Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which packs all the Apple news you missed from the past week in one handy, bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a cup of coffee or tea on a Monday morning, but it’s great if you want to read it over lunch or dinner too.
Ask Siri a question
It’s been a few weeks since the excitement of the WWDC 2023 main event, and the triumphs and disappointments have all had their chance to sink in. There were many of the former, but several of the latter, and the one that still hurts. particularly when I’m having an especially bad week with the feature in question, it’s the lack of reassurance about Siri.
Apple surely is aware that Siri is bad and needs to be improved. But looking back through our coverage of WWDC, an event that is all about the software, I can only find two mentions of the sick voice assistant. One is the news that it will soon intelligently handle multiple commands in succession without having to prompt correctly each time; This is a welcome, if late addition, coming years after Alexa and the Google Assistant got the same capability. And the other relates to missing a word from your trigger phrase, which I find disastrous. As it is, Siri constantly nags and annoys me when I don’t want it to turn on, just because it thinks (wrongly) that it heard the words “Hey Siri.” When I am only listening to “Siri”, my life will be hell. Realistically, I’ll probably have to disable that feature and access Siri by pressing a button like before. There is progress for you.
You’ll notice that none of the scenario mentions made any reference to Siri’s precision. Which is… strange.
What I wanted to hear from Apple this June was reassurance that it understands that Siri needs work and that the people at the company are on it. Perhaps it would be too much to expect an admission of failure on such a public stage, but Federighi could have made one of his self-deprecating jokes, deftly transitioning to an over-the-top job about improvements to come. I mean, what happened to Operation Bobcat, Craig?
I don’t understand why Siri isn’t the #1 priority in Apple Park right now. Because—and I must apologize to regular readers for recalling one of my favorite complaints here—voice assistant simply isn’t fit for purpose, and its shortcomings taint my experience with nearly every Apple device I own. That includes, as mentioned above, the devices (like the Apple Watch) that I very rarely use Siri on, because Siri doesn’t take a hint and work its way into my life anyway. But it’s particularly irritating to those I rely on Siri for, namely the HomePods in the living room and kitchen, and the iPhone, connected to CarPlay when I select songs on a drive.
Ask for a song that shares a name with the album it’s on, and Siri will assume you mean the album (which surely the stats would argue against?) and gleefully start playing that instead. Ask for a song that’s incredibly famous in the studio version, and Siri will inexplicably opt for an obscure live recording with unclear vocals. Ask for a song you play all the fucking time but this time say the artist’s name a little less clearly than Siri likes, and it’ll guess a song of the same name by someone else you’ve never heard in your life. As far as music options go, Siri is like that wedding DJ who patiently listens to your grandmother’s request for Perry Como and then hits the Andrew WK record she was going to play all along. It would be fun if it wasn’t so annoying.
Remember when Apple apologized for Maps? That was great! Taking responsibility is great. Resolving to make things better is great. Let’s all admit that Siri is a dog’s dinner, then we can all salivate over Vision Pro again, and I can stop writing these articles. Otherwise, the beatings will continue until morale improves.
Trends: Featured News
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the rumor factory
The iPhone 15 is getting a U2 chip to prepare for professional vision integration.
I’m sorry, iPhone SE fans. The new model probably won’t arrive until 2025… if ever.
An FCC filing suggests that Apple is launching a AirPods Max competitor of Beats.
podcast of the week
apple revealed iOS 17 at WWDC, and it looks like it’s more than a maintenance release. We talked about the iOS 17 features that caught our attention in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.
You can watch all the Macworld Podcast episodes on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
If you are reading this in a apple devicego update it right now.
New map, calendar and search integrations are coming to Chrome on iOS.
You can now home repairs your iPhone 14 and MacBook M2.
And with that, we’re done with this week’s Apple Breakfast. If you would like to receive regular summaries, please subscribe to our newsletters. You can also follow us On twitter or on Facebook to discuss the latest Apple news. See you next Monday, and stay Appley.