Apple’s Siri shows she’s only a beta

Owners of the iPhone 4S, some of whom are still dealing with the battery drain issues from iOS 5, were further disappointed Thursday when Siri, the automated personal assistant on the phone, took some unapproved personal leave. Siri seemed to be back in service by late Thursday evening.

Siri does require an Internet connection to work, but the phone’s program said that it was having trouble establishing a network connection despite the fact that users had connections to their cellular networks. A user on Apple’s support forums reported that a company help line representative said the problems were due to “server issues.”

Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment on what, exactly, may be going on with the company’s systems. When Siri launched, Apple did make the rare proclamation that the feature was in beta — a break from its normal approach of only launching fully developed and polished products.

But the company did have to issue a statement earlier this week acknowledging that some problems with its latest operating system, iOS 5, were causing some battery drain for devices running the system. Let’s just hope that Apple’s managed to fix its perennial daylight savings issue with its iDevices in iOS 5, and that Apple users will be able to avoid the wonky alarms that have become a yearly ritual for those who rely on their phones and iPods as alarm clocks.

Related stories:

Siri works even when phones are locked

Apple iPhone 4S review: It’s the software that’s a surprise

Some iPhones mess up daylight saving time again

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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