Smart Home Wars: Apple's Siri vs. Amazon's Alexa



The battle line seems to be drawn between Apple and Amazon in the race to conquering the Smart Home ecosystem, and the duo digital assistants: Siri and Alexa is where the battle will be presumably won. Now, Apple is prepping the Siri update and to take the fight fully to Amazon, but how does the current version stack up against the current Smart Home leading AI, Alexa?

While Amazon allow developers to build and publish skills for Alexa using the Alexa Skills Kit, Apple is only playing catch-up with its latest software update. And these skills developed by third-parties come as voice experiences that are added to the capabilities of any Alexa-enabled device (such as the Echo).

Amazon also allow developers to integrate Alexa voice capabilities into their own connected apps by using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), a cloud-based service that provides APIs to interface with Alexa.

Both Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa all got special features, and serve as respective digital helpers which could auto play music, go shopping, give directions, control smart-home gadgets and offer generally entertainment.

Amazon's Alexa Home Automation feature was launched in 2015, and the company surprisingly moved into the ever-intensifying virtual assistant wars by placing Alexa on the Apple's App Store, and also available from the Google Play and Amazon's own Appstore.

The app is useful to owners of Alexa-enabled devices to control music, manage alarms, and view shopping lists. And as always, the more familiar a virtual assistant becomes, the more likely people will use it wherever.

In the home automation space, Alexa can interact with virtually all the popular smart home devices, and take-out food can be ordered using Alexa; as of May 2017 food ordering using Alexa is supported by Domino's Pizza, Grubhub, Pizza Hut, Seamless, and Wingstop.

For now, Siri is native to Apple products: iPhones (4s and up), iPads (3rd generation and up), iPods (2012 and up), Apple Watch, Apple TV and via the Siri remote.

Apple's home automation system, HomePod was announced at the companies annual event, Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2017), and Apple has promised opening of the system to third-party developers.

Though Siri also enables smart-home control just like Alexa, Amazon's assistant is more versatile, with over 900 "skills" and growing daily.
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