Siri vs Google Now vs Cortana: Which is best?


Which phones use it?


How do you use it?
You just press down on the main home button and wait for Siri to pop up. You can then talk to Siri, rather than typing into a box. She’s a good listener. You can choose her/his gender too.

What can it do?
• Search the web
• Send SMS texts
• Make calls
• Open apps
• Make FaceTime Calls
• Sent tweets
• Update Facbook statuses
• Suggest apps and contacts
• Setup/alter calendar events
• Look up calendar details
• Set alarms
• Change some phone settings
• Look up movie details
• Look up directions in Apple Maps
• Ask for public transport directions
• Locate nearby attractions/restaurants and so on
• Play music
• Identify music
• Read out text messages
• Read out unread emails
• Show photos according to date and location

What can it not do?
• Send Facebook messages
• Interact with most third-party apps
• Pre-empt most of what you want
• Pull out info from your email

Is Siri any Good?

Siri is powered by some very interesting technology, which tries to understand not just your words but your sentences. Understanding meaning is a lot trickier than just identifying words.


Google Now

Which phones use it? Android phones with version 4.1 or higher

How do you use it? It varies depending on the phone, but the consistent way to get Google Now up is to hold your finger down on the Home button until the Google button pops up. The Google Now Launcher, meanwhile, enables you to access it by dragging to the left of the main home screen.

What can it do?

• Tell you the weather
• Tell you how to get home by car
• Tell you how get home on foot
• How to get home by bus/train
• Remind you about calendar events
• Notify you of emailed item dispatch notices, flight times etc
• Give you updates on your sports team
• Give you stock updates
• Offer info based on your web searches
• Lets you search the web with your voice/typing
• Launch contextual assistance based on what’s on screen (Android 6.0)
• Identify music
• Play music

What can it not do?
• Let you search for anything within the Now interface
• Search for photo.

Is Google Now any good?

Google Now seems to have been built with the knowledge that not a great amount of people are that keen on using a voice assistant. Google has its own voice recognition and voice synthesis software that could have easily been made the front end of Google Now, but instead the voice feature is relegated. You can use it (there’s a mic icon at the top of the New screen), but it’s not really what Google Now is about


Which phones use it? Windows 10 phones (Cortana is also available on the desktop version of  Windows 10)

How do you use it?
 Cortana is taking over as the Search part of Windows 10. It’s not just a speech assistant, but rather both a Siri-like voice assistant and an intelligent text analyser – so you can type, not just talk, to Cortana. You long-press the search button to make Cortana start listening, or a quick tap to type.

What can it do?
• Make calls
• Send text messages
• Search the web (using Bing)
• Show local events, restaurants, and the like
• Add/change calendar events
• Make notes
• Offer weather reports
• Tell you how long it’ll take to get to home/work
• Offer travel advice
• Identify music
• Check your flight status
• Set reminders when you next talk to a person

Is Cortana any good?

Cortana is arguably the most flexible personal assistant out there for the simple fact that it is built into the Windows 10 desktop OS as well as Windows 10 Mobile.

It mashes together some of the best bits of the other two, with the scheduling and email integration of Google Now and the personality of Siri.

However, Cortana is arguably the most hit and miss of the three in terms of results. When it works, it feels like it’s the best of the bunch – but it fails more frequently than Siri or Google Now.


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