Siri vs Cortana: Choosing Your Own Personal Assistant

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.
siri-vs-cortana
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.

Unique Features

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.

Fun Factor

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.

Overall,

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

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James Patterson
James Patterson

James Patterson, Head of Business Development, Global Corporate Clients joined transcosmos in 2007. He oversees business development and sales and marketing initiatives throughout the EMEA and APAC regions for transcosmos IT and Customer Support Services, managing a team of sales professionals and consultants in these territories. James fully understands and supports the requirements and challenges of complex IT Support and Customer Service environments, having guided an array of large organizations through the consultative process of developing complex solutions to fit the customer’s needs. Previous to transcosmos, James was a regional Sales Manager in the Health and Leisure Industry winning many awards for exceeding sales targets and being innovative.

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