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

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  • Reply 41 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.
    Great reasoning! I very much agree with that.

    And I agree, but would suspect that is exactly where Apple wants to go: into the hub for a home. Basically, they now have 2: HomePod and AppleTV. My guess is that they will expand on this with e.g., what you say a screen. And then they might rename tvOS into homeOS, serving all these needs.
  • Reply 42 of 113
    Ben Thompson’s latest podcast is interesting. He’s arguing that Apple’s strategy right now is making more money off their existing user base. Also making the opposite argument of those who think HomePod is a way to sell Apple Music subscriptions. He argues HomePod exists to give current Apple Music subscribers the best way to utilize the service. Interesting counter argument considering so many in the tech press and other media are arguing HomePod is all about driving Apple Music subscriptions.

    I do wish Apple would re-think their services strategy though. It seems the strategy is we don’t need to be the best we just need to be good enough. That’s fine when users have access to an alternative that might be better. But that doesn’t exist with Siri. Siri is locked down and users can’t pick something else to be their default voice assistant. In that case Siri can’t be just OK or good enough, it needs to be best in class. And if Apple doesn’t have the interest or resources to make it best in class then let users choose a different voice assistant. And if HomePod is about monitizing existing customers and not driving Apple Music subscriptions  then open it up to other services. There’s no doubt a considerable number of iOS device users who are Spotify users and have no intention of becoming Apple Music users but would spend $349 on a great speaker if it natively supported Spotify. By now there should be a Siri domain for music and podcasts. HomePod would have been the perfect device to introduce it with. I have no doubt Apple is getting that feedback. Maybe they'll announce it at WWDC but why it (along with other Siri skills) wasn’t there at launch baffles me.
    brian greenmuthuk_vanalingamcropr
  • Reply 43 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member

    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.
    I've looked at the Apple Watch and TBH don't really care for the design. I've also considered "other" smartwatches but in comparison to the Apple Watch they kinda suck. So no, the wrist jewelry just isn't a thing for me, nor is the added cost for limited benefit. I rarely wear the somewhat expensive timepieces I already have unless "dress to impress" is the agenda.

     But yes simply asking out-loud "find my phone" is a surprisingly useful feature and as I'm getting older an almost embassingly common one. 
  • Reply 44 of 113
    The HomePod is primarily a device to listen to music on. Therefore Siri on the HomePod is mostly focused on music, not driving or making phone calls, you have a phone for that. I think the people buying the HomePod will be satisfied with the HomePods abilities. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 45 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member
    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... 
    You left one out (in order to make your point?):
    81 percent for Google, 64 percent for Alexa, 57 percent for Cortana. and 52 percent for Siri.  

    edited February 11 anantksundaram
  • Reply 46 of 113
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,790member
    gatorguy said:

    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.
    I've looked at the Apple Watch and TBH don't really care for the design. I've also considered "other" smartwatches but in comparison to the Apple Watch they kinda suck. So no, the wrist jewelry just isn't a thing for me, nor is the added cost for limited benefit. I rarely wear the somewhat expensive timepieces I already have unless "dress to impress" is the agenda.

     But yes simply asking out-loud "find my phone" is a surprisingly useful feature and as I'm getting older an almost embassingly common one. 
    I don't wear watches either. For my phone, simply saying ''OK Emy, where are you?" Will make the phone reply with 'I'm here' accompanied by background music, activating the screen and flashing the LED. Volume increases over time. Very handy.
  • Reply 47 of 113
    BluntBlunt Posts: 219member
    Siri works fine for me. Don't need more. Setting timers ask about soccer results. Stuff like that works fine.
  • Reply 48 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member
    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:

    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.
    I've looked at the Apple Watch and TBH don't really care for the design. I've also considered "other" smartwatches but in comparison to the Apple Watch they kinda suck. So no, the wrist jewelry just isn't a thing for me, nor is the added cost for limited benefit. I rarely wear the somewhat expensive timepieces I already have unless "dress to impress" is the agenda.

     But yes simply asking out-loud "find my phone" is a surprisingly useful feature and as I'm getting older an almost embassingly common one. 
    I don't wear watches either. For my phone, simply saying ''OK Emy, where are you?" Will make the phone reply with 'I'm here' accompanied by background music, activating the screen and flashing the LED. Volume increases over time. Very handy.
    LOL... I like that. Is that using your smart-speaker or what? Cute....
    edited February 11
  • Reply 49 of 113
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 598editor
    evilution said:

    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.

    If they don't improve it, will anyone use it? Chicken-egg.

    Over here, we use it quite a lot. Way faster than unlock-phone-open-app-search-for-thing.
  • Reply 50 of 113
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 598editor
    Serious question: do people really ask their home-centric smart speakers for navigation? If so, how does that work and why is it better than just asking my phone?

    Thanks in advance. 
    You never check for directions before you leave the house? 
  • Reply 51 of 113
    You all realize the main reason Siri is not as good as Google is that Apple anonymizes all the Siri data. Unlike google who stores all your queries in Voice and Audio activity so it just knows a lot more about you....
    Apple is taking care of your privacy and compromising Siri to protect your anonymity.
    brian green
  • Reply 52 of 113
    I bought one.  Looking forward to delivery.  Siri sucks, securely.  Ideally, we’d all love having both the best sounding and most intelligent unit.  Pray for updates 
  • Reply 53 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member
    loopless said:
    You all realize the main reason Siri is not as good as Google is that Apple anonymizes all the Siri data. Unlike google who stores all your queries in Voice and Audio activity so it just knows a lot more about you....
    Apple is taking care of your privacy and compromising Siri to protect your anonymity.
    Even with Google using your input, search preferences and history, and other personalized stuff to deliver more accurate results your "privacy" is still no more exposed than by using Apple IMO. While Google might use that info to more accurately place you in that big basket of other anonymized users with similar tastes, demographics and interests your personal information is not something that would ever be sold, nor would it be shared with an advertiser or other 3rd party, or even your better half except under the exact same restrictions as Apple imposes. As for the security of your information when used for ads it's considered so privacy-safe that Apple themselves is using a near carbon-copy of it for their own fledgling ad services.

    IMHO what Apple has done tho is paint themselves into the proverbial corner with their public face on "privacy".  They make little mention of their own ad targeting, most here probably know nothing at all about it since their work on that front is kept away from the public eye and for good reason. Trying to explain it would almost certainly come off as sounding at least a bit disingenuous. Siri requires different handling as it is SO public-facing. The very recent toggle setting addition to allow iCloud services to gather more personal information and using Apple's version of "differential privacy" to do so is a great step towards gaining a better understanding of your search expectations, but I would not expect it to result in fast improvement. It's a journey and not a race. I don't know how much "differential privacy" will allow personalization of services which also means a better Siri, that's for scientists to figure out and improve. But you are correct that better tailoring my Google results in search and requests uses my past Google input for my betterment. Personally I have no issue with Google using what I've asked for previously to better understand what I want to now find now and never for a moment have wondered if Google is out to harm me in the process. 
    edited February 11 brian green
  • Reply 54 of 113
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,790member
    gatorguy said:
    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:

    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.
    I've looked at the Apple Watch and TBH don't really care for the design. I've also considered "other" smartwatches but in comparison to the Apple Watch they kinda suck. So no, the wrist jewelry just isn't a thing for me, nor is the added cost for limited benefit. I rarely wear the somewhat expensive timepieces I already have unless "dress to impress" is the agenda.

     But yes simply asking out-loud "find my phone" is a surprisingly useful feature and as I'm getting older an almost embassingly common one. 
    I don't wear watches either. For my phone, simply saying ''OK Emy, where are you?" Will make the phone reply with 'I'm here' accompanied by background music, activating the screen and flashing the LED. Volume increases over time. Very handy.
    LOL... I like that. Is that using your smart-speaker or what? Cute....
    Ha! What I didn't mention was that when the screen activates, smiling emojis bounce up and down on it. Cute and a little girlie. There's no Darth Vader style option, though. LOL.
  • Reply 55 of 113
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,378member
    linkman said:
    I can believe that Siri scored lowest on the list. Apple acquired it in 2010 and it hasn't improved or expanded in capabilities much since its intro with the 4S in 2011 (do they still consider it in beta status?). Apple Maps seems to be lagging behind the competition too -- I've seen some insane suggestions that are literally over 1000 miles away favored over a logical local location. 


    What do you mean Apple hasn't improved Siri?    Siri misunderstands people in far , far more countries and languages than google or Alexa.   I wish I could say how many counties Siri is in because I asked her "How many countries is Siri in?" and the best she could do is pull up a list of websites.  (well at least Alexa and google didn't answer correctly).
  • Reply 56 of 113
    macguimacgui Posts: 934member
    ;dr

    I prefer to dwell within The Walled Garden but have to say that Siri needs a lot of help. I have two Echo Dots, and though Siri is clearly superior than Alexa in a few areas, they are just too few and Alexa is better in too many, for me to say much good about Siri.

    I'm getting a HomePod and look forward to Siri always online, and being able to speak in a more quiet voice (which is more natural for me) then when using Alexa. But for the far foreseeable future, Alexa will always be welcome.
  • Reply 57 of 113
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,616member
    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.  :)
    I bet that works well if its stuck in a cushion. Better off to use an Apple Watch with iPhone. 
  • Reply 58 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member
    macxpress said:
    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.  :)
    I bet that works well if its stuck in a cushion. Better off to use an Apple Watch with iPhone. 
    Yes it works great if the phone is stuck in a cushion. Or out in the truck, Or upstairs. Sadly it's one of those smart-speaker features I find myself using a couple of times (or more) every week. I don't miss not having to buy a smartwatch too for the task. 
    edited February 11
  • Reply 59 of 113
    “Failed dramatically” 
  • Reply 60 of 113
    This brings up something I’ve had a problem with regarding asking Siri a question, and getting back, “Here’s what I found on the web.”  And then I go into an expletive laced tirade.  I didn’t ask for you to pull up a google page, nor did I ask you to find me some stupid list.  I asked for, and expect, an actual answer! Why bother showing me a website and all when I could have Googled that myself?  If I ask a question, I want a verbal answer back.  Until that happens every single time, I can’t use Siri because I get too annoyed as BS websites as answers.  Fix it!
    This is exactly why Siri is so frustrating to use. Anytime a service creates frustration, people will quickly avoid using it, no matter the type or industry that service resides. I completely agree that Siri, after at least eight years of its existence hasn’t gotten to the point it’s usable. And honestly for me, it hasn’t seemed to get any better over the years. 
    waverboybrian green
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