Since HomePod was released last month, a spotlight of sorts has been put on Siri – more specifically, Siri’s weaknesses. HomePod has stiff competition in the smart speaker space, with companies like Google and Amazon having their own, more advanced, voice assistants.
There are several ways in which the Google Assistant and Google Home outshine Siri, but one that has stood out to me since HomePod’s release is Google Home’s integration with Chromecast…
Essentially, if you have both a Google Home and a Chromecast dongle or Chromecast-enabled TV, you can ask Google Home to play content on your TV. Google outlines the process in a support document here.
You can simply say, “Hey Google, play The West Wing on TV” and the show will start playing via Netflix or whatever streaming service you desire on your Chromecast-enabled TV. It’s a pretty seamless process that makes getting the content you want up and playing relatively quick.
As someone who owns both an Apple TV and HomePod, this is a feature I’d love for Apple to bring to Siri. Since HomePod’s release, I’ve become increasingly reliant on Siri for basic tasks, whether it be setting alarms, controlling the lights, or playing music. Adding Apple TV media control would make things even better. “Hey Siri, play The West Wing on the bedroom Apple TV.”
Of course, Apple TV already supports a feature somewhat like this using the Siri Remote, but you must have the Siri Remote in reach and long-press on the Siri button. Adding support for Apple TV control to Siri would make things much easier, allowing you to simply shout commands at HomePod.
Furthermore, Apple could almost certainly bring such a feature to Siri on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, as well as HomePod – allowing users to simply ask their nearest device to start playing their favorite TV show on movie, regardless of whether or not they owned a HomePod.
For Apple, one hindrance to rolling out such a feature is integration of all of the respective media applications. While the company has a basis for this with its TV app, it still hasn’t locked down the biggest streaming service of them all – Netflix. The lack of Netflix integration in the TV app is puzzling to me, especially when Netflix is supported for Google Home’s Chromecast control feature.
To me, this is another opportunity for Apple to flex its integration between devices. With features like Handoff, one of the top selling points of Apple products to many users is the ecosystem – yet a media control feature like this is seemingly an area where Google has a leg-up.
Would you take advantage of such a feature for HomePod and Apple TV? Let us know down in the comments!