Google Voice Search Vs. Siri: Who’s the Best iPhone Assistant?

With Google’s release of its brand new search app for iOS, we decided to put Siri in the ring with Voice Search—now available on your iPhone—to see if she could defend her own turf.

Overall performance on both sides was generally sound. There were some odd answers, like when I asked for information about the worst Hurricanes in New York City, and Siri gave me hockey scores. Or when I asked when the next Giants game was, and Google gave me the scores for last week’s World Series games, instead of an upcoming NY Giants schedule.

But in the end, and as you can see above, Siri was just a bit too slow and erratic to compete with Google Voice Search. Google came up with a quicker response almost every time, was more accurate, and frankly sounded much less grating than Siri.

Google Voice Search really shines when you’re searching for something that needs to be found on the web. Whereas Siri usually requires an extra click-through to instruct Siri to open Safari, the Google app hits the web with every query; and almost always with quick, accurate results. Of course, it Google’s version has its limits; it doesn’t have access to the data stored on your iPhone, so you can’t tell it to send a text to someone or search your contacts. Otherwise, though, it’s a very welcome improvement.


Comments

    Would the google one be able to access such details on a google based phone? If so, awesomesauce :D

      Yep. works just fine on androids

        If you live in America it works fine. Out side of the states "voice actions" is disabled.

          what? where are you getting that from? mine works fine

          You just need to set the language to English US, rather than UK or Australian, and it will work fine.

    why must you use this vimeo crap. Nothing ever loads on it. Youtube works fine on anything. And you can view Youtube on mobiles

      Ads would be one reason. The fact that Google owns YouTube might open the door for claims of bias, so there's another reason. Are two good reasons enough?

      Actually Vimeo is HTML 5 and works fine. Maybe turn off the HD setting? *Pout*

      youtube is blocked from my work, vimeo is not :D so keel using it. :D

        Have you tried out https (with s on the end) youtube instead of http? A lot of work places do not block https.

          Or check your proxy settings. Google how to change proxy settings on your browser. If your work is not using a blanket content filter, they may be filtering you by specific user groups and applying a proxy through group policy on the group you're in..

          It all depends on the hardware you're using really.

            nearly every single proxy servers are blocked from my work too :(

    Looks like Siri is getting smoked... I wonder if Google will put a siri-like feature on Android outside its app.

    Try it here in Australia. Siri is about 10 times better at recognising our accent.

      Jelly Bean now brings Offline Australian voice recognition.

      Really? I can't get Siri to do sfa on my ipad...

        Siri works pretty well for me. Even I was surprised at how much she picks up. I guess it depends on the accent but Siri works fine for me. Will have to test Google Voice Search out.

          I've heard great things about Siri integration on the iPhone. Just the ipad 3 so far hasn't been that great with it...

      I haven't had a problem with Google Now's recognition. All you need to do is download the Australian and UK voice packs and you're covered pretty much.

    Again from Australia, google search is much much faster and I found more accurate then Siri. Siri regularly gets words scrambled, google seems to shift words to 'more likely' contextually

      Google is a master of search and has years and years of knowing how to find what someone is looking for. Googles massive amount of data could compare search terms to most clicked on response to increase the accuracy of the service. Apple isn't built on the back of search, so it's got much much less data to play with than Google to be able to give more accurate responses and more accurate understanding on what you're trying to say. For example, how many times did Google's "Did you mean: " get it right. For me, pretty much every time, even with very specific things like programming or electronics terminology, Google always has a good hunch at you're getting at.

    The title is wrong...it should be "who's the best PHONE assistant." not iphone.

      If you read more carefully, you'll see that the software in question is Google Voice Search for iOS. So 'iPhone' in the title is quite appropriate.

      so you can get Siri and Google for iOS to work on other platforms?

    RE Siri and email... Even with iOS6, and the new iPhone 5, Siri still won’t do email. We need true email inbox management that’s eyes-free and hands-free. There’s a smartphone app called Talkler —billed as “email for your ears.” It's a free smartphone app that's voice-controlled, and reads your emails aloud to you. There's more info at Talkler.com.

    The Google Voice Search works almost prefectly with my Aussie accent - Siri struggles constantly with it tho..

    So google search googles the answer? Wow!
    Yes I know siri checks wolfram alpha. If that were a little faster then it wouldn't be as slow as it is.

      I agree, Wolfram alpha is fantastic, but goddamn it's slow... They should fix that.

    I've always thought that Siri was useless when I've tried it but a friend who's a painter uses it all day to set reminders and takes notes when quoting jobs and says it has really helped to streamline his business so I guess it can be used successfully for some. I just wouldnt be using it to send messages to clients without proof reading first lol.

    Um... isnt this replicating functionality (siri)? Isnt that against the ios app guidelines, or have they changed that?

      I don't get how Apple can do this, yet when Windows didn't give you another browser option besides Internet Explorer they were forced to allow it.

    I like siri, but i would imagine Google's implementation should and would be better due to the fact that Google's main role is being the worlds biggest search engine provider! So they know how to search for shit really well basically...

    I found my Google Voice to work better in a more noisy environment. If it is dead quiet, I get worse results.

    Wow android is so old school and always trying to catch up, software can't even send a message ohhhh android will u ever be able to compete!!!!!!

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