“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Such was essentially every response from the iPhone 4S’s Siri voice recognition software yesterday, though without the wit or reference to a classic science fiction flick.
Users are still wondering what happened when Siri’s connection apparently went offline yesterday. When asked any question, the digital voice assistant replied with answers like “Sorry, I’m having trouble connecting to the network.”
The confusion is further exacerbated by Apple pretending nothing happened. The company did not make an official announcement about Siri’s outage.
When customers called for technical support, they reported getting replies about Apple’s servers being overloaded. But no other Apple services appeared to be affected.
Apple is not historically the best when it comes to insightful customer service or sympathizing with customers. One need only to look at the iPhone 4’s “antennagate” issue to realize that Apple would rather create a media firestorm than apologize for an error.
Siri, which has gained worldwide acclaim for its seeming grasp of normal human language and its witty, non-robotic responses, is technically still in beta and thus subject to these kinds of random blips.
Nevertheless, it would be nice if Apple could acknowledge when something happens within its company that affects end users.