Test finds HomePod's Siri 'at the bottom of the totem pole' in smartspeaker AI

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 113
    I got mine Friday and have yet to hear anything but the startup chime, very THX-eque. I can’t get past the opening of the setup, says my WiFi is incompatible, must be WPA/WPA2 personal, which is exactly what my Airport Time Capsule is set up as. Just spent about 40 minutes on the phone with Apple Support gathering data to send to the wizards of Cupertino. I’ll get a call this Tuesday that will probably be more of a status update than a fix, and I’m not the only one with this problem. Anyone else experiencing this?

     I better get a bonus dividend for this one  B)
  • Reply 22 of 113
    matrix077 said:
    I hope more people doing a test like this. If reports like this won’t push Apple to be serious about SIRI I don’t know what will. 

    There’re so many fundamental things SIRI could be improved. If Apple won’t do it I hope they get called out like this until they understand it will hurt their brand. 

    (I’m talking about SIRI in general, like on iPhone, not specifically on HomePod.)
    Totally agreed. Siri is useless for sending a text and with Maps. It's maddening in downtown Atlanta (on AT&T) that my text gets noted correctly when I speak until it goes to Apple's servers and Siri converts it to nonsense. 

    Apple is so focused with gimmick tech for the tweenies that there stuff no longer "just works".
    Agreed. People say Apple gets held to a higher
    standard than others and other companies get a free pass and don’t get called out when they miss the mark.... This is true. But when you position yourself like Apple does with their high end prices, I and other have close to zero tolerance for a 2nd user experience. 

    I use use Siri daily for reminders setting timers and asking very limited questions in maps like “give me directions to my house”.

    I’d say around 70% of people here in Australia I
    speak to don’t use Siri at all. The Siri brand is seriously damaged to the point where people don’t even consider using it. I persevere and keep hoping it will get better but she honestly does seem to be getting dumber.

    The on the ground, local database entry type stuff is just not getting done fast enough.

    Spend the friggin money Apple! Get it done! 

    People expect mediocrety from Siri now and that’s a major problem that need to get fixed Asap. 
    brian green
  • Reply 23 of 113
    I never use Siri (except for timers, and was surprised to hear Alexa does multiple, which I now envy), as it never works properly. After reading through here, I thought I'll try it again with a seemingly simple query: 1. "Play some music." Worked. Apparently simple enough. 2. "Airplay to AppleTV." Siri understood the question correctly – and then showed me some webpages.
    That's why I'm not using it.
    Still getting a HomePod and hoping for the best voice assistant vice.
    edited February 11
  • Reply 24 of 113
    This is just a distraction from what they should be testing: how well Siri hears your commands to use the device when music is playing, such as changing volume, finding a podcast, or music and so on. Since that's actually representative of how I will be using the device (and unsurprisingly it works very well at that.)

    I'm not taking the HomePod in the car, so don't ask it for navigation instructions. I'm not taking it to trivia tuesdays, so probably don't ask about that crap either. I also happen to have many more devices far better suited for these sorts of thing.

    If all they're going to do is ask the AI a bunch of queries suited to Googling: then yes Google is always going to be best at that.


    randominternetpersonchasm
  • Reply 25 of 113
    jungmark said:
    Considering Apple is marketing it as a high end speaker, it’s not surprising Siri is lacking. But it’ll improve with updates. You can’t improve hardware once the device is sold. 
    There are general questions Siri can answer on the phone but not HomePod. That makes no sense to me. An example: which country has won the most gold medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Siri on iPhone answers the question. On HomePod Siri says I can’t answer that question. Why? Why all these different versions of Siri?
    I just tested your query at 2:59 AM 2018/02/11 and HomePod Siri answered Germany with two gold medals. So it looks like the various Siri’s are replicating data at different times around the world. I do wonder if the Siri’s are also translating questions and answers into all supported languages during the replication process. 
    StrangeDayschasm
  • Reply 26 of 113
    While there are many tasks that Siri doesn’t answer on the HomePod that it should, I think the lack of what it can do is overstated. For example, Alexa can order items from Amazon, the HomePod can’t... but if you’ve tried asking Alexa the Deal of the day you get item after item said to you, and it takes 10 minutes to hear. Then you need to order very specifically... yes, Alexa can do, but it’s a pain in the ass and going on the phone and ordering it is sooo much easier. Try changing the volume on Alexa. “Alexa, volume to 60%,” it doesn’t understand, so you left with needing to say, “Alexa volume up... Alexa volume up... and so on till it finally gets to a desired level. HomePod you say, “Hey Siri, volume to 20%” and it’s instantly turned down to 20%. A long rant short: Yes Alexa can do more, i’ve had mine for about a year now and while it can do a lot, I primarily use it to listen to music and control my smart lights. I am in the Apple eco system (already use Apple Music since release), so the things I use a smart speaker for are where the HomePod excels. So while Siri can’t do everything (and I’d argue there’s a lot of functions that Alexa and Google home can do, but shouldn;t because the process and experience aren’t suited for a smart speaker), the main things it does do, it does extremely well.
    randominternetpersonbrucemcchasm
  • Reply 27 of 113
    chasmchasm Posts: 563member
    evilution said:
    That being said, who really ever uses a voice assistant? I set alarms for cooking and that’s it.

    I use Siri all the time, and dictation for most of my typing these days. I raise my Apple Watch and say "Hey Siri send a message to my wife I'm on my way home" and it works ... perfectly. I use Siri to find out when local businesses are closing (or their phone number), to add appointments to my calendar, to ask about the weather on a particular day/in a particular city, to call my dentist's office (or anyone in my contacts), to ask about movie and music trivia, and to have it open apps when I only have one hand free. If I'm using an iOS device and need to type something (I'm a fast typist), I usually dictate it unless I'm somewhere where that would be inappropriate (like at a memorial service). As a trained actor, I have almost no trouble with Siri or the dictation functions, though of course I proofread my messages before they go out (English is a complex language, and homonyms/synonyms are a thing, among other obstacles). The only time I do a lot of actual typing is when I'm on my Mac (like now), or when I'm working on my book using the iPad and a keyboard. Funnily enough, it never occurred to me to set a timer for cooking before earlier this evening! What a coincidence that I should see your comment. As for the HomePod, not owning one yet I already know I won't get as much use out of it as I do with my iPhone/iPad, but that's okay. I would expect my almost-exclusive use of Siri on HomePod would be to control the music, and that's fine.
    randominternetpersonbrucemc
  • Reply 28 of 113
    demann63 said:
    It is an amazing speaker! Come on guys, you are really complaining about SIRI's VR on what is an amazing sounding speaker? I have been listening to mine all day today, and it blows me away. I have been an audio connoisseur for 40 years. As many others have said, the acoustic mechanicals and hardware are not changeable. The SIRI software totally is. That is all there is to it. Those POS Google and Amazon products are lame in the sound department, and can never get better. But whenever Apple is ready to open up SIRI, it will be a minor software update. All of you complainers need to close your pie holes, really.
    Apple have always been rubbish at cloud services and great at hardware. The problem for apple is other manufacturers produce good hardware these days too and at each budget level. Apple is being left behind on the software side so much so that even Amazon can now give it a good kicking.

    If people really want to listen to music the chances are they already have some high end speaker system. If people want a smart speaker, they buy the one that is smart, not dumb, and that is where the homepod fails right now.
    edited February 11 dacharkitatitmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 29 of 113
    Didn’t the turtle win the race?
    adamc
  • Reply 30 of 113
    evilution said:
    HomePod is a quality speaker with a poor voice assistant added on. It’s sold as a speaker.
    The Echo is a poor speaker with a quality voice assistant added on. It’s sold as a voice assistant.

    However, software updates won’t improve the sound quality of the Echo but a software update can improve Siri.

    Hopefully all of the reviews will encourage Apple to improve Siri.
    Then hopefully that improvement will force Amazon to improve Alexa. Ideally to understand more than 3 languages.

    That being said, who really ever uses a voice assistant? I set alarms for cooking and that’s it.

    And you can only set one timer with Siri and you can’t name it. Apple should be the leader in this space.
    That alone should be on Apple's priority list to fix/add.  Compared to other features, that one's basically trivial.
  • Reply 31 of 113
    genovelle said:
    matrix077 said:
    I hope more people doing a test like this. If reports like this won’t push Apple to be serious about SIRI I don’t know what will. 

    There’re so many fundamental things SIRI could be improved. If Apple won’t do it I hope they get called out like this until they understand it will hurt their brand. 

    (I’m talking about SIRI in general, like on iPhone, not specifically on HomePod.)
    Totally agreed. Siri is useless for sending a text and with Maps. It's maddening in downtown Atlanta (on AT&T) that my text gets noted correctly when I speak until it goes to Apple's servers and Siri converts it to nonsense. 

    Apple is so focused with gimmick tech for the tweenies that there stuff no longer "just works".
    Not sure what you are talking about I use Siri everyday and used it for over a year doing deliverys and it worked flawlessly. The haters on the site are abundant. Even the article titles show it. This should be Applehaters.com. No wonder there’s less than 20 comments on this page and the site that they copied the article from is full of comments. Oh I forgot they got bought out by the Android and Microsoft centric site. That makes sense. 

    Nonsense.  Siri is embarrassingly, demonstrably inferior to Google and Alexa as a voice assistant.  I love my iPhone 6s Plus and my MacBook Air, but I can still realize that Siri frankly sucks next to the competition.
    chasmcropr
  • Reply 32 of 113

    gatorguy said:
    evilution said:
    That being said, who really ever uses a voice assistant? I set alarms for cooking and that’s it.

    I had to use it a little earlier to find my darn phone. "Hey Google find my phone" will ring only mine at full volume. Not having to run around the house room by room looking for it or asking my wife to call it ( and hoping the ringer is turned up) is almost by itself worth the price of admission.  :)
    Don't you have an Apple Watch?  Find your phone is one of the surprisingly useful features.
  • Reply 33 of 113
    bluefire1 said:
    Didn’t the turtle win the race?
    True, but this turtle has a $200+ billion jet pack sitting in the bank that could help. 

    Others with a lot less cash to through at the problem,scale up their efforts, buy their way out, poach the right people are doing a better job.

    This turtle says “trust me, I got this”

    yeeeeah not so sure there champ.
  • Reply 34 of 113
    I get that Siri might not be as smart as Alexa or Google in these tests... but it all comes down to what you actually use it for as to whether it suits your needs. In a real life situation I'm not going to ask my smart speaker general knowledge questions... or if I do, it's just for fun. 

    The things I actually use it for are - Music, HomeKit accessories, Reminders and Timers - all of which it does a great job of (unless you want more than one timer of course, which I'm not so bothered about personally). 

    I made a quick video of how I got on with HomePod on day one if anyone is interested... shows how it performs in terms of dealing with requests and how far away it can listen from etc. see here - 

    I've been impressed so far!


    matrix077willcropointfirelocksuddenly newtonbrucemcEsquireCatschasm
  • Reply 35 of 113
    Doesn't the screen on the HomePod not actually display information? If this is the case then it makes sense why it won't access some data. Maps for example won't work without a screen. Web searches kind of require an interface device to be able to follow links so that makes sense that those wouldn't work.

    I'd rather HomePod just do the basics well rather than have a bunch of stuff that aren't really suited to the device.
    chasm
  • Reply 36 of 113
    Yeh the screen doesn't display info, but you can still ask it about navigation. I assume the reason that it scores low on Navigation is because of it's source of information - Apple Maps, which there is no secret that Google Maps is somewhat superior. 

    But for example, I have Apple Maps preset with my Home and Work addresses and if I say 'Hey Siri, how's my journey to work?' It will tell me the traffic is moderate, it will take x amount of time to get there and I should travel via x road. This works great because the address is preset by myself, but if for example I ask it to give me info about a certain location it might get it wrong. I asked it - 'how long will it take me to get to Shepherds Bush?' - that's only about 3/4 miles away from me in London and yet it picked somewhere that was a 4 hour drive away! When I asked again and was more specific - 'How long will it take me to get to Sherpherds Bush, London?', it then got it correct. 

    I have no doubt that if I was asking Google Maps, it would get it right first time... but I guess sorting out Apple Maps is a different discussion altogether! 
    edited February 11
  • Reply 37 of 113
    jungmark said:
    Considering Apple is marketing it as a high end speaker, it’s not surprising Siri is lacking. But it’ll improve with updates. You can’t improve hardware once the device is sold. 
    There are general questions Siri can answer on the phone but not HomePod. That makes no sense to me. An example: which country has won the most gold medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Siri on iPhone answers the question. On HomePod Siri says I can’t answer that question. Why? Why all these different versions of Siri?
    I just tested your query at 2:59 AM 2018/02/11 and HomePod Siri answered Germany with two gold medals. So it looks like the various Siri’s are replicating data at different times around the world. I do wonder if the Siri’s are also translating questions and answers into all supported languages during the replication process. 
    Huh, I just tested it again and Siri provided the right answer. Go figure. On Gruber’s podcast one thing he complained about was not being able to set multiple timers and name them. Seems like there’s some basic things Apple should have nailed for launch. Also when they do add more Siri smarts is it going to require a software update? Or will it be like Amazon where Alexa gets new skills every week. If it’s the latter how will they communicate that to people? I never see emails from Apple telling me what new things Siri can do.
    edited February 11 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 38 of 113
    waverboy said:
    genovelle said:
    matrix077 said:
    I hope more people doing a test like this. If reports like this won’t push Apple to be serious about SIRI I don’t know what will. 

    There’re so many fundamental things SIRI could be improved. If Apple won’t do it I hope they get called out like this until they understand it will hurt their brand. 

    (I’m talking about SIRI in general, like on iPhone, not specifically on HomePod.)
    Totally agreed. Siri is useless for sending a text and with Maps. It's maddening in downtown Atlanta (on AT&T) that my text gets noted correctly when I speak until it goes to Apple's servers and Siri converts it to nonsense. 

    Apple is so focused with gimmick tech for the tweenies that there stuff no longer "just works".
    Not sure what you are talking about I use Siri everyday and used it for over a year doing deliverys and it worked flawlessly. The haters on the site are abundant. Even the article titles show it. This should be Applehaters.com. No wonder there’s less than 20 comments on this page and the site that they copied the article from is full of comments. Oh I forgot they got bought out by the Android and Microsoft centric site. That makes sense. 

    Nonsense.  Siri is embarrassingly, demonstrably inferior to Google and Alexa as a voice assistant.  I love my iPhone 6s Plus and my MacBook Air, but I can still realize that Siri frankly sucks next to the competition.
    How is it nonsense when she also does the task he’s talking about for me perfectly? Like someone said above, just because SIRI is lagging behind doesn’t mean others are good enough yet, whether it be Google or Alexa. That’s why our main interaction with our phone is still our fingers. 
  • Reply 39 of 113
    At 64, 57 and 52% accuracy, the question is not: "Which is the best?".  Rather, it's:  "Which sucks the least?"

    That said:  I don't particularly want to talk to a speaker anyway...  It's awkward... 

    Conversely, I could see a hub for an automated home.  But I would still prefer visual rather than verbal questions and answers  -- such as simple screen showing me at a glance which doors are closed and locked and which aren't.
    StrangeDaysEsquireCats
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