Won’t You A Love A More Efficient, Improved Siri?

By | February 3, 2014
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Among iPhone-users, Siri is already a rage – but can the virtual mobile assistant become even better? It definitely can, and here’s how!

 

We have already dwelled on the enormous range of tasks that Siri – the virtual assistant on iPhone – can perform for users. The ready wit and humor that has been programmed into Siri has also been touched upon. However, is Siri the quintessential ‘perfect’ mobile assistant? Probably not, if the lawsuit that Apple faced over the shortcomings of Siri is anything to go by. Let us here take you through some features that an improved Siri (if and when available) should have:

 

  1. Tweeting – Given that the Twitter integration on iPhone 5 is really great, the fact that Siri cannot create and publish tweets on your behalf comes across as a disappointment. Surprisingly, the virtual assistant does understand the task – but is (as it says itself!) is incapable of doing it. A newer, better version of Siri should definitely address this issue. A tweet-reader functionality would also help.

  2. Understanding heavily accented English commands – The fact that Siri is now available in multiple languages has been hailed by general iPhone users and representatives from every mobile application development company worldwide. However, there have also been reports that Siri often fails to understand English commands without the traditional American accents. With the global user-base of Apple iPhone steadily on the rise, Siri simply cannot suffer from a language barrier.

  3. Less reliance on web connectivity – It’s as simple as this – if your iPhone does not have internet coverage, Siri will not work. The latest iOS devices have done away with the old offline voice dialing features – and that often adds to the problem. In late-2012, there was a serious network problem on Apple devices, and Siri was rendered useless for over 24 hours. An improved Siri should retain certain basic functions even when there is no internet connection.

  4. Better performance as a task-scheduler – Setting reminders with Siri is easy – for activities ranging from important business meetings, to a visit to the local grocery store. However, there is no option to edit a reminder, after you have confirmed it. Setting up a list of goods you need to buy is an unnecessarily time-consuming task as well. Siri is, at present, the most trusted mobile reminder app – but there are still scopes for improvement.

  5. A bit more common sense – Siri’s pool of general knowledge is mighty impressive, but she should really stop taking every command in the literal sense. In particular, if your command is a fairly long one (e.g., a command to text a contact about something important), the response can often be erroneous. If you say ‘Tell Mark he has to play tonight’, Siri would send the text ‘he has to play tonight’ – leaving poor Mark completely confused!

  6. Managing the Bluetooth and Wi-fi connections – For managing your iPhone’s wi-fi and Bluetooth features, there are no options other than browsing to the ‘Settings’ tab, and doing what’s required manually. Siri cannot help you with enabling/disabling these connectivity features – which is strange, because it is programmed to perform much more complex tasks. When those up top at Apple plan a new and improved Siri, they should surely implement these wi-fi/Bluetooth toggling features in it.

  7. A better ‘raise-to-speak’ option – Wish to raise your iPhone near your ear, for giving voice commands to Siri? You might find that the feature does not get activated – even though you have made the required changes in the Siri settings. A common complaint that many iPhone app development companies in India and abroad often receive is that, people are still having to press the ‘Home’ button, even though ‘raise-to-speak’ has been turned on. When Siri gets a makeover, users (hopefully) would find using this option to be easier.

  8. Email readability – Siri can read text messages, but email messages are, apparently, too difficult for her. While you can instruct the iPhone virtual assistant to compose and send emails, reading new mails has to be done on your own. If you receive spam mails, Siri won’t help you to mark/flag them either. Siri might have problems in reading long emails with heavy attachments – but why it can’t read even short mail messages remains a mystery.

  9. More voice options – Probably a petty complaint, but even so, it is worth a mention. You can toggle between the male and the female voices of siri – but that’s about it, when it comes to the speaking versatility of the popular virtual assistant on iPhone. If you do not like the default male/female voice (there’s no guarantee that you will), there is no option to browse other voice tones and modulations. People interact with Siri every day, and they should be able to choose a voice that they find to be the most pleasant.

  10. Ability to add contacts – Another inexplicable shortcoming that Siri, in its present avatar, has. Since the mobile assistant has easy voice-dialing features, you would expect it to add new contact names on command too – but Siri can do nothing of the sort. You have to tap on your phone screen, to make a fresh entry to your address book. Siri cannot edit any contact information either.

  11. Option to initiate apps with Siri – The Spotlight feature of iOS devices does make using multiple mobile apps simultaneously possible – but things can be made much easier. If only Siri could be instructed to launch the applications you require, you would no longer have to browse through the apps that are already open. In case you have lots of apps running, choosing the one you need at a certain point in time can be tiresome.

With iPhone app development in India and overseas steadily picking up pace, we can probably expect Siri to have better voice-transcription abilities in future. The new version of the virtual iPhone assistant, when it comes along, should also provide the option of directly navigating to specific web addresses (Siri can’t do that at present). Siri is relied upon by many for tasks of various types – and with a proper upgrade, it would become even more useful!

 

Hussain Fakhruddin
Follow me

Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
Follow me
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *