A new Youtube video by tech blogger MKBHD gives a good look at the two most advanced voice assistants available today. It’s a showdown with Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri!
Begun, The Assistant Wars Have
This video gives a pretty decent (though not totally complete) look at both of these pieces of software. The advancement of voice recognition and text-to-speech is pretty amazing for the past few years, and it will be pretty neat to see where things go in a few more. Right now, both platforms are pretty good at lots of things, though each one has small advantages.
Without further ado, here’s the video (make sure and watch all the way until the end for a bit of an Easter egg):
The Future Goes To…
While I am probably biased (having never used an iPhone or Siri for any appreciable time), it seems like Google has a bit of an advantage right now.
While Apple has been making great hardware for the past several years, their services are not generally widely loved – even, sometimes, among Apple users (Apple Music, Apple Maps). Combine that with their focus on privacy for the end user which, while admirable, means that they probably have less information about you as a person than Google does.
On the other hand, Googe is not particularly shy about using what it knows about you (and your email, internet habits, search history, location history, etc.) to provide context to your searches or, in some cases, trying to guess what you need ahead of time. While this can be more than a bit unnerving (although you do have to give it permission to access this information, and you can revoke access at any time) this has the potential to make Google Assistant a bit more “aware” of what you mean when speaking. And, if you’re going to use these assistants much, they need to feel like talking naturally.
Of course, giving too much of an advantage to Google definitely premature, as Google services have a history of disappearing (RIP Google Reader) or being duplicated for ‘reasons’ (Allo, Hangouts, Messenger, GTalk), and there’s already a bit of that going with Google Assistant/Google Now in the above video.
Who knows, maybe this will be a come-from-behind victory for Cortana?