One thing that many seem to forget about Apple’s new voice recognition assistant is that it’s still in beta. Although Siri is available to iPhone 4S users in Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, you can’t expect a seamless experience.
While many have still been impressed with the feature since its release, others are too quick to criticize it. A report from British tabloid The Daily Mail today brands Siri a frustration that has left Scottish users “bamboozled” because it cannot understand their accent. Admittedly, Siri does have trouble trying to understand strong Scottish accents. The Daily Mail points to a number of YouTube videos which show Scottish users attempting to communicate with the assistant, most of which have little luck. One user tries for nearly two minutes to “create a reminder,” but all Siri hears is “create Aramain.”
The Daily Mail continues:
These problems occurred despite a statement on Apple’s website claiming the application has been designed to work with UK, US and Australian accents. It reads: ‘Siri can be enabled in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in English, French, or German. ‘However, Siri is designed to recognise the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. ‘Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.’
While the report provides a number of examples of Siri failures, at no point does it mention the word “beta,” or state that Siri is in testing and that the feature is not a final release.
However, not all Scottish users find Siri unsuccessful. In the video below, it actually does a pretty good job of recognizing the majority of the commands given, including creating reminders, alarms, and timers.
Until Apple declares Siri a final release, users should not expect it to work without a few hiccups. And to be fair to the feature, it’s not the only thing that has trouble with the Scottish accent. I’ve been listening to my granddad, who has a strong Scottish accent, for 23 years, and I still don’t understand half of what he says.