Siri, Google Now and Cortana: three leading voice assistants that can take care of your automated tasks. They are highly recommended by smart home users and are constantly evolving to provide the best results. And although each assistant does an excellent job with its tasks, it has its drawbacks and limitations.

To determine which one is best for you and which voice assistant suits your specific needs, we’ve presented the pros and cons of Siri, Google Now, and Cortana.

apple siri

The iconic Apple brand competes in the smart home scene with its impressive Siri voice assistant and HomeKit home automation device. Together they are working with a range of smart home brands including ecobee, Honeywell, NanoLeaf, iHome and Philips Hue, with more brands expected to emerge.

Smart Assistant and HomeKit can wirelessly automate a range of smart products, including Bluetooth devices, smart locks, smart lights, and thermostats, to name but a few, and Siri plays an important role in every automation process.

Cons: Siri can be difficult to use

Although sometimes Siri can hurt.

Using the wrong phrase, such as «Install…» instead of «Enable…» or «Disable…» can confuse Siri, which can be quite annoying at times.

Also, Siri still shows an inability to answer difficult questions, and instead uses juvenile humor to bypass your commands when he doesn’t understand. This is a problem and Apple needs to address this issue.

Con: lack of predictive responses

Also, Apple’s Siri doesn’t know very well what you want.

For example, Siri will let you know the weather when you ask, but won’t automatically inform you of other important information like traffic, nearby restaurants, etc., which Cortana and Google Now do very well.

Con: Siri doesn’t live in the cloud

In addition, Siri’s incompatibility to run in the cloud limits its ability to compete with other voice assistants. Tim Cook and other Apple executives say this is to protect privacy.

Sounds good, but it can be a problem when trying to connect to smart devices.

Con: limited communication with devices

Smart home users have pointed to Apple’s limited integration with some devices, as HomeKit only works with products that meet strict security and privacy criteria.

If the smart product fails, HomeKit will not connect, which can result in you not being able to use any smart product or only using it through other voice assistants like Cortana or Google Now, which can be annoying.

Some well-known smart home brands, including Nest, SmartThings, and Belkin WeMo, are just a few. These are the leading brands that many smart home users have installed in their homes and have invested a lot of money. This is a big problem.

For some, these issues have led to a shrinking user base, as evidenced by Apple’s ambitious but slow-moving home automation goals.

But let’s not pretend that Siri is completely unusable and not a viable voice assistant. Here are a few benefits to look out for:

Pro: more natural

Unlike Google Now, Siri understands spoken language better, making it more natural to use. For me, this is huge and makes me feel more comfortable when using the assistant.

While certain phrases are required to execute commands, his understanding of informal language is certainly a plus.

In addition, Siri adapts well to voice commands with regular use, especially if these commands come from the same user. So while Siri can be annoying at times, remember that practice is perfect even for automated voice assistants.

Pro: Personality

In addition, Siri has a great personality.

Don’t get me wrong, when he avoids Q&A with juvenile humor, it can get annoying. But when it’s doing a home automation task by telling a joke or tossing a cool easter egg, it makes using the voice tool exciting and fun. For me this is of great importance.

Pro: Apple’s Home App

Another big plus is the new Apple HomeKit, which makes it easier to use Siri to automate household tasks.

You can use it on Apple Watch, iPad, and Apple TV, giving you more ways to interact with Siri. This is great.

Pro: on the right track

And finally, while Apple’s smart home development has taken some time, perhaps for the better, it appears to be on the right track in creating exciting, innovative technologies.

Like this? We’re talking about Apple here, which introduced Siri as the first smart assistant and increased its R&D spending to improve products and upgrade existing services. This is only good news for Apple lovers who want to use Siri to automate their home services.

Windows Cortana

Now let’s talk about Cortana.

Microsoft has joined the smart home scene with Cortana, its version of the smart voice assistant. And recently, Microsoft decided to take on Google and Apple, announcing that more products would be connected.

Pro: More Connectivity

At present, Apple’s strict regulations hinder its connectivity. This hurdle helped Microsoft tap into these devices, giving the short-lived voice tool some edge.

And the future of Microsoft looks even better as the Microsoft Assistant will soon be able to connect to even more devices and protocols. The new Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), expected in 2017, is one such protocol that promises to «move industries and the world forward» in connecting your devices.

Open Thing Translators were also announced, which Microsoft says will «help app developers more easily interact with the ‘things’ (like light bulbs) around them.»

And IoTctivity was recently introduced, which enables open source «seamless» connectivity until the completion of OCF, allowing for even more innovation and connectivity. Microsoft has a bright future as the voice assistant is expected to play an important role in executing commands for your smart home products.

Pro: predictive

But let’s stick with what Cortana can do for now.

What I like about Cortana is how it anticipates questions and gives appropriate answers without asking further questions using what is known as Notepad.

For example, when you ask about the weather, you will receive additional up-to-date information. This can be a huge advantage when controlling your thermostat, for example. Apple’s Siri doesn’t do it as well as mentioned above.

Con: Lack of conversational knowledge

But Siri defeats Cortana with his ability to understand informal language. Cortona (and Google Now) can easily get confused when asked questions in spoken language, which can make things difficult when using it to automate your home.

This is something Cortana will have to do better if she wants to compete.

con: too slow

Another issue is that some find that Cortona is slower to respond to voice commands. And while this topic is hotly debated, it has been repeatedly verified by users, which means we have at least some proof.

There are reasons for his slow response: Cortona refreshes his Notepad and even opens web pages to answer some questions, which can slow his response down. While these automated tasks help with future commands and questions, it can be frustrating when all you want to do is automate your smart home gadget.

When Cortana is working, it’s great, but it crashes more often than Siri and Google Now, which is also obvious to some online users.

Con: new kid on the block

Last but not least, Cortana is the newest voice tool on the block. It’s hard to blame Microsoft for this, but Cortana was released in 2014 while Siri was released in 2011 and Google Now was released in 2012.

For me, this extra time spent on the block adds to the «life experience» of Siri and Google Now, so to speak, and certainly helps in the R&D phases.

Google now

And now for Google Now: Google’s voice assistant connects to your Google Home speaker to better automate your life, and it’s being heavily touted as Apple’s next big Siri competitor.

Like this? Unlike Siri, Google Now is described by some to better answer questions and complete tasks, completing tasks before you even know you need them.

Pro: Google Predictability

What does it mean? This means that it can provide information and services based on your browsing habits. He can better «learn», anticipate and predict what you may ask or want.

While this may scare some people, it can make a big difference in homework automation and understanding what you might want.

Apple and Windows certainly cannot compete in this regard.

Pro: a huge number of services

In addition, Google has a big advantage in terms of available apps and services. You can use Google Now to complete tasks or answer questions with Google Calendar, Play, Drive, Photos, and more, many of which can be found online. It also takes advantage of its longtime search engine. This can be especially helpful for your home services.

Con: Lack of personality

There is a serious lack of personalization when using Google.

Currently, Cortona and Siri are easier to use because they have a personality. And while they can be annoying at times, a more attractive approach is better and will benefit Google.

For some, the lack of a name and identity can make Google Now difficult to use.

con: battery usage

And finally, the issue of battery life.

Although this is debatable, Google is now known by many to drain the battery more than other speech media. Some people have even turned off their assistant to save battery life.

This is certainly not what Google wants as it attempts to become the leading intelligent voice assistant.

What is the best voice assistant?

So you have it. These are the top three voice assistants designed to better automate your home. They are highly valued, highly invested, and to be honest, they are all great products that will only get better with time.

While each helper can be great, there are factors you are more likely to prefer over others. So choose your device wisely and think things through before deciding on your smart home voice assistant. You can simply save yourself from unwanted stress and wasted time.

Which voice assistant do you use for your home automation tasks? What do you think is better? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below…

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