Speak to me


So, it looks like Google are going to be joining Apple and Microsoft by putting their digital assistant on their desktop OS. For some reason they are going to be adding a dedicated button on Chromebooks to access it (why can't they just access it with a long press on the search key or the 'o' menu thingy? It is accessed with a long press on the home button on Android; surely there's a case for consistency across devices, especially when Chromebooks are increasingly usable in tablet mode and that 'o' button becomes much more like Android's home button).

But do we really want it? Apple has seen a 15% drop in people using Siri over the last year despite it becoming available on more and more devices. Is the voice assistant race going to turn out to be just another fad?

Voice assistants might make sense on small screen or no-screen devices where input is more tricky, but the laptop/desktop is a productivity machine with keyboard and trackpad and things to help you work faster. Do we really want voice assistants slowing us down?

(Disclosure: I do. I like the idea of consistency, even if I don't end up using it.)

Reticulating poll splines...