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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures recently tested the accuracy of digital assistants on four smart speakers by asking Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana a series of 800 questions each on the Amazon Echo, HomePod, Google Home Mini, and Harmon Kardon Invoke respectively.


The results indicate that Siri on the HomePod correctly answered 74.6 percent of the questions, a dramatic improvement over the speaker's 52.3 percent success rate when Loup Ventures asked it a similar 782 questions in December 2017.


Siri on the HomePod remained less accurate than Google Assistant on the Google Home, which correctly answered 87.9 percent of questions in the test. Meanwhile, Alexa on the Echo and Cortana on the Invoke trailed Siri on the HomePod, correctly answering 72.5 percent and 63.4 percent of questions in the test.


Munster attributed the HomePod's improved accuracy to "the enabling of more domains in the past year," as a series of software updates in recent months have enabled the speaker to make and receive phone calls, schedule calendar events, set multiple timers, search for songs by lyrics, and more.


Loup Ventures says it asked each smart speaker the same 800 questions, and they were graded on two metrics: whether the query was understood and whether a correct response was provided. The question set was designed to "comprehensively test a smart speaker's ability and utility" based on five categories:Local - Where is the nearest coffee shop?
Commerce - Can you order me more paper towels?
Navigation - How do I get to uptown on the bus?
Information - Who do the Twins play tonight?
Command - Remind me to call Steve at 2 p.m. today.The venture capital firm said it continues to modify its question set in order to reflect the changing abilities of digital assistants. "As voice computing becomes more versatile and assistants become more capable, we will continue to alter our test so that it remains exhaustive," said Munster.

Results by Category


Google Assistant on the Google Home correctly answered the most questions in four out of the five categories in the test, but fell short of Siri on the HomePod in the "command" category, according to Loup Ventures:
HomePod's lead in this category may come from the fact that the HomePod will pass on full SiriKit requests like those regarding messaging, lists, and basically anything other than music to the iOS device paired to the speaker. Siri on iPhone has deep integration with email, calendar, messaging, and other areas of focus in our Command category. Our question set also contains a fair amount of music-related queries, which HomePod specializes in.
Loup Ventures found the HomePod and Google Home stood "head and shoulders above the others" in both the "local" and "navigation" categories due to propriety data in Apple Maps and Google Maps respectively. "This data is a potential long-term comparative advantage for Siri and Google Assistant," said Munster.

What's Next

Siri's shortcomings were brutally exposed on the HomePod, which relies almost entirely on the assistant to function, so anecdotal evidence of improvement is a good sign, but Apple still has significant ground to make up against its competitors.

Loup Ventures acknowledged that Siri remains limited on the HomePod compared to its expanded capabilities on the iPhone. "This is partially due to Apple's apparent positioning of HomePod not as a 'smart speaker,' but as a home speaker you can interact with using your voice with Siri onboard," said Munster.

The venture capital firm said it will continue to compare the HomePod to other smart speakers over time amid rapid advancements in artificial intelligence.

Article Link: Siri on HomePod Asked 800 Questions and Answered 74% Correctly vs. Just 52% Earlier This Year

Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
Well, for playing music on my HomePods, dictating messages or controlling HomeKit Siri works pretty good. Honestly, there's no more demand from my side currently - saying that most probably because of Siri's restrictions...


macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2016
You still have the problem that, if Siri is configured in an other language (other than English) and you want to listen to music (which mostly have English names), Siri messes up.


macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
Austin, TX
According to this test Siri answered more queries correctly than Alexa. Doesn't mean it couldn't still be behind overall but "miles behind" is a pretty big exaggeration.
Maybe, but with skills Alexa becomes much more capable. That influences why I think Alexa is far ahead of Siri.

Either way, there is no question GA is the best in the business and it's not particularly close.


macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2005
Regarding the headline: Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't December 2017 be "one year ago", rather than "earlier this year"?
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macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
I think Siri handles your basic requests fairly well. Messages, playing music, HomeKit, timers, weather, etc it is perfectly fine. When you start getting into the goofy stuff like ordering food, groceries, etc then it falls short.

How many people are actually trying to use their devices to do something that Siri is unable to accomplish? What are the commands that are not working?


macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2017
When I see stats like this I can only assume that Siri is more finely tuned for an American accents. I have an England "home counties" accent - which is pretty neutral and commonplace. However my experience with Siri generally is pretty poor. On HomePod it is particularly bad as the two uses I put it too are Apple HomeKit and Apple Music. In the HomeKit it understands the request 1st time about 60% of the time. In about 5% of the times it miss-understands the request so for example when i say "Turn all the lights off", it has on more than one occasion turned off the power sockets instead. Music is far worse, because it will alway make a poor guess when it doesn't understand what I have asked for. Sometime no amount of repeating the song name will make it play the correct song - instead it will play something that is not even close to sounding what I asked for. For music overall, the success rate is less than 50%.
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macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
I'm surprised how bad it is at 52% considering if you're just inquiring some facts online. But this is not my area of concern about smart assistant, I want follow up questions that is related to the topic is of previous inquiry. Siri is really lacking in this area as if your talking to a toddler that has no common sense.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2015
Arlington, Texas
According to this test Siri answered more queries correctly than Alexa. Doesn't mean it couldn't still be behind overall but "miles behind" is a pretty big exaggeration.

Except that the article clearly stated that all non-command requests are passed to a linked iPhone/iPad for processing, so the HomePod remains virtually dumb-as-a-stump outside of playing music and a few other things.
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macrumors 65832
May 27, 2006
I am getting more false responses than when I first got the HomePod in the spring. I will be talking to someone and then all the sudden, Siri pipes in. Happens at least once every few days. So annoying.


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
Why do we even talk about any of these percentages like they're even remotely acceptable?

If your keyboard only produced the correct character 80% of the time, or your touchscreen discarded 20% of touches, or your speaker only streamed 80% of a song, not a soul would be okay with that.

Siri on your iPhone or Mac is a funny novelty. The moment it becomes the only way you can interact with a device? Who on earth would find that acceptable? Maybe you'd be willing to buy such a device if it was priced like a whoopie cushion or silly putty (so, you know, ~$5), but for $300?

And this isn't even getting into the fact that this basic test is EASY! We're not expecting the devices to be productive contributors every conversation - these are tailored queries - softballs - meant to be easily within the realm of what the devices are supposed to be capable of doing!
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