The Top 6 Reasons Siri Isn’t as Smart as Alexa

People were blown away when Apple first debuted Siri over a decade ago. Some thought Siri would usher in a hands-free future, whereas others thought Siri would have taken over the world by now. But Siri has managed to do neither. Instead, more than 10 years later, Siri isn’t much smarter than it was back then.

Here, we’ll list the six reasons Siri isn’t as good as Alexa or Google Assistant and Apple is playing catch-up.

6. Offline Mode Makes Siri Even Dumber Than Usual

If you’ve ever tried to ask Siri a question while you’re somewhere without good cell service, you’re probably all too familiar with waiting for Siri to say something before eventually giving up on it.

The reason Siri can sometimes give you the cold shoulder is that for many years, all of Siri’s vocal processing wasn’t done on your device. Instead, that work was offloaded to Apple’s servers for processing, and the answers were sent back to you. Basically, no internet connection meant no Siri.

With iOS 15, users finally had the option to enable an offline version of Siri, but if Siri can’t get online, its capabilities are much more limited than usual. It’s a given that if you’re offline, Siri won’t be able to pull up information from the internet like the weather or your location, but you might be surprised by some of the other things Siri can’t do.

While Siri is happy to open apps like notes and reminders for you, it won’t be able to add any new entries for you. Even with offline Siri, until you can get back into an area with cell service, you’ll be stuck doing most things on your iPhone the old-fashioned way.

5. Apple Needs to Bring Back Third-Party Support

Before iOS 15 rolled along, Siri used to be a lot smarter. Siri could execute a ton of different commands on many popular apps. That included things like being able to call an Uber or Lyft or adjusting your car’s AC through CarPlay. However, in iOS 15, Apple decided to scale back almost all of Siri’s third-party support.

Although you can still use iOS Shortcuts to set up a custom action, that doesn’t address Siri’s much bigger compatibility problem. For a while, it seemed like Apple was slowly getting more serious about getting Siri to work with more apps that people use daily. But unfortunately, for now, at least, Apple has gutted most of Siri’s third-party support. That’s a huge loss for both app developers and consumers.

4. Siri Sucks at Running Your Home

Apple wants its users to use Siri to run all their smart home devices, but in many ways, Siri just can’t keep up with Alexa. Besides the huge range of Amazon Echo devices, there are a ton of third-party Alexa-compatible devices from other manufacturers, ranging from thermostats to lights and more.

Trying to integrate Siri with your house can turn into a headache pretty fast. For starters, you’ll need to pick up a HomePod or HomePod mini, which are much pricier than most Alexa-powered speakers. Then, any smart home devices you choose need to be Apple HomeKit-compatible. That’s a much smaller range of products that usually sell at much higher prices than the competition.

3. Siri Needs to Understand Context Better

Night owls will appreciate the fact that if you use Siri to schedule a reminder for “tomorrow” a little after midnight, Siri will confirm whether you said tomorrow, but really meant later today. Even though that’s a great feature to have, most of the time, you still need to be careful what you ask Siri and how you request it.

One of Siri’s biggest no-nos is using more than one date or time in a sentence. For example, If you use the phrase “Remind me on April 30th that I have a dentist appointment tomorrow,” Siri may forget the date entirely and just schedule your reminder for the next day. Until Siri can better understand the nuances of speech and language, many people will skip using it altogether.

2. “Hey Siri” Never Works Like It’s Supposed To

Just like saying “OK Google,” or “Alexa,” saying “Hey Siri” is Siri’s hands-free activation code, but unfortunately, “Hey Siri” never seems to work as it should.

“Hey Siri” seems like a great way to access some simple commands while your hands are full, like when you’re cooking. But poor reliability makes “Hey Siri” an exercise in futility more than anything else. For instance, you can’t activate “Hey Siri” when your iPhone plays music because there’s too much sound interference. Also, you can’t activate “Hey Siri” if there’s any music in the room at all. The iPhone’s microphones just aren’t sensitive enough to pick out voices in even moderately-loud rooms.

Even if your house is dead silent, “Hey Siri” is hit or miss at best. Also, did you know that “Hey Siri” is disabled whenever your iPhone is face down? Even if you change that in settings, “Hey Siri” often doesn’t register unless you’re close to your iPhone. At that point, you could just activate Siri from a button. Although there are some ways to fix “Hey Siri” not working on your iPhone, you’d rather skip using Siri altogether.

1. Siri Still Needs a Lot More Functionality

There are so many things that Siri could be doing, but it isn’t for today’s standards. One of the most mind-boggling things about Siri is that it still can’t handle more than one request or question at a time. If you ask Siri for the time or a weather forecast, Siri can handle that with no problem. But, ask Siri for both simultaneously, and you’re lucky if you get an answer for either.

A lot of the time, Siri seems more like a Google search machine than a reliable AI assistant. It’s incredibly easy to confuse Siri and get handed “Here’s what I found on Google” as a response.

Speaking of Google, Google Assistant’s interpreter mode can even translate speech from 27 different languages in real-time, an invaluable tool for traveling and communicating with people from other cultures. There are many ways to use Google Assistant to make your life easier, and it seems like most of the time, Siri just can’t keep up.

Siri, Please Do Better

Siri was revolutionary back in 2011, but today, Apple is playing catch-up against the competition. Although the Cupertino-based company had a huge head start with voice assistants, rivals like Amazon’s Alexa came out of nowhere to blow Siri out of the water.

Siri still has so much potential to improve the iPhone experience, so it’s a shame that improving Siri seems to be on the back burner of Apple’s to-do list. Apple likes to market the iPhone as the cutting edge of mobile technology, but Siri is proving that even a product as big as the iPhone still has some rough spots that need ironing out.

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