Siri isn’t the worst voice assistant on phones today, according to MKBHD. In his latest video, Marques Brownlee conducts are four-way test between Siri and its competitors to see how voice assistants compare in 2022.
The voice assistant voice off is the sequel to a similar test shared in 2017. Five years later, MKBHD still crowns Google Assistant with the top spot while Amazon Alexa ranks worst. This is a smartphone test, after all, and not a smart speaker comparison. If only the Fire phone wasn’t a burn out, right?
So what’s holding Siri back from being the best voice assistant in MKBHD’s test? It all comes down to timers and follow up questions.
Siri on the HomePod and even Apple Watch can handle multiple timers, but Siri’s main domain on the iPhone has a one-timer mind in 2022. Makes sense… said no one ever. Running multiple timers with voice control on a smartphone is just the norm for Google Assistant. Fair enough!
According to the test, Siri and Google Assistant are competitive when it comes to speed, although Siri and Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant experience lag time more than Assistant and Alexa.
All four assistants excel at answering facts when prompted with a specific question. It’s the follow up questions that trip up Bixby and Alexa the most, however. Siri and Assistant are competitive when it comes to asking questions conversationally, but MKBHD’s test shows that Assistant is able to keep the context longer than Siri.
Siri also comes short when it comes to device control. Google Assistant and Samsung’s Bixby are capable of starting voice recordings and playing a specific show on Netflix. Siri appears to simply launch relevant apps without taking any further steps.
Perhaps surprising is Siri’s lack of cooperation when asking it to take a selfie. Google Assistant launches the camera app, switches to the front-facing camera, and initiates a countdown before snapping the photo. Siri launches the camera despite Voice Control being fully capable of driving the Camera app on iPhone.
For Siri, expanding multiple timer support to iPhone is the lowest of low hanging fruit. Tuning Siri to understand questions in context is objectively something that should be improved. Otherwise, Siri comes out solid and is certainly best for folks in the Apple ecosystem.
What’s your experience with competing voice assistants? Voice your thoughts in the comments below!