Voice assistants: potential and differences Voice assistants: potential and differences

Alice, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana: all these female names belong to voice assistants by the world’s largest companies. Google stands out from this list, entitling its solution Assistant.

What can these virtual assistants do? How do they differ from each other? Let’s examine them one by one.


Yandex developed Alice in 2017. The core advantage of this voice assistant in comparison with its direct competitors is the availability on Android, iOS, and even PCs. However, Alice is still unable to control smart home systems.

At the same time, it is good at app management (generally Yandex ones). Well, it can easily call a taxi, show how to get to work as quickly as possible without traffic jams, put on a required music, and tell you when it will rain.

You can talk to your helper. Alice is able to carry on a conversation and even to joke.

Google Assistant

The project was launched in May 2016 as a continuation of the Google Now solution. This voice assistant is depersonalized: it has no name. Just Assistant.

Nevertheless, assuming that this Assistant is made by the world’s largest search engine, you will be surprised of how much it knows about you. Google Assistant has an access to the browsing history, geodata, and even calls. But don't be scared! Due to collected data, it can offer you relevant goods, show the road to the necessary point of destination, as well as inform you of plans mentioned in the calendar.

Sometimes it can be too active because of showing needless news and laying routes to places you’ve already visited. Besides, Assistant does not help to control a smart home.


Designed in 2011, it was one of the first voice assistants hitting the market. Siri operates only on Apple devices and has a wide spectrum of features. For example, you can easily communicate with it. The assistant understands natural language and expands a set of sharp answers year by year.

It accounts for news, weather, movies, and TV program. Moreover, it is able to control several elements of smart home.

However, some users stress that Siri can be slow from time to time in comparison with other voice assistants. It has a poor integration with other services. Perhaps, developers believe that Siri is already smart enough.


Amazon introduced its new virtual assistant, Alexa, in November 2014. Alexa’s key difference from similar products is its ability to control smart home systems. It can manage robot vacuums, lighting, and many other functions.

Earlier, Alexa was adapted only to a smart home. But now, the assistant is available on smartphones as well. Such options as monitoring of the weather, news, and traffic jams are conventional for it. By the way, Amazon has presented open API for its helper. Thus, Alexa is able to work with any third-party apps or services. It is quite convenient when ordering something from online retailers.

You can also chat with it, but talks are often accompanied by branding and Alexa offers you to buy certain things on Amazon.


Microsoft introduced this voice assistant in April 2014. Today, it is compatible not only with the Windows platform, but also with Android and even iOS.

Cortana can easily communicate with you, as its speech is full of jokes. Another advantage is the possibility to adjust data to be transferred to Cortana on your own.

However, if you want to find something using this virtual assistant, it will utilize the Bing search engine. Besides, iOS and Android versions are less functional than the Windows one. Cortana is able to control smart home systems only if it is pre-installed on devices.

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