Siri versus Cortana

Pinning Apple's personal assistant versus Microsoft's

Steve Smith pins Siri against Cortana to show which has the most functionality.

Episode #5-47 released on August 10, 2015

Watch on Youtube

I've had an iPhone for years, and while many will attempt to convince me that android is better, I play games on my computer, and I like a phone that works all the time, regardless of everything installed, and the battery make suck, but on standby, it lasts longer than any Android. Now, while I like Linux, I can't use it as my daily driver. I have to use Windows, and like many, I've upgraded all my computers to Windows 10, which incorporates Cortana, a voice activated personal assistant. And, I am more interested in knowing if I can use Cortana, the same way I would use Siri, so welcome to the battle of Cortana versus Siri, let's see who wins.

Flip a coin

Both Siri and Cortana can achieve this equally, however, Cortana shows you the icon. And, while I haven't seen Cortana do it, Siri has a sense of humor, and sometimes loses the quarter under the couch. Both receive one point each.

S1: C1

What is the weather?

Siri and Cortana can both deliver you the weather on request without resorting to sending you to a web-site. Both Siri and Cortana get full points.

S2: C2

Load an application

Both Siri and Cortana can load an application, however, on the PC side, Cortana can't seem to load games from Steam. Cortana can load steam itself though, and it probably has more to do with the fact the game really isn't in your computer. Both get a full point regardless as the functionality is technically present.

S3: C3

Take a note

Siri can take a note, without issue. Cortana states this functionality is coming. Siri gets a whole point, and Cortana gets zero.

S4: C3

Send an email

When you ask Siri to send an email, it is virtually the same as asking a human to send it. She asks for who to send it to, the subject, what the message should state, which you can see if there is an error, and then asks you if you want to send it. Cortana functions very similar to Siri, but the delay between function and task makes it slightly more cumbersome, but since the functionality does work, full points to both Siri and Cortana for a functioning tool. Now if only Cortana could take a note.

S5: C4

Set an alarm for

Both Siri and Cortana can set up an alarm for you on request. Now, if you close your computer that may cause an issue for Cortana, same issue exists for Siri. Provided the device stays on, both receive a whole point each.


What is questions?

I asked Siri and Cortana what is an apple? Siri pulls into the same interface a Wikipedia entry that describes what an apple is. Cortana simply brings me to a Bing results page. Siri receives a whole point, and Cortana receives half a point.

S7: C5.5

Who am I?

This seems like a stupid question to some, but it can be used to gage how much access of information the service has. Also, if you lost your memory you could help yourself figure out who you are. Either way, both Siri and Cortana know who I am. Full point for both Cortana and Siri.

S8: C6.5

How would someone contact me?

This is useful for people like me who do not call or email themselves often. Siri gives me a list of options, and Cortana brings me to a page of Bing results for how someone would contact me.

S9: C6.5

Why is the sky blue?

If you ask Siri why the sky is blue, she pulls the information from Wolfram Alpha, and shows you on screen within application. Now, if you ask Cortana the same question, it takes you to a Bing results page where the answer is delivered by NASA. Since Cortana could have presented the information within the application, and doesn't yet, it gets half a point for now, and Siri gets a whole point.

S9: C7

Check my calendar / what is on my schedule?

When asking either Siri or Cortana for today's schedule, both show my current schedule, as they can access. Full points for both for being to state what can be accessed within their respective applications.

S10: C8

Where is?

I asked where is Montreal? And Siri responded in application with my position and Montreal with distance relative to myself. Cortana loaded Bing with a map of the area of Montreal without any indication of the actual position related to myself, despite being able to access the information if it wanted to. Half a point to Cortana for trying, full point for Siri for actually helping with a useful response. Most people will ask this question out of curiosity but some may need guidance to that location, and Siri definitely starts out well.

S11: C8.5

This is how the point structure works. If either Siri or Cortana can succeed at the task, one whole point, if it can lead you to find the answer, half a point, and if it lacks this functionality, then no points at all.

And, the winner is Siri with 11 points over Cortana's 8.5 points, but let us give Cortana a break. Cortana out of the gate has most of the functionality that Siri has, and like Siri, will bring you to a search results page if she does not know or have access to the information. I'd like for Cortana to be able to take notes, and the functionality is announced and coming, but was not delivered yet when this episode was created.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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