Siri Isn’t As Magical As It Looks Outside Of The U.S.

Siri Isn’t As Magical As It Looks Outside Of The U.S.

One of the most appealing things about Apple’s new iPhone 4S, in addition to that dual-core A5 processor and 8-megapixel camera, is the incredibly impressive Siri assistant. It makes its debut on the new iPhone, and isn’t available on any other device right now. In Apple’s promotional videos, Siri is incredibly impressive and it’s amazed us all, but if you’re outside the United States, Siri may be a disappointment to you.

Early iPhone 4S adopters outside of the U.S. are learning that the new Siri assistant isn’t capable of a number of tasks when it isn’t on home soil. In other countries, Siri cannot look for businesses, use Maps, or access traffic information.

If you’re in the U.K., then, and you ask Siri to find you the best sushi restaurant nearby, or the quickest route to your grandma’s, or what the traffic is like on the way there, Siri will just give you a disappointing error message that reads:

“I can only look for businesses in the United States, and when you’re using U.S. English. Sorry about that.”

No matter how politely Siri tells you that it cannot perform these tasks, you still feel the need to smack its little face in. It’s quite frustrating that Siri doesn’t yet have these features outside of the U.S., and that it cannot fulfill its full potential on your shiny new device.

Siri is capable of performing some pretty amazing things, however, even with those international limitations. For example, you can still ask it to set up reminders, create alarms, send text messages and emails, and call your wife. It’s also worth noting that Apple has stated Siri is still in beta, and that it will gradually roll out localizations and other languages for the service in future. Let’s hope it won’t take too long.

  • Mitch McKee

    Apple stated very clearly that Siri was still in Beta upon release (http://www.apple.com/pr/librar…. Give it a few weeks. They’ve already announced future language support. 

  • FriarNurgle

    Siri, no love you long time… yet.

  • Stacy Jeptha

    Well they did warn us that Siri is still in beta.

  • TheNewReign

    The Beta tag always seems to confuse people new to technology.

  • Al

    Apple’s biggest markets will be first.

    Which are, if memory serves me right:USAUKJapanGermanyFranceCanadaAustralia

  • prof_peabody

    It’s Google that dragged that term through the mud and rendered it useless really.  Up until GMail, betas were not released to the general public. 

  • Al

    Bloody hell, is it too much for the programmers of a comments system to think that sometimes people want to type a list of things separated by lines???? Did my message really look like a multi-line attack?

    It’s a comments system, it’s not hard to do right.

  • takeo

    Good thing is, it’s a server-side change, so no software-update needed. Apple just needs to add those features over time. And they will.

  • Curzio

    Well, at least they could consider that Italy is the only country where iOS market share didn’t drop in 2011 compared to 2010… 20% with Android still behind at 18%… I’ll have to talk to my phone in English for a while

  • Michael Savage

    They said it was U.S. only during the keynote. How is this news?

  • MacHead

    Thats why its still in Beta, this will come over time

  • Delio Rossi

    Not true. (PC) Video games have done it for years. And there are a few other examples…although usually you need to contact the company in some way to be considered…

  • Delio Rossi

    Also, most of you probably already know, but Siri was originally a concept created and engineered by DARPA. Kinda spooky in a way.But then, Apple and Microsoft were funded partially through DARPA anyway so…meh…what are you gonna do?

  • Mike Rathjen

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand “bloody hell”.  I can only understand replies made in the United States, and when you’re using U.S. English. Sorry about that.

  • Mike Rathjen

    The Windows 7 beta was released to the general public for many years. They even *charged money* for the beta. As I recall, the Win7 beta was named “Vista”.

  • Mararmeisto

    That’s not really surprising considering practically ANY Canadian address I type into my iPhone 4, Maps tries to figure out where the frell it is in America. Short of including the city, province and sometimes the postal code, Maps will still struggle with “Did you mean <insert address=”” numerous=”” suggestions=”” us=””>?”</insert>

  • nthnm

    Is Canada in that list? This has been the first year that Canada was included in the initial launch list.

  • Samir_shoushan

    thats really true how i will use it in egypt or middle east for example .. it will be outside usa like voice command option not siri like in ads. or USA markets 

  • Fauzinyc

    Siri is still in its Beta! Give it a chance….

  • JDWages

    Dearest Cult of Mac, may I suggest a comma in the title?  Compare your existing title…
    Siri Isn’t As Magical As It Looks Outside Of The U.S….with a title that has a comma properly placed…Siri Isn’t As Magical As It Looks, Outside Of The U.S.or perhaps this would have been better…Outside The U.S., Siri Isn’t As Magical As It Looks 

    or my preferred title…
    Siri Not So Magical Outside The U.S.

    It’s not magical at all here in Japan seeing that it is nowhere to be found.  Further, even though Siri is very differently from the Japanese Shiri, the Japanese aren’t trained to pronounce Siri as English speakers so — so they through an H in there and it then becomes Shiri or Buttocks.

    I have long assumed that someone better or smarter than I puts in 18-hour days at Apple managing these tiny yet important details, but the evidence I see shows otherwise.  Perhaps Apple should consider hiring me to resolve these inadequacies for them.  Indeed, someone has to keep an eye on Tim Cook now that Mr. Jobs is no longer with us.

    Tisk, tisk!

  • Bob

    if you’re going to correct another person for the use of their english, you should at least get your own comments right – “so they through an H in there”…. think you meant to type “so they threw a H in there”

    :-P

  • Lucien Dol

    In a global economy with web sites (like CultOfMac) showing up at the top of Google searches and information from all over the world being available to every corner of the planet, it always keeps on amazing me how US-focused most companies still are. 

    Imagine living in New Zealand – like me – and reading all this exciting news about the iPhone 4S and the Kindle Touch (I won’t mention the Fire) only to find out that none of these new gadgets will be available in our country for quite some time to come – and that nobody can even tell me when I can get one. You can’t even order one and have it shipped over here (not through the normal channels anyway). 

    Did you know that even now – more than a year after the Kindle 3 finally became available in NZ, you still can’t get a white one? They are reserved for US customers only. Are they afraid Kiwis have dirty hands or something?

    Also – guess what, guys? – Sprint, Verizon and whatever that other US provider is called – mean absolutely nothing to the entire rest of the world.

    Come on, people, think Globally!

  • JDWages

    I clicked Like on your post only because you are correct about my mistaken spelling choice.  However, the burden of composing proper and correct English rests squarely upon the shoulders of article authors, and much lesser so on us who are but mere follower-afters in this forum.

  • Ricardo

    Que paso? Le puedo ayudar con algo?

  • Porkbamboo

    maybe they should call it 7abibi

  • Guest Rant

    Look I think the 4S is great and have been an apple user for a long time. As it were I was in the market for an upgrade at the right time, and although I wanted to change things up and try something new (I looked at every Android device I could get my hands on and checked out dozens of reviews about the Galaxy Nexus) I still kept coming back to the same conclusion – overall the 4S is ahead of the rest of the players in the market (at least for now), is easy to use, and uses the same ecosystem as my other devices. BUT, Siri not being able to perform the more ‘advanced’ functions is a huge disappointment. Some of the most handy features (i.e mapping out routes etc.), checking the address for business’s. I know it is in Beta testing, and will get better but seriously…I live in Sweden with a population around 9 million and am guessing that it isn’t going to be high on the priority list if/when Apple rolls out all the features to other countries. I understand it is natural in some ways to focus on the US as that is where Siri was developed, maybe it was easier to index businesses there? But, come on Apple the ‘rest of the world’ is also a pretty big market, Android is killing you in the developing world. Think outside the US for a change. Also agree with the Kiwi ‘Verizon”AT&T’ to me are just terrible Telcom providers I had the misfortune of having to use when I lived in the States (Miles behind other developed nations). 

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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