“Apple has a reputation for entering markets late — think portable music players or smartphones — and then blowing away competitors with a superior product,” Tom Simonite writes for Wired. “When it comes to Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, that storyline appears to be playing out in reverse.”

“Apple revealed Siri with the iPhone 4S in October 2011, one day before cofounder Steve Jobs died,” Simonite writes. “It took other tech giants years to catch up: Amazon’s Alexa assistant appeared in 2014 as part of the Echo home speaker, and the unimaginatively named Google Assistant appeared only last summer. Today, those relative newcomers offer more features than their predecessor, and get a more central role in their makers’ product plans.”

“A Google product event Wednesday underscored the growing gap. Google Assistant was positioned as central to nearly all products the company unveiled: wireless earphones; two new smartphones; two new home speakers; and a laptop computer,” Simonite writes. “What’s more, Google executives showed off features of Google Assistant so far unmatched by Siri and Apple. For example, the new Google Home speakers can be configured to recognize different people from the sounds of their voices. Say ‘Hey Google, call mom,’ and the device knows to use your contacts to phone your mother, not your mother-in-law. Amazon’s Alexa also can’t do that yet.”

“Apple may be saving some Siri upgrades for the HomePod’s launch next month. The company typically waits until new features or technology are fully polished, in contrast to Google’s approach of launching beta services and iterating in public,” Simonite writes. “An April study by marketer Stone Temple that asked 5,000 general knowledge questions to virtual assistants reported that Google’s got 91 percent correct, compared to Alexa’s 87 percent, and Siri’s 62 percent.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s dedication to privacy hamstrings Siri. Google et al. have no such issue. To them, users’ privacy is to be trampled.

It’s not at all apparent that the general public values their privacy enough or even knows that Apple’s privacy is paramount, but the average Joe/Jane does seem to regard Siri as not too bright, putting into question whether Apple’s commitment to privacy will every really pay off; i.e. translate to increased product sales.

Apple product users seem to value their privacy. Non-Apple product users, by definition, do not value their privacy (or they’d be Apple product users).

So, what’s the inflection point? Do Google and the others need to have an Equifax event befall it for their product users to wake up? Would they even wake up if Google etc. did have a cataclysmic breach? We have our doubts.