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. 

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