Apple HomePod Hands-on: Sounds Great, But Siri Needs Work

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Harvey_14

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"Siri simply can't do as much as Alexa and Google Assistant"

It's puzzling how some people have a preconceived opinion (for whatever reason) that Apple's Siri is not as good as Alexa. This opinion is subjective, but it is also shot down by actual methodical testing done on the various AI voice assistants.

In December 2017 LoopVentures tested the various AI assistants with the same 800 questions divided into five categories.

Test Results:

Understood Query:
Apple Siri: 99.0%
Amazon Echo: 97.9%
Google Home: 99.9%
MS Cortana: 98.9%

Answered Correctly:
Apple Siri: 75.4%
Amazon Echo: 63.8%
Google Home: 81.1%
MS Cortana: 56.4%

Siri is currently only slightly behind Google Home, but well ahead of both Amazon Echo and MS Cortana. And Siri's ratings have been consistently improving.

There is also a good video demo of HomePod's Siri capabilities, on YouTube, titled: "This is HomePod - Features and Review".
 

Harvey_14

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There is also an article on the web, titled: "80 things Apple says you can ask Siri on HomePod". The list of examples is quite extensive, and each one has been verified working by the article's author.
 

mprospero

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Siri is capable, but I'm also referring to what you can do with it through the HomePod. We also did our own comparison between Google, Alexa, and Siri, too, and tested all three over a variety of tasks. For example, Siri can't read your calendar, make a phone call, set multiple timers, or order things online. And that's not to mention all the third-party skills through Alexa. Plus, you can only use Siri to play music through Apple Music, whereas Alexa and Google Assistant can also be used with Spotify, TuneIn, etc.
 

lumbee1

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Reviewer, the Sonos One does not replicate some of the Echo's abilities. As is typical, Amazon made its own speakers the most compatible with its software. Consumers should know they are not getting a fully Alexa compatible speaker if they buy a Sonos.
 
Feb 12, 2018
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Mike, in this review you mentioned that 2 Sonos Ones in stereo sounds better than the Homepod, however you never compared it to the Google Home Max (Even though you mentioned one was in the comparison). In the Google Home Max review you stated: "Ultimately, between the two Sonos Ones and the single Google Max, it was too close to call.". So if the stereo pair of Sonos Ones was better than the Homepod but too close to call against the Google Home Max, that seems to say the Google Home Max is slightly better than the Homepod. Can you comment on that?
 

mprospero

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Sure thing - When I was testing the Google Home Max against the Sonos Ones, I had them set up in a carpeted room, and was sitting a bit closer - about 7 feet. I switched to a different room when testing the Homepod, Google Home Max, and Sonos Ones. This time, I set them up in my living room (which doesn't have a carpet), on top of a wood console (which you can see in the picture), and sat further away - more like 10-12 feet. The distance and environment made a big difference, and in this setting, the Sonos were really able to expand into the room, and made vocals stand out more. Here, the HomePod's vocals were better than the Google Home Max, but not as good as the Sonos. All three did very well on bass, but I would say that the HomePod's was a little clearer than the Google Home Max. We're planning to do an even more in-depth comparison, with multiple listeners, so stay tuned.
 
Feb 12, 2018
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Mike, in this review you mentioned you had a Google Home Max too, but you only wrote about the Homepod's comparison with the Sonos Ones. Here you said the stereo pair of Sonos Ones was better than the Homepod, but in the Google Home Max review you stated:
"Ultimately, between the two Sonos Ones and the single Google Max, it was too close to call."
This seems to say that the Google Home Max is slightly better than the Homepod. Can you comment on that?
 
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