Amazon’s Echo and Alexa is a market wimp. Google’s highly touted Assistant is not so smart. Microsoft’s Cortana is dead last except for Samsung’s Bixby, the laughably infantile voice which is nowhere to be found. Siri is the market leader and growing up very fast.
Usability vs. Usability
Not that long ago I wrote about how important Siri is to Apple these days. Our favorite iPhone maker snapped up Google’s former Chief of Search and AI and turned him– John Giannandrea– into Siri’s boss and gave him an exalted position as a senior veep.
Somewhat buried in my missive was the implication where Siri has started to challenge Google’s oddly named Assistant, and how Amazon’s Alexa is getting thrashed.
Wait. What? Siri is beating Alexa?
How can that be? Anti-Apple critics insist that Apple has already lost the artificial intelligence wars, and completely missed the smart home invasion. Amazon and Google already won, right? And, how is it possible Siri is competing well against Assistant and Alexa at the same time?
First, let me do some math. Apple says the company has about 1.4-billion hardware devices on planet earth, and all but the most ancient are capable of running Siri. Indeed, Siri is the most popular and most used of the talking speaker personal assistants, topping Echo devices by more than an order of magnitude. A billion iPhone customers will attest to that. A few dozen million Echo owners have nothing to say.
Second, let me divulge some math that got buried on a bad news day. Google says Assistant is closing in on a billion devices, a number Apple eclipsed a few years ago because Siri shows up and works on more than a billion iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Among talking personal assistants Siri remains the most popular, the most used, and now ranks almost as smart as the smartest of the dumb speakers, Assistant– and ahead of Cortana, ahead of Alexa, ahead of Bixby.
Amazon and Google are playing catch up to Apple’s Siri. Go figure.
Look, all these talking personal assistants are not very bright and still barely toddlers of technology, but they might have a bright future. Siri has improved to a remarkable level in the past year, and the smarthome market remains an infant relative to the rest of the technology industry.
As always, the future is coming and we can bet that Apple will be a major player in the mix of technology leaders. It’s just a shame nobody is keeping score because I hate to dig up numbers that prove the nattering nabobs of negativism wrong, and I hate to throw shade on members of the technorati elite politburo.