Virtual assistants are set up to help us… to make tech easier, if you will. Apple pioneered the technology with Siri, and other operating systems have filed suit. To stay on top of their game Apple is now announcing new changes to Siri. While adding it to Mac OS, they’ll now also be allowing it to work with third-party applications.
But how many of us really use virtual assistants, whether it be Siri or another? Is this a tool that we’re really using to make tech easier or is this tantamount to an extra toy that no one really uses? We asked our writers, “Do you use a virtual assistant like Siri or Google Now?”
For the most part we found that our writers aren’t really using it too much. Himanshu doesn’t use them and hasn’t found much use for them. Damien says, “I find it stupid to talk to a phone,” so he skips Siri. He has tried using Google Now, but as battery intensive as it is, he also doesn’t want Google to have that much information on him, so he does without.
Charnita uses Google Now a few times a week but really doesn’t have much interest in virtual assistants as a whole. Derrik uses Google now to set reminders simply because it’s faster. Other than that he just uses it to identify movies and songs and prefers not to use it other than that.
Trevor doesn’t use one at all. He has found that the Android assistants “leave something to be desired … like working well.” While some work okay for simple tasks such as setting a timer or getting driving directions, that’s about it.
For some it comes down to a language barrier. Jeffry tried Siri a few times but barely uses it because not many people in Indonesia use English as their main language, and he doesn’t want to stand out by speaking English to his phone. While Vamsi uses it to set a timer or an alarm, he, too, is waiting for it to be in his native language.
However, Mahesh does uses virtual assistants. He uses it to set up reminders, recognize songs, and ask what he’s going to do that day so that it shows all his Calendar events.
I’m an Apple girl all the way around, so like Mahesh I use Siri for reminders and recognizing songs and also to query information for me if I don’t feel like opening up a browser or to give me sports scores and schedules. But where I use it most is on my Apple TV. Siri is very intuitive there and can find me all the available comedy movies across all channels from 2014, all episodes of a TV show starring a certain actor, or all music by a certain artist. And that is far too labor-intensive to do without Siri.
Like the majority of our writers do you either avoid virtual assistants or use them very minimally, or are you like a select few and enjoy having them help you out as much as possible? Do you use a virtual assistant like Siri or Google Now?