Siri and Google’s Assistant are similar in nature. Both are supposedly intelligent personal talking assistants. Both are used by hundreds of millions of users on various devices. Both are popular. Neither one does much that is valuable.
Google’s Assistant sounds more natural; more human-like, and it has more capabilities built-in and ready to use on certain Android smartphones– but not all. Siri, on the other hand, has improved rapidly in the past couple of years, and with Siri Shortcuts, Apple’s version of the future gains customer customization options that can be quite useful, especially now that Siri can recognize specific voices.
What does Google’s Assistant do that Siri needs to do?
Many of us– iPhone customers or Google Android users– use Siri and Assistant to give us directions from Maps. That allows us to drive to destinations where we may not know the way and do so without looking at a map or becoming distracting by worrying about road signs.
A new version of Google Assistant does something Siri needs to be able to do. Soon.
Michael Simon explains:
Google Assistant will be fully integrated into Waze so users won’t have to tap on their screens to get things done. Many of Waze’s most popular features will be supported, such as reporting traffic jams, calling out potholes, and checking for alternate routes.
As much as I like Siri and Apple Maps– and I bounce back and forth between Apple’s version of Maps and Google Maps– I prefer Waze.
These new changes will be the start of what we all want– personal assistants that take charge of a situation and give us updates as we go along.
When in the Waze app, all you’ll need to do is say, “Hey Google, report traffic” or “Hey Google, avoid tolls” to summon Google Assistant. Waze also uses Google’s new low-profile Assistant interface, so turn-by-turn directions won’t be obstructed.
What’s not to like about that?
Other than it’s a Google App that does not mind tracking your whereabouts minute-by-minute and then using that information so advertisers can produce ever more ads designed to prey on your weaknesses.
One thing to note is the continued separation of iOS vs. Android. Yes, as much as Google has applications for their users on Apple’s iPhone and iPad platform, some differentiation has become a requirement between the platforms.
The new Waze update is rolling out to all Android phones that support Google Assistant. Google hasn’t said whether the feature will be making its way to iOS devices, but it’s unlikely given Apple’s tight control over apps.
That seams plausible but it also indicates that Apple has some work to do with Siri.