With New Siri Promised For iPhone 4S, Apple Pulls Existing Siri From App Store

All excited about Siri coming to the iPhone 4S? It does look pretty cool. And many people enjoyed using a version of Siri already on existing iPhones. But that enjoyment appears to be over, as the Siri app no longer works consistently.

Siri Gone For Some, Gone From App Store

I fired up Siri on my iPhone 4 about an hour ago and got a message saying, “Retrieval Failed – Siri could not download required information from the server.”

One of our Search Engine Land editors confirmed the same.

When I tried to find Siri on the iTunes app store, nothing came up, regardless of whether I searched from my phone or desktop. So, it does appear to be gone.

Siri “Leaving” On Oct. 15

TechCrunch reported getting an error similar to what I got above, then said a new message began appearing:

I’ve been replaced! The new Siri is even smarter and better looking than me, and waiting for you on the iPhone 4S. I’ll be leaving for home Oct 15th. Until then…how can I help you?”

Another of our editors who regularly uses Siri, with an up-to-date version, says it’s still working for her, though it does display the “leaving for home” message. Mike Blumenthal also emailed us the same message, along with a screenshot shown to the right.

So, it might be that existing users can continue with the app until that date

Why Pull Siri?

Some have loved the Siri app on the iPhone. I always found it kind of clunky and slow, myself.

It may be that Apple has decided that the new version demoed during today’s Apple event should be the only one out there, both to encourage sales of the new iPhone 4S and so as not to have an older app that might disappoint owners of older iPhones, if they see the more robust version.

Of course, those who have been happily using Siri on their existing iPhones probably aren’t going to be pleased.

On the Apple site, there’s a new page all about Siri, positioning it as a “beta” (the “old” Siri wasn’t) and exclusively for the iPhone 4S.

For those who like the idea of speaking and getting answers back from their iPhone, the Google iPhone app allows this. It doesn’t provide the task completion capabilities you find promised with the new Siri app, nor with Google Voice Actions on the Android platform.

Postscript: See How Siri Patches Up The iPhone’s Voice Search Weakness Vs. Android.


Related Topics: Apple | Channel: Mobile


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/robertnpratt Rob Pratt

    I agree with you that it’s not as slickly integrated, nor as full-featured as what Apple has created. That being said, I just tried Siri after reading your article and it is working (just pulled weather). I think what you might have experienced was an update to their web servers possibly. I’m seeing the same replacement message, with the question of how it can help. It’ll be interesting to see if the current / replaced Siri app will continue to be available to those who already have installed it.

  • Michelle Robbins

    I love Siri. Have used it for quite a long time now. It’s still working for me on my iPhone 4. I just used it, with voice, to find gas, tacos, shoes and directions to the airport :) I did see the same message TechCrunch reports about October 15th, but the app is still humming along quite nicely for me. I will be very, very sad if on October 15th, I can no longer use Siri on my 4. My assumption is that the 4 will still support it, while earlier iPhone generations will not. Will have to wait and see.

  • http://ThoughtsCubed.com Greg J Powers

    That really sucks that Siri cuts off all the previous version user of the product.

  • Jon Sacks

    I have had Siri on my iPhone 3GS for over 18 months and I have been (admittedly) an infrequent user. I tried to use it today (this morning and this afternoon) and only got the “Retrieval Failed” error. I was not able to use it at all. That is disappointing. That being said, I’ve resigned myself to getting a 4S because my 3GS simply doesn’t work any more.

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