The usually chatty iPhone 4S voice assistant, Siri, appears to be susceptible to mood swings, as she recently gave users the silent treatment for a few hours, the Daily Mail reports.
Some of Siri's actions are local, such as setting up reminders or taking dictations, others are external like finding businesses or services at the user's request, checking stock prices or traffic reports and giving weather forecasts. This second type of functionality relies on a connection with Apple's servers in order to extract answers using Google or Wolfram Alpha services.
Yesterday, however, users could only enjoy Siri's local functions. For the commands requiring a connection, users received just silence or an error message stating "trouble connecting to the network". According to analysts, the language-processing algorithms needed for Siri to perform well require massive computing power, and for a few hours Apple's servers failed to provide that.
There was no official statement, but users reported on forums that staff at Apple stores hinted in that direction when explaining the problem. The situation seems to have affected users in the US; in the UK and the majority of other markets Siri doesn't have complete functionality yet.
Users here cannot ask their iPhone 4S to find local restaurants or other businesses, give traffic reports or directions.