The preliminary or testing stage of a software or hardware product; "a beta version"; "beta software"
When Apple unveiled the Siri voice recognition and personal assistant tool for the iPhone 4S, the company took the unusual step of slapping the beta label on the service. The web page over on Apple's site that describes Siri also clearly states that the service is a beta offering. Given this, why are tech pundits so shocked when the service goes dark for a few hours?
IT WENT DOWN BECAUSE IT'S A BETA!
See, Apple doesn't slap the word 'beta' on things lightly (unlike Google). When it went to great lengths during the iPhone 4S launch to call the service a 'beta' this was a clear signal that it wouldn't be perfect. Calling something a 'beta' means that you can expect things to be a little temperamental and unfinished. You can expect it not to work right. You can expect things to go dark for a while ... BECAUSE IT'S A BETA!
Also, contrary to what some pundits seem to be suggesting, Apple doesn't own anyone a reason as to why the service went dark. Why? BECAUSE IT'S A BETA!
If Siri goes dark again, just breath in and out deeply a couple of times and say to yourself 'it's a beta.' It'll be back before you know it.