The HomePod is as much about its sound quality as it is about Siri. The whole smart speaker thing is only as good as the voice assistant it is running. In most reviews, the HomePod was praised for its outstanding sound quality but criticised for Siri’s limited capabilities.
Gene Munster for Loup Ventures’ decided to put Siri through its pace on the HomePod and see just how good or bad Siri is on it. Sadly, the results are not very positive. While Siri on the HomePod understood 99.4 percent of the queries asked, it was able to respond to only 52.3 percent of them accurately. In comparison, Google Assistant on the Google Home responded to 81 percent of the queries accurately, while Alexa and Cortana scored 64 percent and 57 percent, respectively.
Despite its poor performance, Siri on the HomePod excelled in responding to local queries like where could one find a good cup of coffee and shopping. It fared better than Cortana and Alexa in this regard but was still short of Google Assistant.
Siri understood 99.4% of queries and answered 52.3% of them correctly. This places HomePod at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of AI assistant performance. Siri is particularly strong in Local (where can I find a good cup of coffee around here?) and Commerce (help me buy some new shoes.) queries, handily beating Alexa and Cortana, but still falling short of Google Home in those areas. Overall, Siri performed above our expectations given the limited scope of HomePod’s music focus.
Unlike its competition though, Siri simply does not support other categories like navigation, calendar, email, and calling. Due to this, Siri’s overall results fell down to 52.3 percent. Removing them out of the equation led to Siri’s score jumping to 67 percent — far better than Alexa and Cortana. Given these categories are supported by Siri on the iPhone, it is more about Apple flipping the switch on them for the HomePod.
What the HomePod lacks in smartness, it makes up for it in quality. The speaker “sounds incredible” and far better than all its rivals. It is also far easier to set up and does not require one to struggle with Wi-Fi networks. The interaction with Siri is also more human0like as Siri does not repeat your query, unlike Google Assistant and Alexa.
What do you think about Siri on the HomePod? Do you think its superior sound quality makes up for its lack of capabilities?
[Via Loup Ventures]