Skip to main content

Siri And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Voice Assistant


Apple has lagged behind not only Microsoft and Google in the quality of its voice assistant, but now severely lags Amazon. That was brought home to me today when trying to use Siri in my car over the built in (and high quality) Bluetooth connection.

Let me start by saying this connection has never been a problem with Cortana or Google. Both of which happily track close to 100% accuracy day in and day out. Siri? Every conversation is an adventure.

This evening on my way home from work I spent nine minutes trying to send one, relatively important, message. It was very much beyond the capabilities of Siri. In the end I had to make an unplanned detour so that I could stop and pick up my iPhone to type the message out.

Given the message was just thirteen words that's all kinds of fail.

That's going to make ownership of the new HomePod something of a challenging experience, relying as it does on Siri for its control interface. Whilst Amazon targets very specific actions with Alexa, Apple customers are going to be expecting something of a more Apple-y experience from the new music-cum-home controller offering.

Hopefully iOS 11 will offer many improvements in recognition quality and conversational control. Otherwise this Christmas is likely to be punctuated by the sound of shattering glass as HomePods get launched through windows after misinterpreting the instruction to play a little Christmas music as a request to open the garage door, turn off the oven and launch the living room lights into an impression of New Year's fireworks displays. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.