Voice assistants have been around for at least a decade, the first one being Siri that came built-in with the Apple iPhone. Then came the Amazon Alexa that took the market by storm with its smart speakers that were literally like having a virtual assistant in your home. With time there have been many more, like the Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby.
Voice assistants can be found in smartphones and come built-in with Smart Speakers generally. They provide assistance by allowing you to control your smartphones, and other smart devices around your home simply with a mere voice command. It’s like we said, having a virtual assistant in your home providing you with all the hands-free help you can get for your lazy days and for when you’re caught up with work. So anything from sending a text or placing a call, to turning off the lights and switching up the thermostat – there is so much that you can do with a Voice Assistant around.
Though there may be quite a few contenders out there, naturally the question arises of which one is the best voice assistant. There is no definitive answer as to which one really is the best because everybody has their individual preferences when it comes to anything including tech gadgets, and each voice assistant comes with its own set of features. But here is a breakdown of the top 3 Voice Assistants in the game for a better understanding of what each feature.
When it comes to smartphones and tablets, any Android device features the Google Assistant, and though it is available on iPhones as well, it is quite restrictive however. The Google Assistant is compatible with over a thousand IoT devices. It syncs to your mobile apps to send texts over WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or even regular text messages, and can even play music from your apps or note down any reminders too.
Google’s Nest series is easily compatible with the Google Assistant, and we mean all the devices under the umbrella: the Nest smart cameras, smart locks, video doorbells, smart thermostats and other Nest accessories. The Nest Smart Speakers in particular come built-in with Google Assistant, with the catalog including the Google Nest Mini, Google Nest Audio, Google Home Assistant, Google Nest Hub Gen 2 and the Nest Hub Max.
With the Nest Smart Speakers you can control things beyond your smartphones, which means other smart home appliances like smart TVs, Thermostats, lights, cameras, smart plugs and smart kitchen appliances as well. It is also compatible with Chromecast that makes it easy to play movies or videos on your TV.
- Amazon Alexa
Alexa is practically the first voice assistant to be featured in a Smart Speaker, that too launched by Amazon. With time the AI tech behind Alexa has allowed her to become smarter and adapt to more things with time, keeping her one step ahead of any competitors.
When it comes to smart home devices, Alexa is compatible with over 7400 different kinds of devices and brands. The Voice Assistant has recently also rolled out a Follow-up Mode that allows you to leave multiple commands at once instead of one at a time, so you can send that text and turn down the lights all within one sentence. This feature sets Alexa apart from the other contenders in the game because if there is one drawback to having a voice assistant, it is having to give one command at a time, something that Alexa has managed to workaround.
However, there is one thing about Alexa that though it may be great and has far more features and capabilities than its counterparts, it does not come installed into smartphones; it is merely a voice assistant confined to smart speakers. That doesn’t change the fact that you can still access Alexa on your smartphones by downloading the Alexa App, but it won’t be the same as it would with already having Google Assistant or Siri installed in their respective smartphones.
For the real Apple fans, Siri is a life-changer. It works best with all other Apple products: iPhones, iPads, HomeKit devices and the HomePod smart speaker. As you would already know, because Siri was initially one of the first voice assistants to come installed in smartphones, all iPhones manufactured after 2011 came with Siri installed into the devices, starting with the iPhone 4s. Fast forward to now, Siri on the iPhone can support 21 languages! A feature that lets Apple take the lead compared to the other voice assistants in the industry.
But here’s the thing, Apple made Siri friendly to fit their own ecosystem. Siri is compatible with probably less than 100 devices. And its multilingual feature is not available on any other Apple device that features Siri other than the iPhone.
With voice assistants, each company has been consistently working on rolling out new and improved features to outshine their competitors. And it is because of this that their features tend to overlap, but there is also the fact that each particular voice assistant brand has its own specific set of features too – ones that their counterparts do not have. Then there are always other factors involved, such as which brands are compatible with what voice assistant, and what products you actually have in your home to make them worthwhile.