iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

Summary: Siri isn't working for many iPhone 4S users. All of us are asking why, but an answer hasn't been found yet.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Outage, Apple
138

Have you tried talking to Siri lately? Is she not answering you? Don't take it personally -- you're not alone today.

Apple's now-famed voice recognition and personal assistant software is suffering a major outage since at least 11AM PT. Some users are reportedly trying DIY fixes to get Siri working again, but you're really doing this at your own risk considering how complicated this platform is.

This latest debacle might anger many iPhone 4S users considering that Siri has only been on the job for a few weeks. But considering she's brand new, maybe she deserves a break.

Yet, Apple doesn't deserve a break.

Apple has not publicly responded yet, which could be troublesome for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company as it is already suffering from attacks that it hasn't been transparent enough about "batterygate," another ailment revolving around the iPhone 4S.

Unfortunately, Apple has somewhat of a history of keeping mum about its controversies. Sometimes that is a better PR move, but if we learned anything from Sony's debacle following the security breach on the PlayStation Network this past spring, it is that customers want answers (even if it is bad news) sooner than later.

Antennagate for the iPhone 4 last year got so out of hand that Apple had to have a special media event just to clear the air. Hopefully Apple has learned its lesson since then.

If you are an iPhone 4S owner, have you tried using Siri today and encountered problems?

Update: Siri has apparently returned. No transparency on what the issue was.

Topics: Outage, Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

138 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

    Siri doesn't exist on the phone? It's on the Internet only? That's bad.
    Droid.Incredible
    • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

      @Droid.Incredible It is on the phone, but I'm pretty sure it connects to a server to process the requests you give it. If it can't connect to the server it won't give you an answer.
      SpiderTech
      • Siri duplicates speech recognition locally, but mostly depends on Internet

        @SpiderTech: ... connection.<br><br>However, Siri is a <b>beta</b>, so outages are possible.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @DeRSSS

        Not according to the TV commercials.
        doug.montgomery@...
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @SpiderTech after speech is converted to data a comparison is made as to whether the request can be handled locally, such as playing music, or if outside data is needed, such as the weather or directions. Then either the phone or Siri servers take over. The connection must be there in order to figure out which one has the higher probability of completing the request though. At least this is the simple version as I understand it. I'll cut the Beta version some slack, but hoping the iP 5 is out this summer along with upgraded iOS 5 since I'll be ready to buy then.
        race_1
    • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

      @Droid.Incredible
      Actually right after the 4S launch, one of the posters mentioned testing out using Siri with the phone disconected from the network, and it mostly couldn't understand anything he said.
      Basically there's some built in functionality, but it's mostly dependent on it's host server, wherever that is, and whatever problem it's currently experiencing.
      brendan@...
    • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

      @Droid.Incredible While I'm not a fan of Apple, I have to say - Google Voice works the same way. If you're not connected to the internet, it just flat out doesn't work.
      thoiness
    • Major outage on beta software that's useless anyway. Who cares?

      @Droid.Incredible That's exactly what I thought when I saw that it connects to a server to process voice into meaning. Then, I used Siri for a while and realized it doesn't matter that it connects to the Internet. Why? Because I'll never use Siri, anyway. The ambient noise in my office causes Siri to ask me to repeat things at least half the time. I have to speak much higher than conversational level for it to understand. By the time Siri finally goes online and gets me an answer, I could have done the task manually. I just don't see myself yelling at my iPhone to do something I could do quietly in the same amount of time.

      All of that aside, Apple has publicly stated that Siri is in ongoing beta.
      BillDem
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @BillDem Probably the most pragmatic (and for most of us, recognisable and honest) response to this story. As a user of WP7 voice control and Android's in the past, none of them are particularly reliable, unless you happen to be in a sound-proofed recording booth!
        mountjl
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @BillDem So the fact that you work in a noisy office which affects Siri's ability to do it's job automatically makes it useless for everyone else and nobody is going to care about an outage? So it doesn't work in your environment, that too bad, but don't be so presumptuous to assume your situation applies to everyone else.
        non-biased
  • This is no big deal

    Apple has clearly stated that Siri is beta only.

    See? http://www.apple.com/
    Oh, wait, it isn't mentioned here.

    Here? http://www.apple.com/iphone/
    No, no mention of beta there either.

    Hmmm.

    Here? http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html
    Ah, there it is. In tiny letters. Beta.

    Apple gets a total pass on this because it is just Beta and nowhere do they advertise it as being production ready.
    toddybottom
    • No...Apple SHOULDN'T get a &quot;total pass&quot;.

      It's just another case of Apple using its customers as Beta testers, rather than getting something right BEFORE it is sold to them. It's total bullpoop.
      IT_Fella
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @IT_Fella
        You're kidding, right?
        Can you name me one consumer oriented tech company that doesn't do that?
        cosmicrepairdude
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @IT_Fella

        He's being sarcastic.
        tkejlboom
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @IT_Fella

        its all about time to market - all tech companys do it; ALL of them.
        ExEC135CrewDog
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @IT_Fella : Figures. It's on the web site but not in any phone documentation? They couldn't add a teeny tiny piece of paper stating it's in beta?

        Why is Apple including beta software in a final product? It's like Windows 8 including a beta copy of Windows Media Player. Nobody includes a beta in a final OS version.
        Gisabun
    • I don't understand something

      @toddybottom
      I kept hearing here for teh past few years that [i]Apple does not release something untill it is 100% ready[/i], which is why things like cut and paste, ect came to the later iPhones incrementally, even though other phones had those options before.
      William Farrell
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @William Farrell Oh wait... Did we say it wasn't 100% ready? What we meant to say was that it works, it just went down. Or, um, it's a feature, not a bug. You know Apple only delivers quality.

        Truth be told, it was a rushed release, because the fans were getting tired of waiting for a new phone (specifically iPhone 5), they had nothing to deliver, and they had to have a gimmick. Combined with the passing of Jobs, they were in a corner to release *something.*
        thoiness
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @William Farrell

        Apple releases a Beta of a product that needs massive testing to get right - and you make innane comments like this?

        Get a life, seriously!!!

        Which app do you use to track the posting so you can make these replies?
        richardw66
      • RE: iPhone 4S problems continue as Siri suffers major outage

        @William Farrell <br>Would you care to back up that 100% ready thing with quotes? I don't know any Apple users who think that. I always wait for for several updates to go by before I install a new version of anything. Early adopters (of any brand of software or hardware with a new OS) should know by now that they are essentially beta testers.
        cosmicrepairdude