back to article Thanksgiving brings together Apple's Siri and Google Assistant

In a very American celebration of setting aside differences to sit at the same table, on the eve of Thanksgiving you can now use your iPhone to issue voice commands to Google's smart home systems. Well, sort of. Filled with brotherly love, Google has gone out of its way to work with Apple in an update to its digital assistant …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel so blessed to live in such exciting times

  2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    Another Christmas of <Stupid Voice Device> <Make a stupid noise>

    I dread to think what will happen once people start reposting YTMND clips, Alexa playing "Captain John Picard USS Enterprise"

  3. IceC0ld Bronze badge

    when three become one - in honour of the Spice Girls return

    "Hey Siri, Ok Google, Alexa – please put on a timer for five minutes." To which of course Alexa will say: "I couldn't find Old Timer for Fine Mimics."

    ==

    thanks for that, started my Thursday / the WEEKEND - for me - with a damn good laugh LOL

  4. JetSetJim Silver badge

    Re: when three become one - in honour of the Spice Girls return

    If only they could add Cortana in to the mix, too.

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Stop the world, please.

    I want to get off.

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    Re: Stop the world, please.

    The internet is being covered with layers and layers of vomit... How the fuck can any of the web founders sleep at night knowing that their beautiful tool has now simply become a fcuking marketing tool...

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Nothing to do with the internet, it's on mobile phones.

    I do not need to wade through Siri/Alexa/Google shit to get to the internet on my computer. As for my phone, it's a model that does not support any of that shit either, so I'm good.

    That said, there is a definite tendency for multi-billion dollar companies to act as if the internet existed only to support their marketing whims, I do agree.

  8. JDX Gold badge

    Re: Stop the world, please.

    Also even on mobile phones it's quite easy to avoid. You just don't say "Hey Siri". You don't even have to turn it of.

    I'm finding voice control is quite good as long as I think carefully what I want to set up. "Ok Google I need to work late 2 hours" will keep the heating on in my home office 2 hours longer thanks to IFTTT. That saves a fair bit of dicking around launching an app, tapping on the screen and is genuinely useful. Equally "OK Google we want to watch a film" turns on the heating in our TV room so we can do that while on the way home.

  9. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: Stop the world, please.

    @JDX

    >>>I'm finding voice control is quite good as long as I think carefully what I want to set up. "Ok Google I need to work late 2 hours" will keep the heating on in my home office 2 hours longer thanks to IFTTT. That saves a fair bit of dicking around launching an app, tapping on the screen and is genuinely useful. Equally "OK Google we want to watch a film" turns on the heating in our TV room so we can do that while on the way home.<<<

    By not buying all this home spying tat I can afford to heat all of my house at the same time ;)

  10. Daniel Hall

    Proofread fail again and again

    What is it with journalism these days and the journalists not proofreading the stories. Even my thesaurus advises changing the offending word to something else, that'll ensure you are no longer feeling as if a stroke is happening whilst trying to read the poorly written sentence.

    Find the dodgy part of this sentence:

    Not at all annoying. Having to say two companies fixed wake phrases is actually better than having to say just one because it will remind you have much you love saying brand names out loud all the time.

    #bored

  11. Mattjimf

    Google on Alexa

    Tutorial here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR-LVPMU7F4

  12. Chris G Silver badge

    All inclusive exclusion

    I'm happy to say that I don't have Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa; Assistant is disabled, I have never felt the need for the other two or any other eavesdropping technology.

    I have a smart tv somewhere that I have had for a few years, so far I have yet to plug it in as I have a life and interests that don't require an endless stream of 'reality' shows, dumbed down history and geography and propaganda.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    Re: All inclusive exclusion

    Interests like posting self-congratulatory comments on internet forums about how full your life is?

  14. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Re: All inclusive exclusion

    One of the first things I do when setting up anything with these nuisances is to disable them. Not being enslaved to the Apple & Amazon ecosystems, I don't have to kneecap those anyway, and Google is just an unfortunate side effect of Android devices. And the MS ones I only have to encounter when rebuilding systems for others.

    But it *would* be handy for these "assistants"(*1) to add an extra key-phrase to their systems. After all, when setting up a new system, the first voice command I'll give them is "go the fuck away Cortana/Google/Alexa/Siri". The systems should be set up to automatically disable the assistant(*1) with that phrase.

    *1: when it comes to 'assistant', I'm reminded of a saying my father had: "There's two kinds of help; 'some help' and 'no help'."

  15. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    James's Tech Reviews! Episode 1

    For the compatibility of multiple digital assistants, I turn to James's Tech Reviews! Episode 1 for clarity:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_1dhKsELzs

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Happy

    Traditions

    In a very American celebration of setting aside differences to sit at the same table

    You mean like the British Christmas which usually ends in shouting and fisticuffs (if done right)?

    Sounds about right, especially considering it's celebration of the inadequacy of the Pilgrim Fathers — and what a bunch of inadequates they were! — to prepare for the winter and were dependent upon the generosity of the locals. And look how well that turned out for the First Nations! ;-)

    Surely the moral should be: see a bunch of Americans starving, for God's sake don't help them or they'll take you for everything you've got!

  17. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Boffin

    Re: Traditions

    Do you think that there just might.... Possibly, perhaps, mayby some token to be taken here when we apply this thought to Eurupe? Or does that just make me a Xeophobic Nazi? I wonder if some in these "First Nations", have ever held a somewhat similar view?

  18. David Nash Silver badge

    Re: Traditions

    "Surely the moral should be: see a bunch of Americans starving, for God's sake don't help them or they'll take you for everything you've got!"

    Although they weren't really "Americans" at that time.

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Re: Traditions

    Xeophobic Nazi?

    What's one of them?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Traditions

    Although they weren't really "Americans" at that time.

    That's right. At the time we were just more of you Brits. No offence meant...

  21. Dan 55 Silver badge

    This is not the future I was promised

    Did Michael Knight have to remember to use different voice assistants with different names offering different services with different data retention policies all connected to different advertising networks? No, he did not.

  22. JDX Gold badge

    Re: This is not the future I was promised

    Um, didn't he say "KITT, ..." to initiate control?

  23. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: This is not the future I was promised

    He did indeed. But he didn't need to say CATT if he wanted turbo boost or infra red scan because KITT didn't offer those.

  24. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    You see, fantastic. Amazing. We're living like the fucking Jetsons. ®

    Ok this made my thursday...

  25. mevets

    A christmas wish...

    Instead of “Hey Siri” or “Ok Google”, that all phones could wake up to their master crying “where is my f-ing phone!”....

  26. Truckle The Uncivil

    Re: A christmas wish...

    No good if the phone is out of hearing range. Besides I just ask my watch where my phone is.

  27. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Re: A christmas wish...

    No good if the phone is out of hearing range. Besides I just ask my watch where my phone is.

    I usually just use the house phone top call it. Which fails if the phone is dead, in the car, or the wind is blowing the wrong way and destroying what little cell signal we have at the house.

  28. David Nash Silver badge

    Just turn off the stupid voice-activated things.

    And no, I didn't add a Google widget to my home screen because I can just long-press the home button to bring up Google search.

    Or was that comment in the article aimed at the minority* of readers who are iphone owners? It did say "you" but didn't qualify that.

    * Assumed, because Apple have a minority of the smartphone market.

  29. Michael Habel Silver badge

    A minority yes, but oddly are the first ones to actually get some decent Apps. While Android users are in no uncertin temrs to go fourth and multiply. Not that I'm as chuffed about Doctor Who, as I was but a year ago. But, I think there were at least a few Apps here that would have filled that definition given above.

  30. Wellyboot Silver badge

    @Micheal Habel >>>first ones to actually get some decent Apps<<<

    Because the owners have self identified as willing to hand over large amounts of cash for ooo-shiny.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Because the owners have self identified willing to pay cash for ooo-shiny

    I have an iPhone (bought used) and have a variety of apps on it but I've never shelled out a bent penny for them. It if ain't free then it don't get bought.

    Most those apps do have Android versions but several of those are regarded as pretty crap implementations.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You've no doubt already taken advantage of the ability to add a Google Assistant "widget" to your home screen."

    Why the hell would I do a stupid thing like that??

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Straw poll does anyone else find that voice recognition is better in (the older) Google Now than it is in (the newer) Google Assistent. The former understands me perfectly - 95% of the time, the latter mis-understands me 95% of the time. Alexa understands me perfectly about 85% of the time, if I remember to talk the way it likes.

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