The advancements in modern technology have given us a great gift: virtual assistants that are available for 24 hours a day on our mobile devices.
These software have an advantage over human virtual assistants in the fact that they are designed to be accurate and unlike the rest of us, they don’t get days off.
There have always been debates between Android and IOS users on which operating system boasts of the better virtual assistant software. Google Assistant and Siri are like two wrestlers, always placed against each other in the boxing ring of technology.
Today, I will be reviewing both virtual assistants and telling you what I think of their capabilities. My review will be based on origin, features, popularity, and my opinion.
Table of Contents:
- Origin of Virtual Assistants
- Features of Siri and Google Assistant
- My Opinion
Origin: How Did Virtual Assistant Software Come About?
Humans could not always communicate with machine; many years ago verbally asking a machine to perform a task would be seen as absurd.
However, the IBM-produced Shoe-box activated calculator that was presented in the 1962 Seattle World Fair resulted in the development of more voice recognition software in the 1970s. Thereafter, in 1980 IBM released a voice-recognizing typewriter called Tangora, and in the 1990s, the first virtual assistant that would be known as IBM Simon.
IBM Simon is remembered in history as the first smartphone that had features that would be laughable now but were impressive then. It had a touchscreen, an email service, the ability to send faxes, and an unfortunately weak battery that was said to last one hour.
In 1993, Adam Cheyer built the first prototype of what would become Siri. In February 2010, along with his co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Tom Gruber, Adam Cheyer launched Siri on the Apple Store. Siri was bought for the sum of $200 million US dollars by Steve Jobs and it launched on the iPhone in October 2011.
Google Assistant is the younger rival of Siri that was announced in May 2016. It was announced at the 2016 California Google I/O Developer event. The virtual assistant was made available for use in the Google Pixel smartphone which was launched in October 2016.
Features: The Qualities of These Virtual Assistants
Google Assistant has many abilities and the list of the activities this virtual assistant can do grows daily.
With the help of Google Assistant, you can make calls and send messages, find your phone, open an app, play a song on YouTube music, check the weather, set timers, ask questions, find photos, check locations and even send voice messages.
Google Assistant is available on Android smartphones running Android 5.0 with 1.0GB RAM and Android 6.0 with 1.5GB RAM, speakers, smartwatches, headphones, and many other products.
Google Assistant is set in the language of your choice: there are multiple options to choose from.
Siri uses voice commands to carry out different tasks for IOS users and the list of available tasks is continuously expanding.
Siri helps IOS users to make calls and send messages, send emails, check voicemails, ask questions, check the weather, set schedules, find photos, make reservations, and even book flights.
The good thing about Siri is that it is available on almost all IOS phones and even on Macs. Siri boasts of a translator and the ability to speak many languages from English to French to Mandarin.
Popularity: Google Assistant VS Siri
In January 2020, it was reported that Google Assistant had up to 500 million users every month. Google Assistant then was available in up to 90 languages in 30 countries in the world. Currently, Google Assistant is available on over 1 billion devices and over 100 languages in the world.
According to Apple, in 2018 there were 500 million users of Siri. This was after a 7.3 million user loss between May 2017 and May 2018. Siri has dominated the American market since then, being used on iPhones, MacBooks, speakers, and cars.
The average Android device is cheaper than the average IOS device of similar specification, so Google Assistant has an advantage over Siri in terms of offering a cheaper virtual assistant.
However, Siri has the advantage over Google Assistant in being more popular because of its long-term existence in the software market and the user perception of the IOS Brand.
My Opinion: Google Assistant VS Siri
As someone that has used both the Android and IOS devices, I find online debates on the comparison between Google Assistant and Siri very interesting.
This is because both apps provide similar functions: voice search, app opening, calling, messaging, entertainment, etc that make day-to-day activities easier for users.
However, if I were asked to pick a favorite I would have to choose Google Assistant.
This is because Google Assistant answers my questions more correctly and it is also less restrictive than Siri.
I can connect on multiple devices and the virtual assistant can recognize the voices of my family and friends. As someone who likes to goof around, asking Google Assistant questions with different voices can be fun.
Siri provides a better hands-free system for movie watchers and allows you to send messages on WhatsApp.
In the end, if you were to ask me again, which virtual assistant is best? My answer is, “It depends on what you are looking for.”
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