In the world of software a common term used to describe early, pre-release builds of a program or platform are given the term ‘beta’. It’s a term which seemingly covers a multitude of sins and essentially tells you it isn’t up to the mark just yet. One slightly confusing decision by Apple over the past couple of years was to release Siri on the iPhone 4S, publicly calling it a “beta” program. A label which has endured two new versions of iOS and a handful of devices. Finally, its beta status looks to be ending. 2 years later.
9to5Mac reports this morning that the Siri webpages no longer state that it’s a beta service. Previously, the Siri informational page read:
Siri is available in Beta only on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.
Now, it reads:
Siri is available on iPhone 4s or later, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.
That’s not all. With iOS 6, the Siri part of the guide to iOS included the little orange “beta” label. With iOS 7, it doesn’t.
With Apple quietly stating that it’s now considered a finished and fully operational product, it should open itself up for criticism when things don’t work properly. At least, that would be the norm if it hadn’t been in beta for so long. I have a feeling that most complaints against the digital assistant have been worn out.
Do you use Siri regularly? I have to admit, as much as I think it’s a great service, I don’t use it to its full potential. I normally only use it once or twice a day to set Reminders, alarms, timers or send messages.