Bad Apple #3: Reminders Doesn’t Listen to Siri

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Siri takes a lot of flack, but some of the problems Apple’s digital assistant suffers from aren’t its fault. In this installment of Bad Apple, Adam Engst looks at how Reminders fails to name reminders properly even when Siri gets the text right.

Thanks for this. I’ve been long baffled by such behavior, noting that text transcription works really well if I dictate any text for an email say but Siri edits certain items despite clearly seeing all the text.

Another thing I’d like to fix in Siri is how trigger happy it is, frequently cutting me off while I’m mid speech. It’s as if the AI has worked out something it needs to do and the rest is disposable.

Generally, the inconsistency over types of instruction is an irritation, the range of options you have for editing a message is not available if you add a note. Perhaps it is more important to be able to edit a message quickly, but I’d love the option of having a note read back to me and the ability to add to it or change it as you can with Messages.

For me, in limited testing, Reminders gets exactly what Siri hears – verbs and all. I’m in the UK, with British English language settings. I wonder if that could make a difference?

Oh, that’s fascinating. It doesn’t seem at all unreasonable that the language used for Siri might change the behavior in certain ways. Anyone else using Siri in another language?

My experience is that Siri does very badly with Notes. In fact, that’s how I started using it more with Reminders — I thought I could add stuff to a note via Siri, but it seldom worked. In contrast, a separate Reminders list works pretty well, subject to the limitations discussed above.

I am Using Siri in German and half add a note of occasions, where I would rip my hair off. Besides that it often does not seem to understand how I pronounce things ( which may be my fault), Siri often does not get the spelling correct. In German there are a lot of Nouns, which are made up of two or three or even four separate nouns, which are written in one word. Siri almost always fails to write them in one word and instead writes them in two or three words. And Siri often writes verbs which exists as nouns as well with a starting capital letters.
I often cursed Siri when dictating in German for all its errors, and often wished, that my mother language was English. At one point, I was so frustrated that I switched my iPhone set up to English. But then again, that didn’t help too much because Siri does not understand German terms for which there is no term in English, like for example names of cities, streets, people etc. .
When dictating this text, I had to make so many manual corrections on all that dictating that I feel dictating it is not too much of a help.
Oh well, Siri, long way to go.