One of the hallmarks of modern gadgets is their inclusion of virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri, which was first made available as a feature with the iPhone 4S in 2011. It was a fun, interactive feature that was striving to make it more convenient to access our phones with voice prompts.
Fast forward to the release of Windows 10, now we’ve got Cortana—a virtual assistant inspired by the game, Halo.
Unlike Siri’s phone-and-tablet-only exclusivity, Cortana is available on tablets, phone, desktop, and laptop computers. That’s just one of their differences, though.
Here, we pit the two virtual assistants to find out which fits you better!
Voice Recognition Accuracy
The most important pillar of any virtual assistant. If it has trouble understanding your words, then what good is it?
Verdict: On this front, Cortana wins. Both will mostly understand your words, but Cortana has the advantage in this one because it successfully fixes your misunderstood commands quite successfully. Siri doesn’t readily do this, and will only tell you about what she “thinks” you said, rather than immediately looking for a solution.
The two assistants share a lot of capabilities, namely, the ability to make calls to contacts, send text and emails, and set alarms to name a few.
But Cortana has a few more tricks under her sleeve such as the ability to look up flight times, remind you to text or email a particular contact, and has Shazam-style music recognition.
Verdict: Small differences, but the points go to Cortana in this tight race.
So both assistants have the ability to work for you like a secretary, but which one knows how to have fun and make you feel like you’re not talking to a robot? Both are actually pretty adept at this. Both will tell you that they like you if you asked them and are able to tell a few witty jokes when asked.
Verdict: Uniquely, Cortana has the ability to actually sing you a song, whereas Siri can learn how to pronounce your name and knows when your birthday is. They’re on the same level.
Ease of use
Both assistants need you to interact physically with the phone to activate them. Cortana can be accessed as an app or by holding down the search button. Siri, on the other hand, can be activated by holding down the Home button on your Apple devices. They’re equal in this regard.
Verdict: As for speed in accessing information, Siri currently has the upper hand and fetches information just a wee bit faster than Cortana currently does. Cortana though is still in beta stage, so expect this to improve.
With all these in mind, Siri is still currently our pick. It’s just more familiar at this point and when it comes to virtual assistants, every millisecond counts when performing tasks.
At this point, Siri is slightly ahead. Cortana can sing and definitely has some soul, but Siri’s overall appeal (she’s been marketed more at this point) is something that can’t yet be beaten.
Again, though, Cortana’s at beta stage, and the future holds big things for it, in our opinion.
Image credit / screenshot