Published on October 2nd, 2023
This text expresses a critical viewpoint regarding Google Assistant’s functionality, particularly in comparison to Apple’s Siri, with a focus on the upcoming Pixel Watch 2 and the Pixel 8 lineup.
Here’s a breakdown of the key points made in the text:
Google’s On-Device Processing Claims
Google has consistently claimed to use on-device processing for various devices capable of running Google Assistant, including smartphones, smart speakers, and Wear OS smartwatches.
On-device processing implies that the device can handle voice commands and actions without relying on an internet connection.
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Ineffectiveness When Offline
Despite these claims, Google Assistant becomes non-functional when the device is offline.
This means that even for basic tasks like checking the time or turning on a flashlight, Google Assistant still requires an internet connection to process and execute commands.
The author suggests that this limitation undermines the value of on-device processing.
Lack Of Offline Capabilities
For devices like the Pixel Watch 2 and the Pixel 8 lineup to be genuinely helpful, they need to offer offline and local features.
This means that the devices should not only understand voice commands locally but also execute basic actions without having to connect to a server.
Examples of such actions include setting a timer, opening apps, starting a stopwatch, and adjusting settings.
For Speed And Efficiency
These offline actions should be executed quickly. Otherwise, users might find it more efficient to perform these actions manually rather than relying on voice commands.
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Comparison With Apple’s Siri
A comparison with Apple’s Siri, particularly in the context of the recently announced Apple Watch Series 9.
The author highlights that Apple has introduced on-device Siri actions, allowing users to perform tasks like setting timers and starting workouts without an internet connection.
This, in the author’s view, puts Google Assistant at a disadvantage.
Advanced Health Data Access
Apple’s Siri has advanced capabilities on the Watch Series 9, such as allowing users to inquire about their health data and log new data points locally, without privacy concerns.
In contrast, Google Assistant on the Pixel Watch does not offer similar capabilities, and users need to use separate apps for such functions.
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Falling Behind Competitors
Google Assistant has fallen behind Siri in terms of features and improvements.
While Google Assistant initially had an advantage due to its natural language understanding and access to Google Search, the author suggests that Google has lost ground by not keeping up with incremental improvements, while Apple has steadily enhanced Siri’s capabilities.
Overall, the argument centers on the need for Google Assistant, especially on wearables like the Pixel Watch 2, to offer more robust offline and local processing capabilities to compete effectively with Apple’s Siri and provide a seamless user experience, especially when internet connectivity is limited.