A Japanese friend asked me about Apple Watch hand washing notifications that goes off every time he washes vegetables, “Is this how stupid Apple’s AI is?” Unfortunately yes, this is how stupid Apple AI technology is. Siri has made some progress in English but Japanese Siri still lags far behind Amazon’s Japanese Alexa which has made Siri-ous bilingual progress.
The Apple Watch hand washing notification is one of those ‘this is neat’ features that Steve Jobs would have nixed in development because it doesn’t fit the bigger vision of what a good product should do. All hand washing notifications do is make Apple Watch look like a dumb, incompetently designed product, which it is not. This kind of lapse, adding a feature or service when it clearly isn’t ready, or doesn’t fit the bigger vision, is becoming all too common in this ‘forever beta’ era we live in.
Apple Music and HomePod mini are in a similar Siri situation. Japanese Siri does not yet have multiple user support. This is annoying enough using the current HomePod mini since different requests from different family members get tossed together, but the lack of multiuser Siri support will be a downright embarrassment if Apple releases the new Apple Music Voice only tier in Japan without it. Let’s hope the dwindling reserves of Steve Jobs focus potion hold out at Apple HQ for a little longer to nix the Apple Music Voice plan rollout in markets without multiuser Siri.