Apple's Siri ties with Google Assistant for most-used voice assistant

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A Microsoft study suggests that Apple's Siri is on par with Google Assistant for worldwide usage, despite the latter being available on a wider range of devices.

Apple HomePod and iPhone X


Both voice assistants ranked at 36 percent in a whitepaper based on two online surveys. The first ran from March to June 2018, considering over 2,000 responses in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and India. The second was U.S.-only, but tapped some 5,000 people in February 2019.

Amazon Alexa managed second place in the study at 25 percent, followed by 19 percent for Microsoft's Cortana. Few speakers support Cortana, but the assistant is built into anything with Windows 10.

The predominance of Siri and Google Assistant is due to their native presence on smartphones. Alexa is the commanding player in the world of smartspeakers, but has relatively little footprint on phones -- people typically have to install the Alexa app on their own.

Privacy is the overriding concern most people have with AI assistants, Microsoft noted. In overlapping figures, 52 percent of respondents said they felt their personal data was insecure, and 41 percent worried that speakers were actively listening and recording. 36 percent said they didn't want personal data being used, and 31 percent believed their information isn't being kept private.

Apple has held privacy as a key selling point of its devices, including the HomePod. The product managed just 1.6 percent of the global smartspeaker market in the December quarter however, likely held back by its pricetag. Until this month a single HomePod was $349 from Apple, and it's still $299 -- that compares against $49 entry points for Amazon and Google. A rumored low-cost HomePod model has yet to surface.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 495member
    That clearly shows much higher usage on iPhone/iOS as android installed base is much bigger then iOS.
    hmurchisonjbdragonracerhomie3chasmcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 30
    FolioFolio Posts: 600member
    Smells fishy to me, albeit just based on this snippet. That Alexa would generate 25 percent based on speakers alone, compared to ubiquity of smart phones...And just so happens Cortana gets nearly 20 percent. Yeah, right.
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    Folio said:
    Smells fishy to me, albeit just based on this snippet. That Alexa would generate 25 percent based on speakers alone, compared to ubiquity of smart phones...And just so happens Cortana gets nearly 20 percent. Yeah, right.
    Anything that goes against one’s bias always smells fishy doesn’t it. Have we become so cynical that we no longer believe in ANY research? How does one go through life not believing anything and seeing conspiracies surrounding everything? No wonder science is under attack
    chasmmacxpressmacpluspluswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,928member
    frantisek said:
    That clearly shows much higher usage on iPhone/iOS as android installed base is much bigger then iOS.
    Not in the US. AFAICT not in Australia either. It was only February of this year when the majority of Indian languages were finally supported by Assistant too. The survey was not a worldwide one, fairly country specific, so it doesn't demonstrate what you are assuming it does.

    Not sure what Microsoft's intent was with the survey, and with Cortana so prevalent the result seem somewhat suspect to me anyway. 
    edited April 29
  • Reply 5 of 30
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 898member
    so each side has 6 users?
    aaploutsidercropr
  • Reply 6 of 30
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 509member
    Interesting. This would indeed suggest that despite all the whingeing about Siri being less capable than the other digital assistants, Siri is much more actively used by owners of Apple products than are the digital assistants on other brands. 

    For Siri and Google Assistant to be tied for usage, a lot of people are talking to Siri on their Apple devices, and a lot of people with Android devices aren’t talking to Google. That pretty much has to mean that, despite the claims that Google Assistant is technically superior or more capable, a lot more of the people who have access to it don’t find it useful enough to bother. So why would that be? Is Google’s AI not actually that great in this context? Do people have security concerns and disable it?
    edited April 29 racerhomie3chasm
  • Reply 7 of 30
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,154member
    You have to remember that MOST Android phones sold are on low end to mid range Android phones. Google also has ZERO presence in China. I know people that use Siri on their phones all the time. I'm using Siri on my Apple Watch all the time, much more so then on my HomePods. How are these Echo devices from Amazon and Home Devices from Google really selling. Apple sells more Apple Watches then Amazon Echo devices for example. How many times are you asking weather and news before it gets old and you stop using them? I think pretty quickly they end up just sitting around most of the time, annoying you more than anything when they go off on their own. So they stop being used pretty quickly. If you get into HomeControl, they can get to be used a little more. But if thy're locked into a room because of a power cord, not as useful as you think without those things littering your house and still doesn't cover you outside, which I find helpful. Which is why the Apple Watch is so great. Worked everywhere I'm at for Home control and I can still ask all my questions like on those devices. The only thing it can't so is play Music out loud, but with some Airpods, you can still stream music with it and that works everywhere you're at. So I can understand Siri being used just as much as Google, even though Worldwide, Android has about 80% of the market. That is ALL Android, Low, Middle and High range phones from many company's. To just Apple and iOS.
    tmaychasm
  • Reply 8 of 30
    FolioFolio Posts: 600member
    To Mr. Krupp. As someone who has designed NSF-sponsored surveys, and seen raw returns, I can get upset about the lack of rigor in reporting. These days methodology and instrument are given short shrift, despite the prevalence of surveys. So while yes, my comment was immoderate, it was from a lack of science. Just the opposite.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 972member
    AppleZulu said:
    Interesting. This would indeed suggest that despite all the whingeing about Siri being less capable than the other digital assistants, Siri is much more actively used by owners of Apple products than are the digital assistants on other brands. 

    For Siri and Google Assistant to be tied for usage, a lot of people are talking to Siri on their Apple devices, and a lot of people with Android devices aren’t talking to Google. That pretty much has to mean that, despite the claims that Google Assistant is technically superior or more capable, a lot more of the people who have access to it don’t find it useful enough to bother. So why would that be? Is Google’s AI not actually that great in this context? Do people have security concerns and disable it?
    The supposed superiority comes as useless features that no one uses, but sounds good. There are far more useful but no invasive Siri uses like geofencing on device for reminders with automatic contact numbers linked. 
  • Reply 10 of 30
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 201member
    “Hey Siri’ how accurate are these two line surveys? “Nonsense.”
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Nobody has explained why my command must be broken down, streamed to the Google/Apple Servers, thought about, then the answer streamed back to me when Microsoft Voice Command did it all on the Windows Phone in 2005.

    Really, Siri, you don't need to know my contacts, when I want to meet with them, which number I want to call them on when all of that information is on my phone, and that phone is 1024 times more powerful than the WIndows Phone of 2005.  Even more importantly, you don't need to be streaming the entirety of my vocal life to your servers, with you deciding what is worthwhile to keep.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,152member
    I love Siri. I don’t want to give google any more data. 
    macxpress
  • Reply 13 of 30
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,649member
    Yet more proof that Siri is actually very useful in most of the ways people actually use voice assistants. I use Siri on my Apple Watch all the time, mostly to set reminders, send messages, set alarms, find out the weather in the city I’m traveling to, music control, and other similar stuff.

    On my iPhone, I tend to use it for more advanced stuff, like reading back messages when I’m in the car, directions, music identification, translation, discovering what restaurants or other businesses are nearest to me, figuring out tip percentages, and a bunch of other stuff (some of which I picked up from AI’s excellent video on all the different commands Siri can do).

    For some people, it’s a great tip to take a second and compose your command in your head before speaking so you don’t “wander around” or pause confusingly when speaking to (any voice assistant), but for most people I find it works very well. I often teach older folks how to set reminders, alarms, and appointments in their calendar using only their voice, and within five minutes they are doing it themselves and thinking this is the greatest thing since Star Trek came on back in the sixties. :)

    I’m actively trying to use Google Assistant less, but I have also found it handy for some specific queries Siri isn’t as good on, though Siri routinely improves when I try it for those sorts of queries. Specifically, Google Assistant is really good at knowing a business’s opening and closing **and holiday** hours. Siri has of late gotten smarter about opening/closing, but still occasionally defers to the website rather than giving me the correct answer. So not saying GA isn’t better in some ways, but saying that Siri handles a wide array of popular requests very well, based on everyday real-world usage.
    tmaylostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 30
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 509member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    “Hey Siri’ how accurate are these two line surveys? “Nonsense.”
    While the referenced report doesn't go in depth into their research methodology, it does not appear that this info resulted from some sort of "two line survey." 
  • Reply 15 of 30
    AppleZulu said:
    Interesting. This would indeed suggest that despite all the whingeing about Siri being less capable than the other digital assistants, Siri is much more actively used by owners of Apple products than are the digital assistants on other brands. 

    For Siri and Google Assistant to be tied for usage, a lot of people are talking to Siri on their Apple devices, and a lot of people with Android devices aren’t talking to Google. That pretty much has to mean that, despite the claims that Google Assistant is technically superior or more capable, a lot more of the people who have access to it don’t find it useful enough to bother. So why would that be? Is Google’s AI not actually that great in this context? Do people have security concerns and disable it?
    You've drawn a conclusion that can't be supported by the information in the article.  The survey says both Siri and GA have a 36% usage rate.  If both are at 36%, aren't more people using GA than Siri?  36% of Apple device users = a number people.  If there are more Android users to start with, then 36% of their users = a larger number people.  Right?

    Also, you can't equate usage with the capability of the assistant.  There's no corollary that ties the two together.  That's akin to saying Windows is better than MacOS because more people use it.

    Basically all you can discern from the survey is digital assistants are in use and the each have strengths in different areas.
    edited April 29 gatorguycornchip
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Hope I’m not hijacking the main discussion here but I have a Siri question.

    i have an iPad Pro 10.5 inch, the chip of which does not contain the neural engine.  I do not have an iPhone.  Can anyone who has the A12 series with neural engine please tell me if they have noticed improvement in pattern recognition i.e. in photos being more accurately classed etc.  and, importantly to me, is Siri more accurate with the neural engine that advances machine learning?  I had planned to keep my current IPP for several years (I love my headphone jack and use it every evening) but I may have to reconsider if Siri is improved.  I use Siri constantly, and if the neural engine is required to get even more out of her and more accurate identification of my over 7000 photos I may have to reconsider an upgrade.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 267member
    lkrupp said:
    Folio said:
    Smells fishy to me, albeit just based on this snippet. That Alexa would generate 25 percent based on speakers alone, compared to ubiquity of smart phones...And just so happens Cortana gets nearly 20 percent. Yeah, right.
    Anything that goes against one’s bias always smells fishy doesn’t it. Have we become so cynical that we no longer believe in ANY research? How does one go through life not believing anything and seeing conspiracies surrounding everything? No wonder science is under attack
    Science is under attack because it’s been weaponized to push agendas with outright data manipulation to support lies.
    Lie to people enough and they become skeptics - go figure. 
    You can scientifically and mathematically explain both sides of an issue - it’s the question (or lack there of) that matters. 

    The real story here is 1.6%.
    Said it from day 1 - HomePod will be a total flop in its hardcore ultra-locked-down to the max useless state - that misses all the marks. 
    Reminiscent of the hockey puck mouse... totally useless to 98.4% of the market.


  • Reply 18 of 30
    thttht Posts: 3,243member
    AppleZulu said:
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    “Hey Siri’ how accurate are these two line surveys? “Nonsense.”
    While the referenced report doesn't go in depth into their research methodology, it does not appear that this info resulted from some sort of "two line survey." 
    You can read the report. It’s linked. 

    ”This report is based on the findings from two separate online consumer focused survey’s. The March – June 2018 survey was conducted by Microsoft Market Intelligence to gain a better understanding of the digital assistant usage and adoption . The Market Intelligence survey was conducted online with over 2,000 global responses representing the US, UK, CA, AU and IN. Building off of the findings from the Market Intelligence survey we used online research tool AskSuzy to engage with 5000 US consumers in February 2019 to gain a better understanding of the usage of how adoption of technology has has shifted and how adoption of shopping functionality has evolved .”

    They also have industry analyst information sprinkled in here and there, like 25% of US households have a smart speaker with half of those owners having more than 1, or that there are 50m smart speakers sold in the USA.

    The report reads like a “Cortana and voice is great and growing” gospel book. Ie, reads like the division trying to promote itself. It didn’t indicate how much overlap there was, like how much survey respondents used both Alexa and Siri, or Alexa and GA, or Cortana and GA, etc. There should only be a shallow trust in this results.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 509member
    AppleZulu said:
    Interesting. This would indeed suggest that despite all the whingeing about Siri being less capable than the other digital assistants, Siri is much more actively used by owners of Apple products than are the digital assistants on other brands. 

    For Siri and Google Assistant to be tied for usage, a lot of people are talking to Siri on their Apple devices, and a lot of people with Android devices aren’t talking to Google. That pretty much has to mean that, despite the claims that Google Assistant is technically superior or more capable, a lot more of the people who have access to it don’t find it useful enough to bother. So why would that be? Is Google’s AI not actually that great in this context? Do people have security concerns and disable it?
    You've drawn a conclusion that can't be supported by the information in the article.  The survey says both Siri and GA have a 36% usage rate.  If both are at 36%, aren't more people using GA than Siri?  36% of Apple device users = a number people.  If there are more Android users to start with, then 36% of their users = a larger number people.  Right?

    Also, you can't equate usage with the capability of the assistant.  There's no corollary that ties the two together.  That's akin to saying Windows is better than MacOS because more people use it.

    Basically all you can discern from the survey is digital assistants are in use and the each have strengths in different areas.
    Guess again. You've misread the information. The published report says, "Which digital assistants are people using?" and answers it with: Cortana, 19%; Siri, 36%; GA, 36%; Alexa, 25%; other, 1%. This means that, of all the respondents to their survey, 36% are using Siri, and 36% are using GA.

    This does not mean 36% of Apple device users are using Siri. It means 36% of all people they surveyed are using Siri.  (Note that their percentages add up to 117, which means some of their respondents are using more than one brand of digital assistant. This would be expected, as some iPhone and Android phone owners probably have Amazon speakers in the house, etc.)

    So assuming their survey's respondents resemble something like the general population, because we know that Android has a much larger share of the market than Apple with regard to devices owned, this means that there is a larger pool of the survey's respondents who own Android devices, yet only the same number of respondents use GA as use Siri. That means that a much lower percentage of Android owners use GA as compared to Apple owners using Siri. 

    That then is what brought me to the questions about why a larger percentage of Apple device owners use Siri, even though all the online chatter likes to say that GA is a 'more capable' digital assistant.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    croprcropr Posts: 955member
    tht said:
    AppleZulu said:
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    “Hey Siri’ how accurate are these two line surveys? “Nonsense.”
    While the referenced report doesn't go in depth into their research methodology, it does not appear that this info resulted from some sort of "two line survey." 
    You can read the report. It’s linked. 

    ”This report is based on the findings from two separate online consumer focused survey’s. The March – June 2018 survey was conducted by Microsoft Market Intelligence to gain a better understanding of the digital assistant usage and adoption . The Market Intelligence survey was conducted online with over 2,000 global responses representing the US, UK, CA, AU and IN. Building off of the findings from the Market Intelligence survey we used online research tool AskSuzy to engage with 5000 US consumers in February 2019 to gain a better understanding of the usage of how adoption of technology has has shifted and how adoption of shopping functionality has evolved .”

    They also have industry analyst information sprinkled in here and there, like 25% of US households have a smart speaker with half of those owners having more than 1, or that there are 50m smart speakers sold in the USA.

    The report reads like a “Cortana and voice is great and growing” gospel book. Ie, reads like the division trying to promote itself. It didn’t indicate how much overlap there was, like how much survey respondents used both Alexa and Siri, or Alexa and GA, or Cortana and GA, etc. There should only be a shallow trust in this results.
    So an English speaking only research.    This put a definitely a different light on the results.    I don't know about other languages but Google Assistant in Dutch, my mothertongue, is far superior than Siri.  I just repeated the test I am doing on a regular basis: asking the direction to 5 of biggest roads of Antwerp. Siri scored 2/5, Google Assistant 5/5.  Last year Siri only 1/5, so there is an improvement but still a long way to go. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
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