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Cortana vs Siri: why Siri is still the best voice assistant

Lou Hattersley | June 22, 2015
Why Siri is still the best voice assistant. Apple Siri vs Microsoft Cortana. Our Siri vs Cortana face off looks at the two smartphone AI assistants to see what they can do. Siri vs Cortana comparison review.

What is the best AI voice assistant: Microsoft Cortana or Apple Siri? In this Siri vs. Cortana feature, we look at two AI assistants. Apple Siri is the famous voice behind the iPhone; Cortana is the newer Microsoft equivalent, coming soon to Windows 10 on all platforms. So which is best: Siri or Cortana? We think that Cortana has the edge in terms of semantically being able to segue into your life, and the fact that it is now baked in to Windows 10. But Siri is, in our experience, a better and more accurate tool. Right now at least.

The good news is that by the end of the year you will be able to try out Cortana on your iPhone, as Microsoft is making the tool available as an app for iOS. Here, then, is our Siri vs Cortana comparison review. For more on Siri, take a look at our complete guide: How to use Siri: 'Hey Siri!' and all the other Siri features

Siri vs Cortana: What they are, Why they matter

Anything Apple can do; Microsoft can do later. It's an adage, but almost four years after Apple made Siri an integral part of iOS, Microsoft released Cortana, its Siri-a-like feature for Windows Phone.

While it's easy to scoff at Microsoft following again in Apple's footsteps, voice control has been making real gains in recent years and Apple was never going to be the only tech company to have a voice control aspect to its phones. Indeed, it is widely acknowledged that Google's 'Okay Google' Google Now service is one area in which [whisper it] Android is better than iOS.

Siri itself has made some real strides in recent months and is now more responsive and more intelligent than ever. Siri has become more intelligent and in the UK more capable than ever. But Cortana is also a rapidly improving feature. And when Windows 10 drops as a free upgrade for Window PCs and laptops in late July 2015, Cortana will be a part of it. We expect Siri to make its OS X bow with the upcoming El Capitan release, although Apple is currently staying coy on that subject.

Interestingly Microsoft is making Cortana available for Android and iOS, so pretty soon you will be able to use it on your iPhone, alongside or instead of Siri.

So there has never been a more important time to compare the Apple- and Microsoft voice assistants. And in this feature this is what we are going to do: we're going to look at Microsoft Cortana vs. Apple Siri.

Siri vs Cortana: What is Microsoft Cortana?

Cortana is a voice activated assistant for Windows Phone devices, soon to be baked into Windows 10 for all platforms. It operates much in the same way as Apple Siri. Users ask Cortana questions, or make requests, and it answers them or activates the appropriate feature on the phone. Like Siri, it has a name, and a personality to make the process of talking to your phone seem less weird.


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