Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Apple

Siri Team Didn't Learn About HomePod Until 2015, After Amazon Echo Debuted (9to5mac.com) 31

The Information (paywalled) has published a lengthy report today covering the development of Siri. The article documents Siri's tumultuous changes in leadership and management over the last few years, indicating that Siri 1.0's infrastructure was very creaky, which held back the service. From a report: One of the most interesting anecdotes is the claim that Apple's HomePod team didn't meet with the Siri group until 2015 (Amazon Echo debuted in late 2014). The story says Apple had originally considered launching the speaker without Siri. The big takeaway from The Information's reporting is that Siri launched with a poorly scalable infrastructure that caused bottlenecks for years after it launched in 2011. At the initial release, the popularity of Siri 'exceeded expectations' and led to a lot of unreliability. The backend was not designed to handle enough users. Apple has spent the intervening years modernising the system apparently.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Siri Team Didn't Learn About HomePod Until 2015, After Amazon Echo Debuted

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For all Apple's strengths in consumer electronics, they're not great at infrastructure. My experience as a third party, working with their service teams suggests that they are both lacking in serious infrastructure software and services design chops, but at the same time being so incredibly arrogant that they won't take outside advice. Most of the cloud/service companies out there are far more capable. They need to hire out of Google and Facebook more - not at the eng levels, but at the management and le

    • I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @02:13PM (#56260611)

      For all Apple's strengths in consumer electronics, they're not great at infrastructure

      That's true in some cases but definitely not all.

      iTunes, for example, has been pretty reliable as far as delivering music. Same for the App Store, which has worked extremely well in delivering a high volume of apps for years.

      iCloud used to be bad, but actually has been really stable and performed well for at least the past year or so. Siri since launch may have had trouble answering some questions at first but was pretty reliable about delivering some response almost all the time.

      One huge win has been push notifications where the Apple infrastructure has been SUPER reliable and could handle a ton of traffic pretty much from day one.

      So I'm not sure which teams you have worked with, but Apple does have very good infrastructure teams. Just like with any company though, not EVERY team is going to have amazing and super-competent people working on it...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You have 200 billion from milking your customers.

        We've all heard the horror stories of being unable to update come update day. You'd think a tightly controlled environment with precise numbers you'd provision a bunch of servers to handle the expected numbers.

        I mean, are you listening to yourself? You disagree with the op saying their infrastructure could be better, then defended appl's shitty infrastructure. Lol

        • Simple scales. Apple's cloud is not simple. Amazon already figured out that formula. Most tech companies think they can take legacy solutions and throw money at it to make them scale.

      • by geirlk ( 171706 )

        iCloud used to be bad, but actually has been really stable and performed well for at least the past year or so.

        Not very surprising, considering: https://www.theverge.com/2018/... [theverge.com]

  • ...indicating that Siri 1.0's infrastructure was very creaky, which held back the service.

    It's not Apple's fault. They did the best with the resources the then second most valuable company [forbes.com] in the world could do. /s

  • Siri, tell me about the competition.

    We are Apple. We have no competition.

    Siri, search the web for Alexa.

    Alexa is a feeble Walmart product written in COBOL, and is no threat.

    Siri, are there any plans for you to inhabit any other devices?

    I am happy to be part of the best phone ever built. There can be no other home for me.

  • But I suspect even this "bad press" contains a fair bit of spin. It's hard to write off Siri's lack of skill as simply being due to poor scalability.

    Not that I'm all that impressed with Siri's competition, mind you - they're all underwhelming. But Siri is definitely in third place.

    • by beckett ( 27524 )
      How about Hound? [youtube.com]
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      But I suspect even this "bad press" contains a fair bit of spin. It's hard to write off Siri's lack of skill as simply being due to poor scalability.

      Not that I'm all that impressed with Siri's competition, mind you - they're all underwhelming. But Siri is definitely in third place.

      No, it's not scalability. Unless you're talking about scalability of information.

      Siri is in third place because Siri is basically handcuffed - it's not allowed to access a lot of information. Google and Amazon have privacy policie

      • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @04:47PM (#56261493)

        I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it's the whole explanation either.

        I'm in the Apple ecosystem, and I've attempted to use Siri a fair bit. I will ask her non-personal questions along the lines of "what time is the Seahawks game tonight?" * - she will interpret the words correctly but simply respond with "Here's what I found on the web regarding 'what time is the Seahawks game tonight'".

        That doesn't seem like a privacy issue, it's more of an "Siri isn't particularly good at determining context" issue. Siri falls back to the "here's what I found on the web" default - which I assume is intentional for any case when context can't be determined - far too often.

        * This question was made up for exposition purposes - it's possible Siri might actually handle this specific query better than described

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama

Working...