Cortana vs. Siri vs. Google Assistant vs. Alexa
Smart assistants could be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to taking our jobs away in the future, but that doesn't mean we can't use them in the meantime. Virtual assistants such as Cortana, Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa are now a signature function on smartphones and tablets. So knowing which one is the best can have a significant impact on your next hardware purchase.
To see how these different intelligent assistants measure up, we played Cortana against Siri against Google Assistant against Alexa in a virtual assistant.
If you already have a smart assistant of your choice, check out our guide to using Cortana on Windows 10 or read some of the funniest questions you should ask Siri.
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Speech accuracy and speed
Google Assistant continues the conversations
The digital assistant's primary ability to know when to speak and understand what is being said is critical. Each has a wake-up word or phrase that it listens to, such as B. "Hey Cortana", "OK, Google", "Siri" and "Alexa". The wake-up word prompts the digital assistant to listen and respond to what is said next. However, if you have a niche accent or don't like screaming, can some assistants understand you better than others?
While each of the key voice assistants provides excellent speech recognition, Google Assistant and Siri can better understand what you're saying - especially when there is ambient noise or the assistant itself is passing some information to the user. Microsoft claims Cortana has a good understanding of the context, but it has a lot more problems than the other two actually hearing what you're saying, as does Alexa. Quiet environments are best suited if you use the last two, as background noise can significantly affect them if you understand what you are asking them to do.
In terms of response time to inquiries, Google Assistant is once again ahead and offers consistently quick responses to orders. Alexa and Siri were both on their heels, but Cortana is the last to come in. Because users have reported issues with Cortana that understand basic requirements even though they have no issues with their microphones (setting reminders, canceling tasks, and finding information about restaurants), it is difficult to measure response times to requests when they are not heard will. If the command is clearly recognized by the alternate digital assistants, Siri can often displace Alexa, but it depends very much on the tasks you give them and your knowledge of their command prompts. So when it comes to speech recognition: Siri and Google Assistant win this category. However, when it comes to query response times, Google Assistant is the clear winner.
Characteristics and skills
Brenda Stolyar / Digital Trends
Regardless of which virtual assistant you use, they all support the same essential functions. This includes setting calendar events and alarms, making calls, sending emails and messages, and playing music. But everyone also has their quirks and special features that make them unique.
Cortana uses Microsoft's Bing search engine to find and respond to information requests, while both Siri and Google Assistant use Google. Although the latter two may use the same search platform, Siri will ask you to call or make a reservation if you ask for information about restaurants. If you already know where you want to eat, all three can make a reservation or order food for you.
The Google Assistant has another advantage for those who use the Google search engine regularly: it already knows a lot about you. While this raises some concerns about data protection, it also means that it is probably the most personalized service - at least at the start of use. The natural Google duplex voice system promises a more natural communication with Google Assistant, regardless of whether this is between the Google Assistant and the owner or with others.
Some of the features offered by the wizards work differently depending on the platform on which you use them. Google Assistant reads the news to you on a home speaker, while Cortana does it on a smartphone. Siri just likes to play music on Apple Music, while Cortana and Google Assistant work perfectly with Spotify and music stored on your device.
Alexa is great for simple commands and orders on Amazon. However, if you're looking for a digital assistant who understands everyday language and doesn't need a user guide to master it, you should look elsewhere. It's close, but when it comes to usability, personalization, and natural communication, Google Assistant highlights the competition to also win the category of features and capabilities.
The biggest difference between the most important virtual assistants is the hardware and the platforms on which they can be integrated. Siri may work well with HomePod speakers, AirPod headphones, and on devices like the iPhone and iPad. Unfortunately, you cannot access it on your Android device or Windows PC.
In comparison, Google Assistant is available on Android and iOS platforms. With a few changes, you can even get it to work on Windows or Linux. It also has compatible hardware options like the Google Home Smart Speaker and Chromecast and is gradually being integrated into Chrome OS devices like the Google Pixelbook.
Cortana is similar and offers a wide range of support for hardware and software platforms. It is integrated into all kinds of Windows 10 devices, including all Windows 10 PCs, the now defunct Windows 10 Mobile and the Xbox One console. Cortana also lives in some smart devices, including the Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker, and there are increasingly powerful and more essential Cortana apps for iOS and Android. As part of the Amazon ecosystem, Alexa can be easily connected to Fire TVs and tablets as well as many other Bluetooth speakers in different designs - contrary to the aesthetics of the Google Assistant cookie cutter - and provides an excellent base for those who are developing a smart Homes are interested.
When it comes to how easy it is to get your home assistant up and running, Cortana is the only one that takes a lot of time. While Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri enjoy setups that only require a username and password and take less than a minute to initialize, Cortana lets you jump through multiple frames.
To test Cortana at all, you need to log in to your PC, provide an email account that is not associated with a company or school, and wait for a confirmation code. Some users have even reported that they need to connect to Cortana through the app, only be able to log in with the Cortana-approved email account, and are then referred to as the email account by the wizard for the duration of the setup process. Suffice it to say that setting up Cortana is less of a pleasure than an odyssey, which is why Cortana comes last in this category. When it comes to usability in an ecosystem, there are three options: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are all doing well here. However, Google Assistant and Cortana are better than the others in terms of platform availability and hardware integration.
Google Assistant wins for now
Cortana, Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant are all fantastic virtual assistants, and they have made leaps and bounds in recent years. We see that they are expanding their software capabilities and platform support, but Google Assistant seems to be evolving fastest and most effectively. It is better to quickly understand what you are saying and answer your questions. Even better, the ecosystem support is extensive and comprehensive so you can use it on the go, regardless of which smartphone you choose.
Each of the digital assistants is at its best when using escort services from its developer. Siri works best with all of Apple's services and hardware, while Cortana works great on Windows. However, Google Assistant is pretty bug-free on most platforms. While it certainly benefits from integration with some of Google's other services, it is versatile on a variety of platforms, which gives it that edge. Alexa works best with other Amazon products and considering the company's ambitions, who knows what will be launched next.
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