Smart speaker assistants compared: Siri vs. Alexa vs. Google Assistant

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  • Reply 21 of 33
    pakitt said:

    That Siri is practically useless (to me) and that needs scripted phrases to get things done, things I can do faster by using my hands, is a fact, but not a decision point to get or not an Home Pod.
    And when Siri, if ever, will be upgraded to a level that truly is "AI", likely the Home Pod 3 with the A15 will be there (at 300$ more) to talk to a real live assistant, and not a robot giving you cricket results and a weather forecast.
    I never really understand this thought that Siri needs “scripted phrases”. Only in the sense that all other virtual assistants do.  I’ve asked this before and have yet to get an answer but why do you think that?

    For example, I can ask Siri to set a reminder in a few different, natural ways and they all work. I can say, “Set a reminder at 8:00 to turn off the lights” or “Remind me to turn off the lights at 8:00” or “When I get home remind me to turn off the lights”. I don’t feel like these are scripted and I’m not sure how many different ways I could ask to have a reminder set.

    Also, do you truly believe it will take less time to get your phone out, unlock it, open your Reminder app, choose a date and time and type in what you want to be reminded of in less time than it takes to ask Siri to do it? When I use Siri and say “Remind to turn off the lights at 8:00” the entire process of invoking Siri, stating the request and confirming takes less than 10 seconds.  And I can do it while driving or while walking or doing dishes and I don’t have to stop whatever I’m doing to set the reminder manually.
  • Reply 22 of 33
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,712member

    "f you're considering getting a HomePod, but are worried about how bad Siri is in its current state, remember that Apple will undoubtedly build out functionality throughout the product's lifecycle."

    That's an assumption.  You can make a great case that Siri has been half-baked for at least five years.
    Tim Cook doesn't care about Siri because he doesn't make money off of it.  I actually think we have seen the most investment in Siri that Apple will make for a while with the HomePod.   I expect Siri progress to slow for a bit.   It will unfortunately continue to fall further and further behind Alexa and Google.

    The microphones in the HomePod are supposed to be great at picking up your voice with Music and other background noise.    I wish Apple would put a few of them in the iPhoneXI or iPhone9 .  That actually may be a compelling reason to upgrade for many people (better than talking Pooh).
  • Reply 23 of 33
    GHammerGHammer Posts: 52member
    Ah, the dimwits who want to apologize for an Apple product that just doesn't make the grade. "It is not a smart speaker it is a music device" No, Apple doesn't advertise it that way. "Siri will get better with time" No, it hasn't yet, why will HomePod make it so? "If I need other functions I will use a different device" Luddites. I like the idea, but currently it doesn't make my list of things to buy. Maybe V2 like my Watches.
  • Reply 24 of 33
    GHammer said:
    Ah, the dimwits who want to apologize for an Apple product that just doesn't make the grade. "It is not a smart speaker it is a music device" No, Apple doesn't advertise it that way. "Siri will get better with time" No, it hasn't yet, why will HomePod make it so? "If I need other functions I will use a different device" Luddites. I like the idea, but currently it doesn't make my list of things to buy. Maybe V2 like my Watches.
    WTF are you talking about?  Show me an Apple ad for HomePod that isn't exclusively about music.
  • Reply 25 of 33
    GHammer said:
    Ah, the dimwits who want to apologize for an Apple product that just doesn't make the grade. "It is not a smart speaker it is a music device" No, Apple doesn't advertise it that way. "Siri will get better with time" No, it hasn't yet, why will HomePod make it so? "If I need other functions I will use a different device" Luddites. I like the idea, but currently it doesn't make my list of things to buy. Maybe V2 like my Watches.
    Yes, Apple advertises HomePod as a music device. Have you even seen any of their commercials?  Here’s one: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lR7OZ7ZmZVI I haven’t seen a commercial yet that emphasized Siri (doesn’t mean there aren’t any, but I haven’t seen them if there are).

    Of course Siri will get better with time.  Siri in 2018 is better than Siri in 2011.  Do I wish Siri were even better right now? Sure. But to think that this is the best Siri we’ll ever see is a little silly.
  • Reply 26 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,442member
    GHammer said:
    Ah, the dimwits who want to apologize for an Apple product that just doesn't make the grade. "It is not a smart speaker it is a music device" No, Apple doesn't advertise it that way. "Siri will get better with time" No, it hasn't yet, why will HomePod make it so? "If I need other functions I will use a different device" Luddites. I like the idea, but currently it doesn't make my list of things to buy. Maybe V2 like my Watches.
    WTF are you talking about?  Show me an Apple ad for HomePod that isn't exclusively about music.
    Apple's own product page, very first paragraph?
    "HomePod is a powerful speaker that sounds amazing and adapts to wherever it’s playing. It’s the ultimate music authority, bringing together Apple Music and Siri to learn your taste in music. It’s also an intelligent home assistant, capable of handling everyday tasks — and controlling your smart home."

    https://www.apple.com/homepod/
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 27 of 33
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    I know Siri sucks in many tests. However, for my smart home usage, it works perfectly. I don't do voice shopping or weather because iPhone is in my palm that I can see stuffs I'm buying or weather of the next 10 days. All I need to do at home and probably most people do too is to tell it to turn on/off the lights, lock the door, arm/disarm alarm/camera, change thermostat, close the garage, set scenes and play music/podcast. I don't need it to cook me a meal or flush my toilet.
  • Reply 28 of 33
    Lab4UsLab4Us Posts: 30member
    gatorguy said:
    GHammer said:
    Ah, the dimwits who want to apologize for an Apple product that just doesn't make the grade. "It is not a smart speaker it is a music device" No, Apple doesn't advertise it that way. "Siri will get better with time" No, it hasn't yet, why will HomePod make it so? "If I need other functions I will use a different device" Luddites. I like the idea, but currently it doesn't make my list of things to buy. Maybe V2 like my Watches.
    WTF are you talking about?  Show me an Apple ad for HomePod that isn't exclusively about music.
    Apple's own product page, very first paragraph?
    "HomePod is a powerful speaker that sounds amazing and adapts to wherever it’s playing. It’s the ultimate music authority, bringing together Apple Music and Siri to learn your taste in music. It’s also an intelligent home assistant, capable of handling everyday tasks — and controlling your smart home."

    https://www.apple.com/homepod/
    Yes, note the “Also...”, as in afterthought.  Don’t buy it, we don’t care, we’re enjoying the music pleasantly eminating from ours...
  • Reply 29 of 33
    Lab4UsLab4Us Posts: 30member
    k2kw said:
    Lab4Us said:
    Lol, in other news, let’s test products for tasks they aren’t designed to do, then ding them for it...the Apple hate force is strong in this article...

    I have an idea! Why not buy Echo and Google Home if you want all that millenial bullshit running your life.  Those of us who appreciate the MUSIC (you know, the Homepod main selling point) will continue to enjoy our Homepods and the technology within...
    Then Apple shouldn't have released the HomePod with SIRI in it.   They should have just released a totally dumb speaker with a 3.5 mm aux input port.

    I've heard that the HomePod will answer and fail on questions that your phone can answer when you have your phone in hand or .    Why the dumber version of Siri?
    I see no reason to buy a product that will annoy me when I try to use it as intended.   Apple has a long way to go with Siri.    Right now I'm (surprisingly) happy with my two SONOS Ones.
    Siri is there to control the music, sans touch.  Works brilliantly.  No need for an aux input, except for the whiners who think Homepod as built for them and not Apple Music subcribers.  So, nope, no aux input.  Try Google, seems more in your wheelhouse.
  • Reply 30 of 33
    I don't get why people would want to shop with just their voice. Maybe a voice guided shopping experience where you can see the list of available products and detailed info on your TV, but I wouldn't want to buy stuff just through voice. Also, I think calendar integration and voice calling is only a matter of time before it's added via free software update. Probably in under a year. The one thing they didn't demo in this video is smarthome integration - Siri/Homekit is more powerful than Alexa, although more devices support Alexa.
  • Reply 31 of 33
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 436member
    k2kw said:

    "f you're considering getting a HomePod, but are worried about how bad Siri is in its current state, remember that Apple will undoubtedly build out functionality throughout the product's lifecycle."

    That's an assumption.  You can make a great case that Siri has been half-baked for at least five years.
    Tim Cook doesn't care about Siri because he doesn't make money off of it.  I actually think we have seen the most investment in Siri that Apple will make for a while with the HomePod.   I expect Siri progress to slow for a bit.   It will unfortunately continue to fall further and further behind Alexa and Google.

    The microphones in the HomePod are supposed to be great at picking up your voice with Music and other background noise.    I wish Apple would put a few of them in the iPhoneXI or iPhone9 .  That actually may be a compelling reason to upgrade for many people (better than talking Pooh).
    Hey, that’s... not a very good idea. I have a HomePod. It really is very good at picking up voice commands from across the room, even while it’s playing music. I don’t think anyone really wants their iPhone to constantly pick up voice commands from across the room. They’re different devices. The HomePod is stationary, occupying a generally static place within the home. It hears you well, and will carry out a limited set of commands. The iPhone is intended to be carried around with you, out in public to lots of different places, and it will carry out a much larger set of voice commands. It is highly desirable that the iPhone only listen for commands uttered at close proximity, because that’s more likely to be the phone’s owner. 

    P.S. It’s true that Apple does not make money from Siri the way Amazon and Google hope to cash in on their voice assistants. That’s actually a good thing. Apple isn’t listening in to sell your data, nor are they hoping that you’ll order your next pair of pants from them using your HomePod. They do, however, make money from Siri as a component of the Apple ‘ecosystem,’ which appears to be far more lucrative than the other guys’ hardware. 

    As more people get HomePods, I would expect that they will roll out additional Siri functionality, particularly as it relates to HomeKit integration. There will be a growing space in the market for voice control of home automation devices that offers a higher level of security and is not dependent on exploitative “assistants” designed to sell your data to others or to get you to buy all your stuff from their store. It will also have the advantage of being totally integrated with the iPhone that’s in your pocket when you leave home. You need the phone to set up the HomePod, so the Siri/HomeKit system will all be in place to make it all work both within the home and when you go out. While Apple is creating a system that requires secure user authentication to do things like opening door locks, Amazon is trying to sell you ways to let delivery people into your home while you’re out. 
  • Reply 32 of 33
    maltzmaltz Posts: 129member
    pakitt said:

    That Siri is practically useless (to me) and that needs scripted phrases to get things done, things I can do faster by using my hands, is a fact, but not a decision point to get or not an Home Pod.
    And when Siri, if ever, will be upgraded to a level that truly is "AI", likely the Home Pod 3 with the A15 will be there (at 300$ more) to talk to a real live assistant, and not a robot giving you cricket results and a weather forecast.
    I never really understand this thought that Siri needs “scripted phrases”. Only in the sense that all other virtual assistants do.  I’ve asked this before and have yet to get an answer but why do you think that?

    For example, I can ask Siri to set a reminder in a few different, natural ways and they all work. I can say, “Set a reminder at 8:00 to turn off the lights” or “Remind me to turn off the lights at 8:00” or “When I get home remind me to turn off the lights”. I don’t feel like these are scripted and I’m not sure how many different ways I could ask to have a reminder set.

    Also, do you truly believe it will take less time to get your phone out, unlock it, open your Reminder app, choose a date and time and type in what you want to be reminded of in less time than it takes to ask Siri to do it? When I use Siri and say “Remind to turn off the lights at 8:00” the entire process of invoking Siri, stating the request and confirming takes less than 10 seconds.  And I can do it while driving or while walking or doing dishes and I don’t have to stop whatever I’m doing to set the reminder manually.

    "When home I arrive, remember to turn off the lights I must."



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