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

1235

Comments

  • Reply 81 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!
    So you expect these dopey devices to know all human knowledge, and be able to parse out the correct bit of random knowledge for any given query? this ain’t Star Trek, bud. not happening in our lifetimes. 

    search engines aren’t going away. speaking of which, how often do you use googles “I’m feeling lucky” button instead of getting all the query results back?
    Yes.  I do, in fact, expect it.  If a search engine can find the information on the web, and then know that a specific page contains the information, and if one can CMD+F and find specific words including schedules, then there's absolutely zero reason why AI can't find specific information and verbally reply to me with it.  I'm not giving them a pass on this.  They've had 8 years with Siri, and this is what we've got?  Who knows, perhaps their Siri team consists of two people stuck in the basement somewhere.  I'm not remotely impressed with what they've achieved in 8 years.  Not a bit.
  • Reply 82 of 113
    [...] Majority of people still don’t even talk to their assistants. 
    That's the second time this week I've read that claim here. How do you know what people are doing with their assistant devices? Has there been some kind of user survey? Do you have access to use logs for one or more of the players? Or are you making an assumption based on your own experience (do you even own one?)?

    I can't think of a way for me to determine who is using these or what they're doing with them. I don't have access to the data that would allow me to draw any meaningful conclusions. Do you? If so, can you share?
    brian green
  • Reply 83 of 113
    kitatit said:
    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.
    That's similar to how I'm feeling. I could put together a system with products from disparate vendors and get about 80-90% of the way to an Apple experience at substantially lower cost, but I don't want the hassle. My interest is in using the system, not building it. So, I pay more to get a premium product from a single vendor that claims to do all the integration for me. The problem is the company isn't delivering on the second part of the promise, at least not as well as I expect. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic. If that's the case, it would seem prudent to rethink my position on paying for the "premium" experience.

    I'm not saying Apple needs to make Siri perfect overnight or I'm never buying Apple again, but I am saying that my experience with Siri, the Pill+, and the latest Apple TV have me at least looking into alternatives for the first time in over a decade, particularly in the areas of home entertainment and automation.

    kitatit said:
    [...] I persevere and keep hoping it [Siri] will get better but she honestly does seem to be getting dumber. 
    So it's not just me. My experience with Siri is not getting better, it's getting WORSE. Until now I thought that my expectations were increasing as time goes by and Siri just isn't keeping up, but now I'm starting to wonder if it really is deteriorating rather than improving. I suppose it's possible that changes over time have actually hurt its performance rather than enhanced it.

    Since I constantly nag my daughter to come into the light (aka dump her Android devices and get Apple instead) I was really embarrassed when her Galaxy absolutely beat the shit out of my iPhone in a voice-controlled navigation comparison on a recent road trip.

    I still love my recent MacBook Pro and don't hate my iPhone, but some of Apple's other products, both hardware and certain services, have been a real let down. I'm hoping that the recently announced lock-down on feature development for the next macOS release is an indication that Cupertino is addressing some of this.
  • Reply 84 of 113
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,166member
    crosslad said:
    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. 
    Tim Cook alluded to the fact that Siri functionality at the time of HomePod launch would be limited. Now we get ten thousand posts reaffirming his statement. He also said the HomePod’s audio performance would blow away the competition. Tim was right on both counts. 
    lkruppmacxpress
  • Reply 85 of 113
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,650member
    So here’s the deal. It’s an Apple product so the narrative always skews to the negative. The author’s opinion is that the HomePod has demonstrably better sound and user experience than other smart speakers but Siri lags. So what do commenters want to talk about? Superior sound? Nope. Superior user experience? Nope? This thread is dominated by negative narratives about Siri. Do these same commenters lament the lack of really good sound quality and user experience from the Amazon and Google products? Nope. The same commenters who lambast the HomePod, who have declared it a failure because of Siri, don’t seem to care about the deficiencies of those products, no declarations of failure, no nothing. For Apple though it’s find the product’s weakness and land on it, trash it, bury it, dismiss it.
    macxpress
  • Reply 86 of 113
    Siri has been nought but a useless add-on since its inception and release. Apple had several years headstart on dictation and voice recognition which it clearly squandered. I get lucky with Siri in roughly 2 of 10 requests... It frustratingly fails to find and play specific albums from my eclectic mixed rips from CD to iTunes (never wasted my money on an iTunes download album when I can get 16bit 44.1KHz (or better) encoded CD's from Amazon at less than half the iTunes store price + Amazon provide a digital version for free.

    Tacking an uncomprehending Siri "assistant" on to an exorbitantly priced mono speaker is not going to award Apple Brownie Points...

    Back to the Drawing-Boards folks...
  • Reply 87 of 113
    If what you really want is a wonderful sounding remote speaker with a very appealing, sleek appearance, you can’t beat the Hardon Kardon Aura Studio. It connects to your device via Bluetooth and is not restricted to just iTunes. In fact, I connect to Pandora on my iPad and sooth myself to sleep almost every night. It also has a comfortable glow of a light that enhances my evening tunes. When playing livelier music during the day, the bass will rattle the nails out of the walls in my bedroom. All this for about $185. Okay, so it doesn’t have AI like Siri, but from what I’ve read, HomePod is pretty weak in this area as well. 
  • Reply 88 of 113
    I'm late in on this but I bought a HomePod for music and, for me, Siri does an excellent job of finding the music I want to play on Apple Music - that's enough for me right now and we'll see how it improves in other areas. Truly loving the HomePod, as is my wife.
  • Reply 89 of 113
    rs1919 said:
    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.
    This is new to me. So Alexa can't set the volume to certain %? That's a dealbreaker for me. I constantly use this with my HomePod. "Hey Siri, set the volume to 25%." "Hey Siri, set the volume to 75%." And if you need it to lower quickly for some reason, just "Hey Siri, set the volume to 30%." So convenient! 
    edited February 11
  • Reply 90 of 113
    vmarks said:
    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? 
    Sure, but on my phone I see a map and can look at a list of the turns and miles, etc., and then my phone comes with me and speaks the directions turn by turn as I need them. 

    Again, how would this work with HomePod (or Alexa, et al)? One would ask for directions (I’m assuming to a place they are unfamiliar with) and then get the directions read back? I can’t see how this is helpful 30 minutes later while driving. 
  • Reply 91 of 113
    Disclaimer: I didn’t read the article. I’m just commenting on the title. 

    I would personally much rather be taking things slow with all of this new artificial intelligence than blindly following the race to the first without ever thinking about the potential consequences. 

    That aside... whatever we we may say about who is first and who is best. Majority of people still don’t even talk to their assistants. 
    Siri has been around for 9 years, I don't know how they could take it any slower...
  • Reply 92 of 113
    chasmchasm Posts: 378member
    vmarks said:
    You never check for directions before you leave the house? 
    Speaking only for myself, no. I get into the car and ask for the directions before I start it up. Now, if you'd asked whether I check the weather before I leave the house ...

    (and to that point, I sincerely hope a future HomePod update will bring calendar/appointment functionality)
  • Reply 93 of 113
    chasmchasm Posts: 378member
    Siri is useless for sending a text and with Maps.
    That sounds like a problem with your carrier, rather than Apple. I've never proofread a text, hit "send," and then have it be changed in any way. You should contact Apple about that.

    I use Siri for texts constantly, and while yes I proofread them before sending, the accuracy is very high for me. Maps is even more accurate -- provided I remember to include the name of the city or region, I can't recall the last time Siri tried to take me someplace other than exactly where I was intending to go.
    edited February 11
  • Reply 94 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!
    At what point in your life did you begin to belive the world revolves around you. To you and everyone else that thinks Siri should work a certain way, it ain’t ever going to happen. Alexa and all the others don’t satify 100% of users 100% of the time. Siri is not your mother.
  • Reply 95 of 113
    chasm said:
    Maps is even more accurate -- provided I remember to include the name of the city or region
    Doesn't that seem like the kind of thing that shouldn't be necessary though? When the phone's own GPS shows that I'm in Vancouver, does it seem logical that i'd be asking about an address somewhere in Texas? Doesn't it seem more reasonable to assume a match in my vicinity is most likely to be the one sought, with the expectation being that I'll mention a specific city if I'm looking for an address in a place other than where I'm standing?

    chasm said:
    I can't recall the last time Siri tried to take me someplace other than exactly where I was intending to go.   
    I can. It was last week. While standing in downtown Vancouver I asked for an address on West Pender Street. Apple Maps knows it as W Pender. Apparently that discrepancy was more than it could manage, so off we went to Texas.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 96 of 113

    kent909 said:
    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!
    At what point in your life did you begin to belive the world revolves around you. To you and everyone else that thinks Siri should work a certain way, it ain’t ever going to happen. Alexa and all the others don’t satify 100% of users 100% of the time. Siri is not your mother.
    Oh come on, Brian's comment was neither self-centred nor unreasonable. Asking a specific question and getting a web search as a response is like Siri did half the job and gave up. If Siri "thinks" the answer is on a certain web page, then to be useful Siri should search the page, find the answer, and tell me! If your boss asked you how many ducks land in the pond behind the warehouse each year, and you answered with a list of web sites from a Google search, would you consider that having answered the question, or would you expect your boss to deem you unsuitable for the task?
    muthuk_vanalingambloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 97 of 113
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,319member
    Siri has been nought but a useless add-on since its inception and release. Apple had several years headstart on dictation and voice recognition which it clearly squandered. I get lucky with Siri in roughly 2 of 10 requests... It frustratingly fails to find and play specific albums from my eclectic mixed rips from CD to iTunes (never wasted my money on an iTunes download album when I can get 16bit 44.1KHz (or better) encoded CD's from Amazon at less than half the iTunes store price + Amazon provide a digital version for free.

    Tacking an uncomprehending Siri "assistant" on to an exorbitantly priced mono speaker is not going to award Apple Brownie Points...

    Back to the Drawing-Boards folks...
    How are Google Assistant and Alexa at finding and playing the music you have ripped?
  • Reply 98 of 113
    DoctorQ said:
    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)
    I use the 6th gen Extreme ( no time capsule ) and it set up fine. I have my security set as WPA2 Personal, not the mixed WPA/WPA2 that you mention. Maybe HomePod doesn’t like the use of TKIP with WPA. I would give this a try before waiting days for a call back with an update. 
  • Reply 99 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,865member
    brucemc said:
    Siri has been nought but a useless add-on since its inception and release. Apple had several years headstart on dictation and voice recognition which it clearly squandered. I get lucky with Siri in roughly 2 of 10 requests... It frustratingly fails to find and play specific albums from my eclectic mixed rips from CD to iTunes (never wasted my money on an iTunes download album when I can get 16bit 44.1KHz (or better) encoded CD's from Amazon at less than half the iTunes store price + Amazon provide a digital version for free.

    Tacking an uncomprehending Siri "assistant" on to an exorbitantly priced mono speaker is not going to award Apple Brownie Points...

    Back to the Drawing-Boards folks...
    How are Google Assistant and Alexa at finding and playing the music you have ripped?
    I've not tried it directly from a local source, having uploaded any music I had to to Google Music for matching and stream from there. Google has a support doc explaining how to and if no one else who has experience chimes by this evening I'll take the time to check if you're really interested. I can't imagine it's nearly as straightforward as playing from the Google Music upload library so I personally wouldn't be interested in doing so on a regular basis. https://support.google.com/googlehome/answer/7381505?hl=en-AU
  • Reply 100 of 113
    That is my only complaint with Siri on my watch as well.  If I wanted to have my phone on me or get it out of my pocket I would have.  So please don't reply "you can see the answer on your phone".  
Sign In or Register to comment.