I am a big Apple person. Big. 270 when I’m not eating well.
Anyway, I’d like to think that I do criticize Apple’s stuff when appropriate. This is one of those times.
I just bought an Amazon Echo. And then I bought another one.
The biggest impact for me was how natural it is to speak to Alexa. Invoking her works nearly flawlessly. She understands you extremely well. It just works.
In short, if I had to pick which product (Alexa or Siri) were built by Apple, I’d pick Alexa.
Here are a few thoughts from using both:
- Siri needs an ambient home presence, meaning I need to be able to send commands while in my house—without talking to my phone. Alexa rocks this by being central. You just ask for things and they happen
- Siri is hard to invoke. “Hey Siri” is clumsy compared to “Alexa”, and it often doesn’t catch your voice or commands correctly
- HomeKit has issues. I have all my Hue lights working perfectly within it, but I still get Siri throwing errors every time I turn them on or off
- I hooked Alexa up to the same Hue lights: it works flawlessly
- My ecosystem is Apple, and it sucks that Alexa can’t talk to that stuff
I’m not too worried about Siri falling behind. I bet Apple is smart enough to see the Echo resonating, and they’re probably adjusting as we speak.
My recommendation is to build some small voice capture modules you can deploy in the home that connect to your AppleTV or your phone. Then you can invoke her from wherever you have a module (ever room of the house).