Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, I bring to you a fight of the ages. A twenty first century bout of technological superiority. A title match to determine once and for all which virtual assistant provides the best service, the widest versatility, and does so at the sound of your voice.
Siri and Google Assistant are two of the hottest virtual personalities helping you keep track of everything from your calendar to the news, sports to music, and everything in between. But which of these two softwares does their job better? Sure we can discuss the applicability of Google Assistant and the fact that it has the ability to service any Android device and now has an iOS app to allow Apple users to access Google Assistant whereas Siri is strictly an Apple program, but that doesn’t really provide a value as to which is stronger – so we’ll just ignore that.
One of the most popular uses for virtual assistants is day planning. Between work, kids, spouses, families, hobbies, second jobs, and sporting events life gets a little hectic and having access to a personal secretary to manage our schedules is a huge help. Let’s take a quick look at how Siri and Google Assistant work with us to make sure we don’t miss any major events!
Siri offers perhaps the cleanest way to see your day at a glance. A simple: “Hey Siri, what does my day look like?” will cause her to pull up a screenshot of your calendar for the current day. Being able to see important events like birthdays, holidays, and scheduled meetings (she’d hate for you to miss that 4pm yoga class) in chronological order should help straighten out your day in a snap.
Now Google Assistant absolutely has a daily tracker for you as well – but not only does it draw information from your programmed calendar on your phone or computer, it syncs its calendar with any other Google accounts you may have. Have an email that gives you the date and time of a lunch meeting tomorrow? No problem, Google Assistant can open that email, show you that meeting place and add it to your calendar. All you have to do is ask. Google Assistant also offers you the ability to set your morning routine however you want it to start your day off right. Siri can set an alarm for 8am tomorrow, but can Siri sync your alarm to the lights in your smart home or sequence your bedroom television to turn on to the morning news as soon as you dismiss your alarm? Google Assistant can – the integration that Google Assistant offers allows you to program your routine and you can wake up your way, every day.
One of the nice benefits I will throw in for Siri though is that while Google Assistant provides you with the day’s weather, Siri will see the weather, the road and traffic conditions of your morning commute to work and will actually tell you your current estimated travel time so you know exactly when you have to leave – without even asking. She’s looking out for you without you even realizing it.
One of the most common uses of mobile devices and assistant-enabled speakers is music. Everything in our culture revolves around music on some level. We drive our cars – SiriusXM radio or some other source of our favorite tunes is blaring. We are so in tune to music psychologically that certain chords or tempos and themes tell us how we’re supposed to feel in the movie theater. Who doesn’t still feel a tingle when they hear the loud bass of Darth Vader’s “Imperial March” and see him stride across the screen?
Google Assistant and Siri are both well-equipped to blare our favorite tunes at the most appropriate times. With the ability to sync to YouTube and Spotify, Google Assistant can pull up a playlist/mix from your favorite artists or musical styles to get your jam on while cleaning the house, commuting to work, or going out for a jog.
Siri, admittedly, takes this a step further. As you make musical selections with your Siri device she will start to learn your personal preferences and musical tastes. For example – if your general playlist is 90s and 2000s pop music, you can ask Siri to play something that you would like and she may pull up some Justin Timberlake or Britney Spears to tickle your fancy. Because she gets so in tune (no pun intended… well… maybe sort of intended) with your styles and tastes, Siri can even start suggesting specific playlists at appropriate times so you don’t even need to think about what you want to summon up for your listening pleasure.
The Smart Home
One of the growing technological trends is using our technology to make our lives at home easier. Appliances and electronics are becoming more sophisticated to help us utilize all the data available at our fingertips without having to hunt for it. Furthermore, things like thermostats that used to be manually set and fought over can now be changed by a simple voice command.
Google Assistant and Siri both capitalize on the smart home market and work hard to make sure that your home runs as smoothly as your schedule.
No one likes coming home to a dark house, but how do you have the lights on when you walk in without wasting a lot of costly electricity the entire time you are gone? Google Assistant and Siri both provide the answers with their smart home integration. Simply speak the commands and your virtual personal assistants will turn on your living room lights, open your garage door, or power up your television.
While Siri can handle all of the basics of home control, the integration here is where we have to give Google Assistant the edge. Through the plugins available for Google Assistant, you can lock your front door, set up voice activated printing on a connected Hewlett Packard printer, or enable or disable your wifi networks from a Netgear device; and Chromecast takes voice activated television to another level as it allows you to tell your assistant to show your security camera feed on your television or play music videos through your television and control the playback all via voice command.
Both Google Assistant and Siri are bringing us into a new age of technology in ways that are strongly positive for our productivity. Both virtual assistants allow for simple things like creating a shopping list and reminding us to stop at the grocery store on the way home or grab the dry cleaning after work. Siri is great for Apple products, but she ultimately has several limitations in functionality and plugins when you start looking to expand her use beyond other Apple products. Where we like Google Assistant the most is its versatility in terms of platforms. Most operating systems have the ability to integrate Google Assistant into its software making it easier to carry your virtual assistant from your phone to your car into your home without worrying too much about overall system compatibility.
Admittedly, many of Google Assistant’s plug-ins are things that Siri has the ability to do anyway, but the home integration – the ability to voice command that your computer print off last night’s research paper, for example -offers a range of uses for Google Assistant that Siri just hasn’t been able to keep up with just yet. So for now, Google Assistant is our winner, but Google will have to watch out — Apple will be focusing more on the smart home in coming iOS iterations with the new focus on the “Home” app.