(as I use it)
Google just released a voice search update to their iOS app. I thought I’d give it a try in the various ways I use Siri to see how the two apps matched up.
1. “What is the number for the Container Store in Raleigh”
Google search was very quick to translate my voice into words. Unfortunately they just couldn’t follow me after “for the”. After 10 tries, usually getting “what is the number for the kids” or “what is the number for the children” (among others), I finally got “what is the number for the container.” After that I gave up.
Siri took about a second to think and then asked me if I wanted to call the container store on creedmoor road in Raleigh.
2. “Send a text to Mom, What’s up, question-mark”
Google was able to parse this phrase, but as it is a search app, it was not able to do anything useful for me.
Siri asked if I wanted to send a text to my mom with the contents: “What’s up?”
3. “Add an event to my calendar, Derek Webb show this Thursday”
Google parsed this phrase, but on the first try I hesitated before Derek, so I just got “add an event to my calendar”. Again, since it is just search, it can’t do anything more than give me Derek Webb’s website.
Siri finally stumbled… It heard “Erik Wedding show”. But it recognized that I wanted to create an event and asked what time.
4. “Write a tweet, I think I’ll stick with Siri for now”
Again, Google did a good job parsing the phrase and wasn’t able to help me do what I wanted to do.
Siri parsed the phrase perfectly and asked if I wanted to send the tweet.
After the initial issues I wasn’t holding out much hope for Google. It was very infuriating for the app to decide I was done with a voice command while in the middle. I’ve experienced Siri doing this from time to time, but not nearly as quickly, and usually by the third time I can get my cadence quick enough to make it past the cut-off spot; Ten times in a row was awful.
After that google seemed to settle in and do a great job figuring out what I wanted to say. Unfortunately for them I don’t really use Siri for search, I use it for speech to text, calendaring, and looking up phone numbers (which I realize is search, but I wasn’t able to get a result from them for that test.)