws. From not understanding directions, to slow responses, many users have been less than thrilled with Siri’s performance.

Kittlaus completely disagrees, however.  “You run into some connectivity issues occasionally,” Kittlaus said. “And of course, there are definitely moments where it takes a little bit too long, but it’s a very complex problem that they’re working very hard at fixing and making it perfect, and I think you’ll see it get better and better over time.”

But to Siri bashers, he’s not as cordial. Ryan read a comment sent to Crain’s by a user who said he enjoyed Siri — when it worked. “Sometimes it gets it right,” he read. “Sometimes it flat-out misses.” Kittlaus bristled and answered, “It’s not perfect.”

This story is a great example of Apple’s success. It seems Apple is often more focused on design, than functionality, and their products sometimes suffer, while their bottom line benefits. There’s a reason that they’ve made 5 different versions of the same phone, and the same goes with the iPod. While new product launches are common in the space, one has to wonder if constant upgrades are part of the master plan at Apple. Perhaps we can ask Siri.

 

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