Google Home tops Siri and HomePod in smart speaker test

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HomePod market share
Will you upgrade to a family plan?
Photo: Apple

Apple may have been late to the smart speaker game but its HomePod is showing signs it could one day outperform them all.

But only if Apple gives Siri the power.

In Loup Ventures annual smart speaker comparisons, Google Assistant understood all 800 questions and answered nearly 88 percent of them correctly. In its first Loup Ventures test, the HomePod with Siri at the helm misunderstood just three questions and managed to answer correctly nearly 75 percent of its queries.

IQ test of virtual assistants shows Siri’s smarts are on the rise

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Siri as matchmaker
As if you have to ask
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If Siri seems to be of greater service to you lately, an annual IQ test comparing virtual assistants shows its definitely getting smarter.

Loup Ventures annually peppers the various digital assistants with five categories of questions and when it comes to accuracy and comprehension of a user’s question, Google Assistant remains the best. Siri, however, is right behind Google while Amazon’s Alex and Cortana lags behind in that order.

HomePod may sound great, but Siri still sucks

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HomePod Close Up
HomePod sounds great, but right now it doesn't have some of the AI tricks of its rivals.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has been pretty outspoken about marketing HomePod as a high-end speaker that just happens to have Siri, as opposed to a smart speaker built around its AI assistant, like the Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

A new study published by Loup Ventures suggests one reason why: Because Siri is seriously lagging behind its rivals in terms of its functionality and ability to answer questions.

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Cortana iPad
Cortana could be reading your emails soon.
Photo: Cult of Mac

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Microsoft Edge for iPhone
Get the latest version of Edge today.
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Amazon Echo Show brings video to smart-speaker party

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echotouchscreen
Could this be Amazon's new Echo speaker?
Photo: AFTVnews

Update: Amazon unveiled its new touchscreen Echo Show device Tuesday. In addition to smart-speaker functionality, the Amazon Echo Show brings video calls, video flash briefings, YouTube, karaoke-style music lyrics, security camera integration and more. Available for preorder now, the device will ship June 28 for $229.99.

Amazon could debut its new touchscreen Echo smart speaker as early as today, claims a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The latest in a line of popular Amazon Echo voice-activated speakers, the new device is likely to add a 7-inch display and a built-in camera. It will function like the existing Echo, but with the addition of touchscreen-based features.

The lengthy process Apple uses to teach Siri new languages

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Siri
Does Siri sound better to you?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’ve ever tried to learn a new language, you’ll know it’s a hard and incredibly time-consuming process. It’s not much easier for virtual assistants like Siri.

Here are the mind-blowing steps Apple goes through to teach Siri new languages and dialects that help it stay one step ahead of the competition.