The beta version of Siri first saw the light of day as an iPhone exclusive in October of 2011. Which means we’re nearing the 10-year mark for the digital assistant’s debut (for Apple’s platform). Since then, Apple has touted the many queries the digital assistant has handled, and made improvements in big –and small– ways.
But it’s hard to ignore the competition in this space now. Google and Amazon have ramped up their own digital assistants, and those companies have a bit of an advantage right from the jump: a broader ecosystem. Apple’s Siri is focused, and it’s only available on Apple’s products. Meanwhile you can find Google Assistant on a whole range of devices, non-Google devices included. Same goes for Amazon’s Alexa.
But of course, nothing here is new. Apple relies and builds upon its own ecosystem, while Google, Amazon, and others rely on their own products and the devices of others. That’s not inherently bad by any means. And anyone who’s already in Apple’s ecosystem probably doesn’t mind!
Things are getting better, too. AirPlay and HomeKit are finding their way to other devices, like smart TVs from Vizio and LG and Samsung. So you can use Siri to control those third-party devices! So, a step in the right direction at least.
But, even in Apple’s ecosystem Siri has its weaknesses, right? The biggest shortcoming, in my book, is that Siri doesn’t work exactly the same from one device to the next. Sure, it’s mostly the same — but Siri finds itself more limited on some Apple devices than others. It’s strange, to say the least, but Apple probably has its reasons for doing this.
My own time with Siri is limited, honestly. I’ve just grown accustomed to doing many things without the digital assistant — even things I know it would make easier for me. But, in most cases, I’m not in a hurry. So when I need to find a sports score, for instance, I could just ask Siri and the assistant would give me the answer in just a few seconds. But, more often than not, just doing a search on the computer is enough.
The most interaction I get with Siri is on the HomePod and with CarPlay. In both cases it’s all about playing some type of media, and that’s enough. Oh, and setting a timer on the Apple Watch while cooking. And that would be it! I know Siri is capable of doing quite a bit more, but I don’t have any need to use the digital assistant for controlling my TV, and my house isn’t decked out with a bunch of smart home accessories.
I don’t even ask Siri for the weather anymore.
I’m mostly curious to know how you might use Siri these days, though. With almost ten years under the digital assistant’s belt of being helpful (or trying to be helpful), how do you like Apple’s effort in this space? Do you think the company is trying enough with Siri? How do you think the company could make impactful changes for Siri ahead of this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference?
Do you think Siri is as helpful as it could be? Do you use the digital assistant every day? Or do you find yourself barely using the feature anymore?