iPhone 4S Siri App Leaves Scottish Speechless Says 2u.co.uk

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Many Scottish users are left frustrated whilst attempting to be understood by their new iPhone 4S says gadget insurance comparison site http://www.2u.co.uk

Anyone buying the iPhone 4S specifically for the Siri voice recognition should check it responds appropriately to their accent...

Siri, the latest app for the iPhone 4S, allows users to make voice commands to send messages, schedule meetings and place phone calls. Siri is designed to understand what the user says and means.

Unfortunately Siri fails to understand the Scottish accent, leaving Scottish iPhone users frustrated and struggling to be understood. Now it is set for release in Ireland too, Irish users may not fare any better says 2U Ltd

When Apple launched their latest innovation, the eagerly awaited iPhone 4S, in early October 2011, it looked like their new voice recognition app was set to be the winning new feature. For most users it probably still is, but for many with accents it is currently not working to its full potential, as Scottish iPhone users have discovered to their cost.

After paying out in excess of £500 for the new iPhone 4S, some of Apple’s Scottish customers are being misunderstood by Siri says 2u.co.uk

The voice command simply doesn’t understand the Scottish accent and many customers are showing their increased frustration by posting their efforts to be understood by Siri on YouTube. One Scottish iPhone user filmed seven attempts to get Siri to understand his request to simply ‘create a reminder’. Siri translated this into “Create Aramane” and “Create Aramanda”.

Judging by sketches on Scottish television comedy show ‘Burnistoun’, voice recognition devices and the Scottish accent are generally not getting along and now Apple, the world’s leading technological giant, has not got it right either. Siri, the much heralded feature of the iPhone upgrade simply isn’t working for everyone at the moment.

Those with Australian and Asian accents are also missing out on one of the main benefits of the new iPhone 4S says a spokesperson for 2U Ltd.

With its release in Ireland imminent, will Irish iPhone users have more success than the Scottish and what can buyers do if they are unhappy with it? According to Apple, Siri will be enabled on the 4S in every country including France and Germany, but some users with accents may still experience problems as it is configured to UK, US and Australian English.

Grant Burrows from 2U Ltd; an iPhone insurance comparison company, says “Anyone buying the iPhone 4S specifically for the Siri voice recognition should check it responds appropriately to their accent before they buy it. If it is unsuitable it can be returned to the supplier within the return period. The fact that Siri is not functioning properly because it doesn’t understand a user’s accent is not a malfunction of the device itself so it’s not possible for the customer to claim on insurance for a fault at a later date if they are unhappy with it.”

To be fair to Apple, when Siri is able to understand, it can act like a brilliant personal assistant; creating reminders, changing schedules, searching the web, sending texts and a lot more. It is truly interactive and multitasking; unless one has a Scottish, Australian or Asian accent that is.

This is the first time voice recognition, to the standard of the sophisticated Siri, has ever appeared on a mobile phone and hopefully its current inability to understand everyone is just a temporary glitch. Most voice recognition software on the UK market improves with repeated use. “The software usually builds up a profile of the user’s voice so the success rate of word recognition increases.” says Simon Shaw of iPhone 4S insurance comparison site 2u.co.uk

Scottish customers may find Siri improves with use too. But if it does not, will Apple be in a hurry to appease their complaints and fix the problem? At the time of writing Apple have not commented on the difficulties Scottish customers are experiencing. With sales of the iPhone 4S at 4 million globally in the first weekend of its release, Apple’s newest arrival is certainly making an impact across the world.

Perhaps the world will have to wait for the next upgrade, the iPhone 5, to be totally understood. In the meantime, if Siri cannot understand the Scottish accent, we can expect a plethora of videos posted on share sites from misunderstood Irish iPhone users too.


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Grant Burrows
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