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.