In the same week that Scott Forstell was let go from his position at Apple as the head of Siri, Google has released their most advanced voice search app for iOS and Android.
The app allows users to use voice activated search within their Google browser by simply touching the microphone icon. The results are collated using the search engine results and featured in the browser.
You can ask Google a wide variety of questions thanks to the use of their Knowledge Graph, which gives the search technology a clearer understanding of how people use the web. Google claims it is ‘a critical first step towards building the next generation of search’.
The Knowledge Graph allows you to get instant and relevant information about people, places and things that Google knows about, including history, geography, celebrities, sports, art, architecture and more. It utilises the comprehensive back-catalogue of Google’s database to provide answers using images, video, text, websites and maps etc.
Google states that ‘When you have a question, finding the answer should be effortless—wherever you are and whatever device you’re using’ and early reviews of the app suggest this to be the case.
It may seem as if Google has a lot of making up to do for being a year late to the voice activated search scene, considering Apple’s Siri was released in 2011. Since then, however, a series of faults and complaints have been raised about the system. The most notorious case of Siri slip-ups was when asked ‘Which is the best smartphone?’, Siri responded ‘The Nokia Lumia 900’. When Apple realised, they quickly changed the responses Siri gave to include, ‘The one you are holding’ and ‘There are other smartphones?’ Apple claims that Siri is an intelligent system, yet if it does not give results that they like, they quickly override the software, something that Google does not do.
With Google constantly outperforming Apple in app design, (cough, cough Google Maps), it begs this question: will Google trump Apple once more in the Siri vs Google battle?
NB: Scott Forstell was also responsible for Apple Maps.
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