If and when Siri becomes the supercharged intelligent assistant that everyone wants, I would guess that the Apple Watch is going to be where Apple would want to spotlight it. The Apple Watch is going to have access to much more data than the HomePod. It has all your credit cards, can verify that you are you, knows your health stats, etc. Further, it can go wherever you go and isn’t limited to a specific place.
But the problem with the Apple Watch is two-fold. First, the Apple Watch has a tiny battery so it isn’t exactly always listening. You have to engage the screen first to relay your Siri command. And second, it has issues distinguishing your voice if there is background noise. But I think that once Apple sorts out the battery life and microphone issues, Apple will advertise the Apple Watch as the best place for Siri. Not the HomePod or the iPhone.
I’m not so sure that even if Siri was new and improved that Apple would want to showcase the HomePod’s Siri capabilities because that isn’t the best user-experience for Siri. Just like Apple didn’t dwell on Siri for the Mac at WWDC even though it exists there. Siri is available on the Mac if you happen to need it, but that’s not why you would buy a Mac. Same with the HomePod. Siri is there because you’ll need it to request your music, but you wouldn’t buy a HomePod just to access Siri. You would use Siri to access your HomePod to access your music or because you don’t have any other device handy.
Now the Apple Watch is the device I’d specifically recommend people buy to get access to Siri. The Apple Watch is Siri. I use Siri all the time to send text messages, write notes, set reminders etc. Siri is a major selling point for the Apple Watch and by far the place I use Siri the most. I’m not buying the argument that the reason iOS users are buying Amazon’s Echo is because Siri is too dumb. For one thing, the Echo struggles all the time with simple queries and is far from perfect. I would also point out that Google Assistant has superior intelligence to the Amazon Echo, but Android users are purchasing the Echo as well.
Google has spent a great deal of time and treasure in the area of intelligent assistance only to see Amazon swoop in and steal their thunder with the Echo. Why? Was it because Amazon can guess what you want better than Google? Doubtful. I’ll readily concede that Google probably has the best personal intelligence in the world when it comes to knowing what you might want next. No, the Echo jumped to the lead because in this case, hardware trumped software. Amazon’s Alexa doesn’t have to worry about battery life, so it can always be listening; and a countertop device has more capacity for multiple microphones than a mobile device so it can better pick up your requests.
I’m not so sure that Apple’s lack of spotlight on Siri with the HomePod means that they’re not making progress in that area. The deeper issue at stake is that Apple really didn’t wanted to make an Echo-like competitor because they felt a countertop Siri device was redundant.
The iPhone is the preeminent communications device. The Mac is the preeminent computing device. The iPad is the preeminent entertainment device. The HomePod will be the preeminent music device. But the preeminent Siri device is the Apple Watch and always will be.