Siri vs Google Assistant 2.0

siri
#1

I’m sure many of you have seen the Google IO demo of Google Assistant 2.0. The demo left me with my jaw dropped.

We’ve heard very little about Siri in the run up to WWDC. Is Apple conceding the smart assistant market to Google?

#2

No, they’re not. Not by a long shot. We’re not going to here a peep from Apple about anything leading up to WWDC. The thing to look at is what did Apple do last WWDC with Siri? I think many would agree that Siri Shortcuts was a big step in pushing Siri into the future.

It seems to me that every year people are really impressed by the demos Google puts on but the actual releases that follow are not what was demoed on stage. Demos are one thing, releases are another.

The thing about WWDC is that what does get demoed is almost always what get’s released (and usually on time for most things).

About Siri specifically, I use it every day countless times. Over the past 3-4 years I’ve used it everyday and only use it more today. And for most things I think it performs very accurately and quickly and that’s when accessing from iPad, iPhone and HomePods.

In my use the one thing I find most lacking is the inability to perform follow-up questions on the same topic as an initial question.

But generally I think Siri is far better than most people give it credit for.

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#3

I don’t disagree that Siri works effectively now. And I also don’t disagree that Siri shortcuts was a step in the right direction.

But I guess my underlying question is if Apple is really innovating in this area or not?

I understand that Apple has a different vision for the future of Digital Assistants than Google and others, I get that. But my concern and feeling is that they are lagging, and perhaps focusing on other priorities that may not align to mine.

I really don’t need a 3rd camera lens, I’d like my smart phone to get smarter.

#4

Talk to Tim about it, everybody else/anything else is speculation.

#5

Happen to have his number handy? All joking aside, I’d love to see a more powerful Siri.

#6

Is Apple innovating in this area?

Hmmm.

I guess my first thought is that we know the yearly cycle. As I said, we can look at 2018 and Shortcuts. Was that innovating? I’d suggest yes. As a first step I think it was a significant move and show of intent for the long-term.

It’s a yearly cycle and we have 3 weeks. We know that in general the big changes are announced at WWDC. Small incremental changes might happen in the months after the main release but they are usually smaller and behind the scenes.

I guess I’m suggesting that your question comes prematurely. Google has had their week and now we have to wait 3 to see and hear what Apple has planned for the next year.

I would add though, as to your question about Apple having other priorities, yes, they do. Consider this. As a hardware company Apple has sold me these products that I can use to access Siri: iPhone, iPad, Mac, AppleTV, HomePods, AirPods and AppleWatch. Now, I’ll admit, I’m somewhat ignorant of the Google ecosystem as I’m not in it so I’m not comparing, just commenting on my experience with Apple’s ecosystem.

I look at that list of devices and yes, I do think innovation applies. We can’t really separate Siri out. Apple’s system is integrated. Siri is now working everywhere. It is not exactly the same everywhere and there are some discrepancies between devices. I’m okay with that for now. What I know is that in home our out on a walk or in town on errands I can speak to Siri in a normal tone of voice and get nearly instant results that are more often than not exactly what I’m looking for. Whether I’m telling my AirPods to turn on my porch light as I drive up with groceries or lifting my watch to tell Siri to start an outdoor walk or fast forwarding through a podcast or dictating a text… I could go on and on. Siri does things everyday and does so accurately and with little delay.

When you express worry about a lack of innovation or that they are not focused I guess I’d ask what specifically are you looking for? What are your use cases with Siri that result in a feeling of missing features or lack of innovation?

#7

Apple is definitely improving Siri. I like the methodology this company is using to test voice assistants; you can see Apple is making significant improvements. I hope we’ll see another batch of data soon. Apple seems to only be increasing their hiring to develop AI. https://loupventures.com/annual-digital-assistant-iq-test-siri-google-assistant-alexa-cortana/

#8

I saw this study and I thought it was accurate as I believed Siri to be superior to Cortana. The benchmark is vs current Google Assistant where as this thread was inspired by the GA2 demo.

I’d love to be wrong and for Siri to rock the stage at WWDC. For now I’m just voicing my opinion saying I’d like to see Siri become stronger.

#9

Yes shortcuts was innovative, and it was badly needed as in 2018, almost everyone in the community was voicing frustration with Siri being limited.

The potential for AI is massive and we are just scratching the surface. Siri being able to turn lights on and off is no different that what other assistants can do, and yes Siri has limitations that I won’t get into here now.

I know Apple is a HW maker, I’m invested in at least 10 of their HW devices, so believe me when I say nothing would make me happier than to see a more powerful Siri.

If you’re happy with how Siri is at the moment, all the power to you. From my viewpoint as someone in the industry, whoever cracks AI will take the industry by storm, and I am hoping that Apple will surprise me positively at WWDC and that my comment is as you said, premature.

#10

I started using Siri when it was first offered as a standalone app. I agree with @Denny, it does many things well, taking notes, placing calls, answering texts. But too often, it fails to respond verbally when I ask it to do something, and I can’t use screen data when driving, etc.

I use a lot of Google products, Gmail, Calendar, Maps, etc. and purchased a couple of Google Home Mini’s last year during a 2 for 1 sale. The accuracy of the Google Assistant is already very impressive. It handles commands like “Ok, Google, turn on the back deck light and set brightness to 25%, and what’s the temperature?” almost every time. I added a $35 dollar Chromecast dongle to my 11 year old plasma, and now I can say “Hey Google, play the latest Star Trek Discovery on Samsung”. “Skip back 1 minute, set volume to 40%”

I recently added a command to my phone “Hey Siri, OK Google” so I could use the Assistant on my 6S for things Siri has yet to learn.

Google used a massive number of servers, and a ton of our data, to teach it’s Assistant. Now it is moving it down to run on phones and “supposedly” tightening up on privacy. I really can’t see how Apple can accomplish the same thing with just on-phone computation.

But perhaps the new Google Assistant and their $399 Pixel 3a phone, if they are successful, will get Apple to shift their priorites from “thinest and lightest” to less fashionable but more useful products and features.

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