Is Siri trying to mess with us? It appears Apple's voice-based digital assistant has been having some trouble providing the correct weather updates.
Siri has provided users in New York City, for example, with the weather forecast for New York, Texas - where it was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28°C) recently compared to the 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22°C) reported in Manhattan. As noted by MacRumors, it appears that Siri's location sensors, at least in the US, are off-kilter: weather requests for Carrollton, Texas produced results for Carrollton, Indiana, while inquiries about St. Louis, Missouri returned the weather in St. Louis, Georgia.
Being based in America, I noticed the glitch on my new iPhone 5 a couple of nights ago. Given that I had never had a Siri-enabled iPhone before, I took it for a spin with what I thought was a very basic question: what's the weather in New York City? Siri told me the weather was nearly 30°C, which was puzzling since it was a relatively cool, autumn day in the Big Apple at the time. Having heard about Siri's temperamental responses, though, I didn't think too much of it and instead got more specific and asked for the weather in Brooklyn. Siri then provided the correct forecast.
(Ed. Note: For the moment, the problem doesn't seem to be affecting the UK, with questions to Siri about the weather here in London producing the expected results, though a query about the forecast in Newcastle did somewhat bizarrely reference Newcastle, Australia. Given that the iPhone's native Yahoo-powered weather app produces the correct forecast for New York, London, and other cities - as evidenced in our header image - Siri's meteorological confusion appears to be a locational or software-based failure.)
The problem was still evident yesterday afternoon. When asking for the weather in New York again, Siri told me it was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25°C), which is about right. But looking at the six-day forecast underneath, it appears that New York will have a high of 93 degrees Fahrenheit (33°C) soon? That's more in line with New York, Texas; temperatures in Manhattan are not expected to climb above the mid-70s (low 20s°C).
Some people have suggested that perhaps asking Siri for the weather in a particular location was throwing her off, and I should have instead just asked "What's the weather?" and allowed Siri to do her job using location services. So, I just did that from my office in Manhattan, but it returned the Texas results, so something is definitely off.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Is Siri tapping in to the beleaguered Apple Maps app for her location information? Apple's new Maps app replaced Google Maps with the upgrade to iOS 6, but users have found that the app is returning bizarre and sometimes incorrect responses. When asked about it, Apple said that the app - like Siri - is a work in progress and will improve as more people use it.