Saturday, March 26, 2011

Siri: Nice But It Can And Should Be Better

After my failed attempt to get one last AT&T version of the iPad 2, I started looking for the closest Best Buy to see if I can go there and see if they've got any in the store.

I started with Maps and ended with Siri, an app whose company that made it was bought by Apple a while back.

In Pasadena, California, the Maps app gave me a couple of locations for Best Buy that was not Best Buy. It gave me a uniform store and another location that I didn't bother looking into.

So I turned to Siri. Launched the app. And I spoke into it.

"Best Buy...Pasadena."

I dispensed with saying California because I figured that it knows I am in California based on the location function. I was tethered to the iSpot so it probably has an idea where I was.

Within a five seconds, it provided me with the Best Buy location in Pasadena. Faster and better than Maps.

However, that was where the good ended and where Siri can get better. I tried a different query. I asked for "Store hours...Best Buy...Pasadena..."

It showed me the same search result for Best Buy in both times, after that point, I had to resume clicking on what I needed. Modifying the parameters of the query did not change the results.

There are four things I like to see.

First, Apple should improve on the intelligence of Siri. I like to see better query results. If I want hours of Best Buy, it should easily have the ability to give me just that at the start.

Failing that it should allow for follow-up queries. And this is the second improvement I like to see. Maybe there should be keywords that when spoke allow for a follow-up based on the first search. I wanted hours so I like Siri to somehow give me the option to dig deeper into the search.

In this instance, it offered me the choices to call or go to the website. So if I said "call", I like it to be able to dial the number automatically or "website" and it takes me there.

The third option is that I like to be able to have Siri act as a spoken search apparatus for the iOS device. Say a contact and have Siri dial it automatically or be able to email or text the contact. I'd love it it can serve to launch apps as well or launch web pages from the bookmarks.

Basically, I want Siri take away from the typing and tapping and move all that to voice. Google's Android already does this pretty well. Siri is horribly inadequate here and this is a strong advantage that Android has over the iOS.

The last point is probably asking too much but this is Apple so maybe it's not. I like to see if the app can learn from out behaviors to anticipate our queries and mobile uses.

This would bring a whole new and revolutionary mobile experience.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

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