Siri is now “actively” used on more than half a billion devices, Apple has revealed. The virtual assistant, which will be used to control HomePod, has been attracting users at a rapid rate despite falling behind its competitors in features and accuracy.
Siri is a major selling point of HomePod, which makes its debut on February 9, priced at $349. Although the device wasn’t designed to be a smart speaker primarily, it will perform many of the functions that devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are famous for.
Siri usage is rising
You’ll be able to use the “Hey Siri” command to interact with HomePod, and Apple promises you’ll be heard from across the room. You will also be able to ask the assistant to play your music, send messages, set timers, control your HomeKit devices, and more.
“The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favorites to the latest chart-topping releases,” Apple says. So when you can’t decide what to listen to, you can ask Siri to decide for you.
But will it work? Siri still gets a lot of criticism for being inaccurate. Many users still find that the assistant is frequently unable to understand them, or that it cannot carry out simple commands. Complaints continue to litter online forums and social media.
That hasn’t stopped Apple fans from using Siri, however. Apple says that the feature is now “actively” used on more than half a billion devices — up from 375 million since just last June.
That’s pretty impressive, especially when you consider the rise of Alexa and the Google Assistant, which are constantly praised for their accuracy and ability to carry out myriad of more complex tasks, like ordering food or sending content to your TV.
Here’s to hoping the rise in usage encourages Apple to put more resources into making Siri better. Although HomePod isn’t designed to compete directly with the Echo, it would be great if it was a viable alternative for Apple fans.