In just a few hours, Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 and it won't be long that existing iPhone owners will be able to download iOS 6. The newest version of Apple's mobile operating sytstem will bring a number of enhancements to the iPhone user experience, with Apple's homegrown Maps app getting the lion's share of the attention. But when Scott Forstall went through some of the new features in iOS 6 at the most recent WWDC, he also detailed a number of improvements to Siri, Apple's voice recognition/personal assistant feature.
And speaking of Siri, Bloomberg reported yesterday that one of the co-founders of Siri, Adam Cheyer, is no longer working for Apple. Citing people familiar with Cheyer's situation, the report notes that Cheyer, who formerly worked as an Engineering Director in Apple's iOS group, has left. Reasons for the departure weren't disclosed.
The departure is at least the second among Siri’s founding team since Apple bought the company in April 2010 and follows the exit of Chief Executive Officer Dag Kittlaus last year. While Apple has made Siri the defining characteristic of its iPhone 4S, the service has been criticized by some users who have complained it doesn’t match the experience portrayed by actors such as Samuel L. Jackson in Apple’s television commercials.
And I would tend to agree. While Siri does work sometimes, I often find it's not worth the hassle when I'm typically told that Siri "can't handle any requests at the moment." Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, has promised some interesting new features down the line and has said that Apple was working furiously to address many of the bugs and performance issues folks have been complaining about.
Hopefully with iOS 6 around the corner, Siri will finally be what everyone was hoping it would be when it first launched last fall.