One of the things that iOS and iPadOS users should be looking forward to in iOS 14 is a smarter Siri. It is one thing that the aesthetics of the digital assistant have been improved so that Siri no longer takes up the whole screen, but more importantly, the iOS 14 version of the assistant knows 20 times more facts than it did three years ago according to Apple
. Still, the very first thing a new iPhone user should do is install the iOS variant of the Google Assistant
Apple iPad users happy with new feature added with iPadOS 14 beta update
When it comes to a battle between Siri and Google Assistant, there is no comparison. It's like you going one-on-one with Jimmy Butler. This is actually a major problem for Apple as too many inquiries to Siri send you to a website for your answers compared to Google Assistant. Strangely enough, too often if you ask Siri a question related to the iPhone or any other Apple device, you'll get the following response: "Apple.com should be able to answer that question, and more." This is followed by a link to the Apple.com online store. Now the cynical among us will say that Apple has turned your question into a sales lead, and rightly so. And if you ask Google Assistant the same question, you actually get the information that you were looking for right away. You'd think that Siri would have every fact about every Apple product release on the tip of "her" tongue.
Siri, on the left, knows less about Apple than Google Assistant does
Hopefully, Siri received an injection of knowledge in iOS 14. We do know for sure that just as Google downsized its Assistant's footprint on the display of an Android phone, Siri no longer hogs the entire iPhone page when a task is tossed at the digital helper. Instead, a round colorful "bubble" surfaces at the bottom of the screen with your question taking up less of the screen real estate. For example, ask Siri about the weather in iOS 14 and the answer appears inside a notification-sized field at the top of the screen.
According to a Reddit subscriber
named Aiden Alderson (via 9to5Mac
), the first few beta versions of iOS 14 did not allow an iPhone or iPad user to use Siri and interact with apps running in the background. Even something as simple as scrolling an app prevented Siri from working. Well, we are happy to note that Mr. Alderson has posted a video on Reddit that shows this to no longer be the case-on iPadOS. After iPadOS 14 beta 5 dropped, users were able to interact with Siri and background apps at the same time. In the video, we can see the Settings app scrolling on-screen as Siri is asked a question and responds appropriately. However, in practice, this feature has been buggy which might be due to the fact that iOS 14 is, well, still in beta. Just yesterday, Apple released the public version of the iOS 14 6th beta.
[iPadOS14 Beta 5] Now you can interact with apps in the background while talking to Siri. from r/iOSBeta
If you do have the beta installed on your iPad and are still seeing the full-screen Siri, you need to go to Settings>Accessibility >Siri. Make sure that the option to view apps behind Siri is toggled on. Needless to say, iPad users on Reddit were thrilled about this.
Meanwhile, this feature has not yet been made available for iOS and it might not ever arrive on the iPhone. The smaller screen size of the handset makes it likely that we might not see Siri integrate with background apps until a foldable iPhone is released.
Still, while some consider this to be a nice change made by Apple, it might behoove the tech giant to have Siri answer more questions without having to refer users to websites.