When it comes to a digital assistant, having one that can “understand” plain language is the difference between using your personal assistant daily and forgetting it. When it comes to English, German, Italian, and Chinese, Siri is like a native speaker. Actually, that may be a bit inaccurate. Siri is like a graduate student who has lived in the each country for several years, whereas Google Now and Cortana are more ike undergrads preparing for their semester abroad. Which one would you use, and which would you forget?
For the test, the participants were given 18 questions to ask each assistant. For each question, they rated the comprehension of the digital assistant. Each question was scored with either a 1.0, a 0.5, or a 0.0, depending on how the participant felt as though their needs were met. The languages tested were English, Italian, French, German, and Mandarin (the most spoken Chinese language). In each one, Siri spanked the competition.
For most of you, English is the one you’re most worried about (unless you’ve translated this into another language, that is). In English, Apple’s Siri was on the top with a score of 14.5/18, followed by Microsoft’s Cortana with a score of 12.5/18, and Google Now with 11.5/18. The scores become more dramatic in other languages. In Italian, Siri scored the same 14.5/18, while Google Now scored 8.5/18, and Cortana scored 6/18. When it came to French and German, Siri remained at the top, with Google Now and Cortana making small gains. Mandarin really showed where Siri crushes Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana. Siri scored 13.5, while Cortana scored a 5, and Google Now scored an abysmal 1.5.
China represents a growning smartphone market, and with Google and Microsoft scoring so terribly in one of the most popular languages spoken in China, it’s clear that most Chinese consumers looking for a digital assistant will go with an iPhone. In every language, Siri beat out the competition, proving that the first is still the best, even though the others have greatly improved. If you want the digital assistant that will best suit your needs, you’ll need to get an iOS device.