Siri is in the wrong game

While writing about the limited SiriKit support in the upcoming HomePod, Stephen Hackett points out one of the biggest problems with Siri:

While Iā€™m glad to see some progress here, I think that it is time Siri become much more cloud-centric. Alexa and Google Assistant can do the same set of tasks across devices, while Siri still remains very device-centric. Apple has its reasons for this, but its approach could lead to a less-than-ideal user experience.

I agree. See my previous blog posts on wanting a more open voice platform and Siri’s slow pace of change.

We all know that Apple’s strengths are in design and having incredibly high standards. We love Apple’s attention to detail. When Apple competes directly with other products, these strengths always produce better products. Apple wins.

The problem for Siri is that Apple’s competition with Amazon and Google isn’t on a level playing field. Siri won’t “catch up” to Alexa because the architectures are fundamentally different, with SiriKit locked to the device while Alexa expands quickly to new products and thousands of extensible skills in the cloud.

Every week, Alexa gets better. Apple’s usual strengths won’t help them stay competitive because Siri isn’t even in the same game.