Originally Posted by CharlesS
Google Voice Actions came out in Froyo, in August 2010. Apple added Siri in August 2011, buying a voice recognition app from a smaller developer in order to quickly catch up. Android's voice recognition feature was a full year earlier. All this article is about is Google renaming GVA to something more catchy in order to better compete with Apple's marketing machine. Apple certainly didn't invent the idea, and they weren't first to introduce it in a smartphone OS either.
And Apple has had voice commands for a while, too. Do you even know what Siri is? The "voice actions" / "speech recognition" is the trivial part, as clearly stated when it came out. What's different about it is that it can process natural language (no need to speak in a stilted way using certain key words, phrases or syntax).
Yes, Apple brought the team and technology on board from elsewhere. It is far more than "buying a small app". The Siri team had access to and experience with all the military sponsored research in this area. It was a very strategic move. Why shouldn't Apple hire developers that have shown some real promise?
What Apple has done is take it beyond an app so that it is beginning to get integrated into the OS. Secondly, Apple is producing APIs for it so that thirdparty developers can begin to use their creativity with it in all sorts of new ways in powerful native apps. This is where Google is a little weak.
BTW, the difference between Google buying Android, or MS buying Danger and DOS, and Apple buying NeXT is that Steve Jobs envisioned and headed NeXT, and its development over the past 12 years has been done in-house at Apple including migrating it to several processor families, and scaling it from the desktop to mobile devices. People act as though Apple is all about buying up stuff and marketing it, but, really, the evidence is quite the opposite. Apple actually has far more software chops than anyone else. Considering all the beta crap that Google foists on the public, and all the deadends and do-overs that MS eventually gets around to producing, this should be obvious.