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.