The Apple HomePod is here, and as the company's first smart home speaker device, a little bit of lagging behind in terms of features can be expected. A detailed series of tests pitting the HomePod's voice assistant Siri against its counterparts from Amazon and Google goes to show just how much it has to catch up on.
The HomePod and its Siri assistant were put through the wringer by Loup Ventures, as the investment website tried to see if Apple has a winner on their hands with the new product. After a volley of 782 questions aimed at three HomePod devices last Friday, Feb. 9, the results are finally in.
Siri understood almost all of the queries thrown at it, with a near-perfect rate of 99.4 percent. Answering them is another matter entirely, though, as the smart speaker was able to answer just 52.3 percent of them correctly.
Meanwhile, the other smart assistants were able to do much better. Google Home was able to answer correctly to 81 percent of the queries, while Amazon's Alexa was able to keep up with 64 percent of questions correctly answered, as 9 to 5 Mac notes.
Microsoft's Cortana did just a little better than Apple's Siri, as the former answered 57 percent of the commands correctly. While Siri was decidedly at the last place in this round, most of it was due to a lack of support by the HomePod for navigation, email or calling.
Taking those queries off the tally, Siri's rate improves at 67 percent of queries successfully answered. This is also good enough to put Apple's smart assistant over Alexa and Cortana in this case.
That said, the tests also showed that the HomePod offers better listening skills than the other smart speakers, mostly due to its noise cancellation feature. The way Siri sounds and talks when it replies also feels more organic, as well.