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

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Comments

  • Reply 101 of 113
    19831983 Posts: 1,088member
    Apple's persistence with Siri beggars belief! Over the years upon multiple occasions I've tried to use it, each time hoping Apple has finally improved it and made it competitive. But every time it seems no better than it was from back in the iPhone 4 days when it was first introduced. It is a failed almost useless product, and Apple terminally linking it to the HomePod without even the option of using other (much better!) AI assistants, has made the HomePod a failed product from the get go. Add to that the HPs other design shortcomings, like non-removable power cables and fabric covers, as well as a lack of Bluetooth. All no-brainer features to include in such a product. The only things in its favour are the build and sound quality, both of which are very important attributes, but not enough unfortunately in this segment. Its a highly competitive market and there are plenty of other speaker manufactures that produce similar products with equal or better sound quality, plus all the other features this market segment requires and that the HomePod lacks. I think this is going to be Apple's first hardware flop in a while. Maybe a much improved second-gen, more flexible design could save it, I hope so.
    edited February 12
  • Reply 102 of 113
    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. 
    "Hey {assistant of choice], how long will it take to get to [insert location here] if I left right now?" is a pretty standard ask for me, from Alexa.  Bases trip time on traffic, not expecting turn by turn directions.  My watch does that.  
  • Reply 103 of 113
    A lot of good comments here. I would like Apple to focus more on improving SIRI as it has so much potential and is "almost there" in many cases. I know most companies can't be good at everything but with the resources Apple has at its disposal it seems like they could get key feature sets down pretty good. It is not like SIRI was just released with HomePod it has been around long enough.
  • Reply 104 of 113
    airnerd 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. 
    "Hey {assistant of choice], how long will it take to get to [insert location here] if I left right now?" is a pretty standard ask for me, from Alexa.  Bases trip time on traffic, not expecting turn by turn directions.  My watch does that.  
    I’m not trying to be nit-picky but time-to-destination is not navigation. Siri on HomePod will give traffic information, though I don’t know if it will give time-to-destination.  But either way, I don’t consider traffic info or TTD to be “navigation”.

    This is what it says on apple.com under “Siri has all kinds of answers” on the HomePod page: “Thanks to Siri, HomePod is great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home. Set timers. Convert measurements. Get translations. And get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists that anyone can add to.”

    The article specifically called out Siri on HomePod as being unable to perform navigation.  If we’re going by the definition of “navigation” I still haven’t seen an answer to why this would be an issue.  If we’re using “navigation” as a catch-all term to encompass anything that has to do with getting from one place to another then the article is incorrect as Siri on HomePod will give traffic conditions.

    Again, not trying to be nit-picky, but if other virtual assistants are providing actual navigation I don’t see how it would be useful or maybe I’m missing how it would work.
  • Reply 105 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,058member
    airnerd 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. 
    "Hey {assistant of choice], how long will it take to get to [insert location here] if I left right now?" is a pretty standard ask for me, from Alexa.  Bases trip time on traffic, not expecting turn by turn directions.  My watch does that.  
    I’m not trying to be nit-picky but time-to-destination is not navigation. Siri on HomePod will give traffic information, though I don’t know if it will give time-to-destination.  But either way, I don’t consider traffic info or TTD to be “navigation”.

    This is what it says on apple.com under “Siri has all kinds of answers” on the HomePod page: “Thanks to Siri, HomePod is great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home. Set timers. Convert measurements. Get translations. And get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists that anyone can add to.”

    The article specifically called out Siri on HomePod as being unable to perform navigation.  If we’re going by the definition of “navigation” I still haven’t seen an answer to why this would be an issue.  If we’re using “navigation” as a catch-all term to encompass anything that has to do with getting from one place to another then the article is incorrect as Siri on HomePod will give traffic conditions.

    Again, not trying to be nit-picky, but if other virtual assistants are providing actual navigation I don’t see how it would be useful or maybe I’m missing how it would work.
    Does your HomePod have access to what you've set as your personal Work destination? If so then I'd agree it pretty much covers the common use cases if you can say "hey Siri, how is the drive to work this morning?" I know there's a few folks here that say they wouldn't talk to their device anyway 'cause it's feels weird, but if they get a HomePod they WILL be required to talk to it to get most anything done. Helpful stuff like advising you of your work drivetime should make the awkwardness more palatable. Use it awhile and you get over it. 

    As for how it works on Google Home when you request a destination it will tell you the approx travel time and notify you of traffic or other delays. It will then ask if you want to send it to your phone. Say yes and it's done with a notification popup on your phone that navigation to your destination is ready. I'll connect my truck display screen via Android Auto and show it there when I leave but it's not necessary to.
    https://support.google.com/googlehome/answer/7530880?co=GENIE.Platform=Android&hl=en

    I'd guess if/when Apple adds similar functionality to Siri on the HomePod they'll accomplish navigation, appointments etc it in much the same way by recognizing a specific voice to send it to the proper phone when it would benefit from a screen. 
    edited February 12 muthuk_vanalingamairnerdairnerd
  • Reply 106 of 113
    gatorguy said:
    airnerd 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. 
    "Hey {assistant of choice], how long will it take to get to [insert location here] if I left right now?" is a pretty standard ask for me, from Alexa.  Bases trip time on traffic, not expecting turn by turn directions.  My watch does that.  
    I’m not trying to be nit-picky but time-to-destination is not navigation. Siri on HomePod will give traffic information, though I don’t know if it will give time-to-destination.  But either way, I don’t consider traffic info or TTD to be “navigation”.

    This is what it says on apple.com under “Siri has all kinds of answers” on the HomePod page: “Thanks to Siri, HomePod is great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home. Set timers. Convert measurements. Get translations. And get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists that anyone can add to.”

    The article specifically called out Siri on HomePod as being unable to perform navigation.  If we’re going by the definition of “navigation” I still haven’t seen an answer to why this would be an issue.  If we’re using “navigation” as a catch-all term to encompass anything that has to do with getting from one place to another then the article is incorrect as Siri on HomePod will give traffic conditions.

    Again, not trying to be nit-picky, but if other virtual assistants are providing actual navigation I don’t see how it would be useful or maybe I’m missing how it would work.
    Does your HomePod have access to what you've set as personally as Work destination? If so then I'd agree it pretty much covers the common use cases if you can say "hey Siri, how is the drive to work this morning?" I know there's a few folks here that say they wouldn't talk to their device anyway 'cause it's feels weird, but if they get a HomePod they WILL be required to talk to it to get most anything done. Helpful stuff like advising you of your work drivetime should make the awkwardness more palatable. Use it awhile and you get over it. 

    As for how it works on Google Home when you request a destination it will tell you the approx travel time and notify you of traffic or other delays. It will then ask if you want to send it to your phone. Say yes and it's done with a notification popup on your phone that navigation to your destination is ready. I'll connect my truck display screen via Android Auto and show it there when I'm ready but it's not necessary to.
    https://support.google.com/googlehome/answer/7530880?co=GENIE.Platform=Android&hl=en

    I'd guess if/when Apple adds similar functionality to Siri on the HomePod they'll accomplish navigation, appointments etc it in much the same way by recognizing a specific voice to send it to the proper phone when it would benefit from a screen. 
    I don’t know if HomePod gets work and home addresses.  I don’t have a HomePod, Echo or Home so I can’t test any of these things myself, which is in part why I ask here.  Frequently I get good responses, not really so far on this topic.  A friend of mine had HomePod delivered on Friday but he hasn’t tried asking for traffic conditions, etc., yet.  Also, I prefer to get answers from people who have experience using the product in question.  It isn’t uncommon to get people just speculating on an answer, which only seems to muddy the waters.

    So your Home gets the navigation and sends it to your phone automatically, it’s not reciting the navigation (which would be really stupid, btw).  Perhaps that’s what’s being referred to in the “HomePod doesn’t do navigation” comment in the article.

    It is a little odd to me that HomePod doesn’t recognize individual voices out of the box, considering how long “Hey, Siri” has been able to do that on iPhone.  Out of curiosity, how many voices can Home differentiate?
  • Reply 107 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,058member
    gatorguy said:
    airnerd 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. 
    "Hey {assistant of choice], how long will it take to get to [insert location here] if I left right now?" is a pretty standard ask for me, from Alexa.  Bases trip time on traffic, not expecting turn by turn directions.  My watch does that.  
    I’m not trying to be nit-picky but time-to-destination is not navigation. Siri on HomePod will give traffic information, though I don’t know if it will give time-to-destination.  But either way, I don’t consider traffic info or TTD to be “navigation”.

    This is what it says on apple.com under “Siri has all kinds of answers” on the HomePod page: “Thanks to Siri, HomePod is great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home. Set timers. Convert measurements. Get translations. And get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists that anyone can add to.”

    The article specifically called out Siri on HomePod as being unable to perform navigation.  If we’re going by the definition of “navigation” I still haven’t seen an answer to why this would be an issue.  If we’re using “navigation” as a catch-all term to encompass anything that has to do with getting from one place to another then the article is incorrect as Siri on HomePod will give traffic conditions.

    Again, not trying to be nit-picky, but if other virtual assistants are providing actual navigation I don’t see how it would be useful or maybe I’m missing how it would work.
    Does your HomePod have access to what you've set as personally as Work destination? If so then I'd agree it pretty much covers the common use cases if you can say "hey Siri, how is the drive to work this morning?" I know there's a few folks here that say they wouldn't talk to their device anyway 'cause it's feels weird, but if they get a HomePod they WILL be required to talk to it to get most anything done. Helpful stuff like advising you of your work drivetime should make the awkwardness more palatable. Use it awhile and you get over it. 

    As for how it works on Google Home when you request a destination it will tell you the approx travel time and notify you of traffic or other delays. It will then ask if you want to send it to your phone. Say yes and it's done with a notification popup on your phone that navigation to your destination is ready. I'll connect my truck display screen via Android Auto and show it there when I'm ready but it's not necessary to.
    https://support.google.com/googlehome/answer/7530880?co=GENIE.Platform=Android&hl=en

    I'd guess if/when Apple adds similar functionality to Siri on the HomePod they'll accomplish navigation, appointments etc it in much the same way by recognizing a specific voice to send it to the proper phone when it would benefit from a screen. 
    It is a little odd to me that HomePod doesn’t recognize individual voices out of the box, considering how long “Hey, Siri” has been able to do that on iPhone.  Out of curiosity, how many voices can Home differentiate?
    Up to six which should be far more than enough for most families.  
  • Reply 108 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?
    This has been the behavior of Siri since the beginning, to bring up web searches. Brian knew full well the limitations of Siri on the HomePod. He described his own reaction as that of a petulant child, not me. He is still in the window of no questions asked to send the HomePod back and get what ever "better" voice assistant that is out there that can address his every whim. Apple has never misled anyone on Siri's abilities. So I do consider the reaction unreasonable. As to your comment on what Siri should do, tell me this. Should Apple prioritize what I want over what you want or over the millions of other things users want it to do? Get real. My boss pays me to do that, we don't pay Siri anything. Maybe Apple should start to charge by the request.
  • Reply 109 of 113
    kent909 said:
    This has been the behavior of Siri since the beginning, to bring up web searches.
    So the fact that we already know Siri does a half-assed job of answering many questions means we should just shut up and accept it? I agree that complaining about it does seem pointless, as years of doing so don't seem to have accomplished much, but discussing what we like and don't like about Apple products and services is what we do here. I'm interested in how other people respond to issues similar to those that arise in my own use of the products, even if that response is "chuck the damn thing at a wall."

    So while I agree that we all know what to expect from Siri and shouldn't be surprised when the experience isn't what we'd hope for, and that Apple is under no obligation to placate any particular individual, I think there may some benefit to complaining about it. If nothing else, it helps identify areas of common expectation so that we can present feedback to Apple that represents the wishes of many people, rather than just one.

    kent909 said:
    Brian knew full well the limitations of Siri on the HomePod.
    Brian's comment was about Siri in general, not the HomePod in particular. He said so.

    kent909 said:
    As to your comment on what Siri should do, tell me this. Should Apple prioritize what I want over what you want or over the millions of other things users want it to do?
    Fair point. I accept that. I might suggest that Siri is such an embarrassment that it's kind of surprising how slowly and little it has progressed, and expecting Apple to have done better on that front, even giving it priority over other projects, may be reasonable. Apple responded aggressively when Maps performed poorly, so it seems perfectly logical that people may expect a similar approach to Siri and be surprised and disappointed when, years later, it still exhibits certain obvious flaws, like the web search response.
    edited February 12
  • Reply 110 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? 
    Yes, on a device with a screen. 
    Yep ... I thought the same thing.
  • Reply 111 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,058member
    kimberly said:
    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? 
    Yes, on a device with a screen. 
    Yep ... I thought the same thing.
    See Post 105 for the explanation.
  • Reply 112 of 113
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,518member
    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.  :)
    Non stop Google advertising eh?
  • Reply 113 of 113
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,058member
    MacPro 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.  :)
    Non stop Google advertising eh?
    What, mention of something related to Google in an article that pointedly includes discussion of Google bothers you? Just the headline and very first paragraph should have steered you away then. Following 111 posts and six pages in and then complaining? LOL
    edited February 14
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