Ex-Apple executives snipe on Twitter following Siri launch account

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  • Reply 21 of 30
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,329member
    williamh said:
    knowitall said:
    who knows if siri is actually finally fixed and is just awaiting release in the next wwdc? all this news coming out is just to draw attention and renew awareness of the assistant.
    Siri cannot be fixed because it’s a server solution. 

    That seems like a silly thing to say.  That actually makes it sound like something easier to test and fix than if it was all on the phone. After all, it's a matter of improving the server rather than a billion phones of various models and capabilities. 
    Not so silly. Servers introduce a single point of failure and have much less computing power than the distributed computing power of all iOS devices. Also, servers are surprisingly difficult to maintain and iOS devices have very similar capability’s.
    But the main thing is that a server solution is inherently flawed in this case because it doesn’t function when the network is down.
  • Reply 22 of 30
    thttht Posts: 3,212member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    tht said:
    Losing Forstall was a huge change, and the management realignment that followed hasn’t fully recovered from it while Apple expanded to having 3 more platforms (watchOS, tvOS, whatever HomePod is using). They need another SVP, at least. Like organize for a SVP for macOS and iOS and an SVP for watchOS, tvOS and HomePod, basically, a SVP for large screen operating systems and a SVP for embedded operating systems.

    There is going to be a wearables OS, based on iOS, that will run on future headphones too, so it isn’t a small job, and voice is going to be a big part of it. Siri should be folded into whoever is running watchOS, tvOS, etc.

    They’ve gotten so much bigger since Siri launched, but their management org has been the same since 2012. Stuff is falling through the seams.
    Forstall and his deputy (the guy shifting blame on to his team) were in charge of Siri and Apple Maps when they launched. So that’s two ginormous screwups at the same time. If Apple is missing something, it isn’t him. 
    By the sounds of it, it was Williamson that was personally reponsible for the Maps & Siri fiasco, he's the only one that should've been fired.  Otherwise, Eddy Cue should also be fired because since post-Forstall Siri languished for a few years under his leadership.  I think firing Forstall was just an excuse because he was a threat to other senior execs.
    Forstall put him in charge so that Forstall himself could handle the Apple Maps launch. Forstall screwed the Apple Maps launch and Williamson botched the Siri launch. So Forstall is essentially responsible for messing up his own project, and appointing the guy who messed up the other one. 

    I think Forstall was fired because he lied to Cook when he said Maps was ready to launch, refused to apologise (along with Cook) for the screwup, and was more interested in building his own power fortress than playing for the team. 

    The article shows hows that this division was in pretty bad shape under his leadership. Cue has managed to get a few new components  integrated, but he’s a Services bod. Siri needs a software development expert to lead it, which is why they (belatedly) put Federighi in charge. 
    It’s been 6 years. That’s long enough for Apple to redesign Siri twice over. The only logical conclusion for Siri’s relative performance to competitors is that they simply don’t care about it enough to be a top priority, they don’t think of it as a big enough feature that can sell devices, or the organizational structure can’t handle or integrate the myriad of devices and services Apple now offers. It’s probably all three.

    If it was a really important feature for them, it would have manifested itself in the hardware. Like, there would be a 4 or 5 microphone array on iPhones, Macs, etc, to better pick up voices, and there would be a dedicated hardware ASIC on Apple’s ARM SoCs to do voice related processing.

    They may have a point in thinking that it isn’t that big of a feature, as talking to a computer isn’t exactly a broadly used UI mechanism. Maybe they think it is a small niche right now and can take their time. I really have little use for voice assistant other than what is there now, for timers and asking for information.
  • Reply 23 of 30
    thttht Posts: 3,212member
    knowitall said:
    williamh said:
    knowitall said:
    who knows if siri is actually finally fixed and is just awaiting release in the next wwdc? all this news coming out is just to draw attention and renew awareness of the assistant.
    Siri cannot be fixed because it’s a server solution. 

    That seems like a silly thing to say.  That actually makes it sound like something easier to test and fix than if it was all on the phone. After all, it's a matter of improving the server rather than a billion phones of various models and capabilities. 
    Not so silly. Servers introduce a single point of failure and have much less computing power than the distributed computing power of all iOS devices. Also, servers are surprisingly difficult to maintain and iOS devices have very similar capability’s.
    But the main thing is that a server solution is inherently flawed in this case because it doesn’t function when the network is down.
    I’m not sure what it means for Siri to be fixed. Generally it works great for what I use it for. Things like timers and information related requests. A lot of the complaints I see are usually half-half bad human and bad Siri type of thing. Someone asks Siri about something, and Siri doesn’t answer the question correctly. 9 times out of 10, it’s usually the person asking the question in an odd way, in a way that humans sometimes would have trouble with. It doesn’t take a genius to rephrase the question or correct the question through editing their question.

    Gruber made a post about Siri not knowing who Draymond Green was awhile ago. I would bet a lot he simply did not pronounce his name correctly, and didn’t remember that he was not pronouncing the name correctly. Or that Casey Liss complained that Siri didn’t get his question about when a VT Hokie NCAAB game was. He asked something something when is the Virginia vs Cleveland game instead of using Virginia Tech or Hokie, which is much easier the understand the context of. Again, he should know better and it’s not that hard to be specific.

    My biggest issue with Siri is latency. Milliseconds matter here, and a round trip to the server and back could take seconds let alone milliseconds. That’s why the transcription and voice UI should live on-device. Data lookups obviously have to be over the Internet, but latency in voice response is much more important than showing the data faster.
  • Reply 24 of 30
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,999member
    tht said:
    Losing Forstall was a huge change, and the management realignment that followed hasn’t fully recovered from it while Apple expanded to having 3 more platforms (watchOS, tvOS, whatever HomePod is using). They need another SVP, at least. Like organize for a SVP for macOS and iOS and an SVP for watchOS, tvOS and HomePod, basically, a SVP for large screen operating systems and a SVP for embedded operating systems.

    There is going to be a wearables OS, based on iOS, that will run on future headphones too, so it isn’t a small job, and voice is going to be a big part of it. Siri should be folded into whoever is running watchOS, tvOS, etc.

    They’ve gotten so much bigger since Siri launched, but their management org has been the same since 2012. Stuff is falling through the seams.
    Forstall was toxic and I don’t think he should come back. But I agree Apple needs another SVP. One that oversees all of Apple’s cloud efforts, ML/AI, Siri and Maps. Craig Federighi has too much on his plate as it is. Move Eddy Cue to LA and have him focus exclusively on content.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 25 of 30
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,999member
    tht said:
    Losing Forstall was a huge change, and the management realignment that followed hasn’t fully recovered from it while Apple expanded to having 3 more platforms (watchOS, tvOS, whatever HomePod is using). They need another SVP, at least. Like organize for a SVP for macOS and iOS and an SVP for watchOS, tvOS and HomePod, basically, a SVP for large screen operating systems and a SVP for embedded operating systems.

    There is going to be a wearables OS, based on iOS, that will run on future headphones too, so it isn’t a small job, and voice is going to be a big part of it. Siri should be folded into whoever is running watchOS, tvOS, etc.

    They’ve gotten so much bigger since Siri launched, but their management org has been the same since 2012. Stuff is falling through the seams.
    Agreed. As far as Forstall goes if he was so important why hasn’t some other big tech co or startup snatched him up? I don’t believe for one second that he’s decided he wants a career in theater. I think Forstall and Tony Fadell are similar in many ways. Fadell didn’t last long at Google. And remember after Forstall was let go Fadell said in a BBC interview “he got what he deserved”. Obviously there was no love lost between those two. Also rumors were Bob Mansfield wouldn’t be in the same room with Forstall unless Tim Cook was there. I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Mansfield.
  • Reply 26 of 30
    thttht Posts: 3,212member
    tht said:
    Losing Forstall was a huge change, and the management realignment that followed hasn’t fully recovered from it while Apple expanded to having 3 more platforms (watchOS, tvOS, whatever HomePod is using). They need another SVP, at least. Like organize for a SVP for macOS and iOS and an SVP for watchOS, tvOS and HomePod, basically, a SVP for large screen operating systems and a SVP for embedded operating systems.

    There is going to be a wearables OS, based on iOS, that will run on future headphones too, so it isn’t a small job, and voice is going to be a big part of it. Siri should be folded into whoever is running watchOS, tvOS, etc.

    They’ve gotten so much bigger since Siri launched, but their management org has been the same since 2012. Stuff is falling through the seams.
    Agreed. As far as Forstall goes if he was so important why hasn’t some other big tech co or startup snatched him up? I don’t believe for one second that he’s decided he wants a career in theater. I think Forstall and Tony Fadell are similar in many ways. Fadell didn’t last long at Google. And remember after Forstall was let go Fadell said in a BBC interview “he got what he deserved”. Obviously there was no love lost between those two. Also rumors were Bob Mansfield wouldn’t be in the same room with Forstall unless Tim Cook was there. I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Mansfield.
    Forstall shipped, and he delivered good software. Obviously, he was toxic to the executive team without Jobs being the center of the Apple universe, so a change needed to happen, but Forstall knew has programming, especially Apple’s Objective-C frameworks. He was the person who shepherded Carbon through, which arguably saved Apple. Then he delivered 8 years worth of iOS software. It was a bad loss for Apple’s institutional memory of its Obj-C frameworks. He was the last true NeXTian manager. Who knows why he hasn’t taking on another engineering job, but he doesn’t have to. Pursuing this Broadway show stuff is perfectly fine.

    But point is, Forstall was in charge of iOS software. Federighi, who basically had a 10 year break from NeXT and Apple was in charge of Mac OS X and was finally getting the hang of it in 2012. Then, he basically had to stop doing that as taking over iOS software was essentially starting a new harder job while still keeping your old job. There needs to be more SVPs. There needs to be a counterweight to the design group. Heck, the retail stores maybe even need more management help.
  • Reply 27 of 30
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,740member
    tht said:

    If it was a really important feature for them, it would have manifested itself in the hardware. Like, there would be a 4 or 5 microphone array on iPhones, Macs, etc, to better pick up voices, and there would be a dedicated hardware ASIC on Apple’s ARM SoCs to do voice related processing.


    That is such a good point.   Bought a new iPhone and its the same old bad Siri as before.  When you hear these great things about how Siri on the HomePod can pick up your voice why can't it do the same on the iPhone 8/iphone 8+/iPhoneX at least as good on the Apple watch (HomePod > Watch > iPhone).   Siri on the phone should work much better.   Siri should be able to control the phone without an internet connection (local processing only).   

  • Reply 28 of 30
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,801member
    tht said:
    At some point, I would like the voice interface to live on the device. Maybe there was a reason to make the round trip to the server 7 years ago, but at some point in time, there will be enough computational power and storage to do it on device. The current SoC performance is really close to do most of Siri.

    Phones could do basic voice interaction like dialing a phone number or start a timer 8 years ago or more. Really don’t see why the vast majority of Siri interaction can’t be on device. It can pull from the Internet for information it may not have on device, but all the voice processing should be on device to minimize latency. 
    This my opinion too. Anything that doesn't absolutely need an internet connection for updated content should be doable on the device. All the settings should be controllable by local voice commands. Music/video playback, extraction and use of local metadata etc.

    We are getting there. The Mate 10 can do live on device translation without an internet connection while rumours suggest the P20 will be able to control all its settings by voice (Chinese language only at first) and have improved image recognition, all offline.

    Apple will surely do the same at some point.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 29 of 30
    The reason for the increase in crappy software leaking through to the public is Apple losing focus and leadership. It needs to be run more like a Dictatorship like it was under Steve Jobs. Now it's behaving like a democracy, and shows a lack of decisiveness to get things fixed when things go wrong. It all comes down to the CEO, if Tim can't get his team in order he needs to be replaced. Apple needs a CEO who won't take the recent poor quality output coming out of Cupertino and won't take any excuses. They should be embarrassed, this is not what Apple is about.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 30 of 30
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 227member
    I'd like to buy a HomePod but Siri is fighting me. It's not her attitude... she just doesn't know how to access specific playlists residing in a shared Mac's iTunes app (that is on the network). My Apple TV can see my Macs and play from their shared iTunes playlists to my stereo system... and I can access one shared iTunes library from another Mac on my network... and I understand I can play music from iTunes to a HomePod... so it is just a matter of Siri on a HomePod getting the skill to access and play a specifically-named iTunes playlist, accessible on the network. I'd like to use Siri in this way... and then I'll buy a HomePod.
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