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A wiser Siri snubs Google for Bing in Apple's upcoming iOS 7

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
With iOS 7, Apple has not only made its Siri virtual assistant smarter, but has managed to further distance itself from Android maker Google by turning to Microsoft's Bing as the service's default search engine.

Siri
Apple's Eddy Cue presenting Siri at WWDC 2013. | Source: Apple


When Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue took the stage at WWDC on Monday, he spared no time getting into the enhancements iOS 7 will bring to Siri, including deeper device integration, a wider range of source and, notably, a reliance on Microsoft's Bing. As seen in the screenshots below, as provided by AppleInsider reader Gregg Mojica, Siri's UI and overall feature set will see a huge change when the service is released this fall.

Siri
Siri with Bing search (right).


A number of Internet services are set to be integrated alongside existing Siri capabilities, including Twitter, Wikipedia and, perhaps most importantly, Bing Web search. Over Siri's lifetime, the service relied only on Google for Internet searches, but in iOS 7, the assistant will pull from Microsoft's servers as default.

The move is the latest snub from Apple, which previously deprecated Google Maps and YouTube from its built-in iOS app selection, replacing only the mapping app with in-house solution. A report from December revealed Apple was already cutting down on its reliance of Google with iOS 6, and it appears the company will continue that trend with iOS 7.

Another feature noted at Apple's event was the substantial changes made to Siri's voice capabilities. When the voice-recognizing assistant first launched in iOS 5, it sounded fairly advanced for the time. However, as the years wore on, Siri's stilted speech and odd inflections didn't change. Google subsequently launched its own mobile virtual assistant, which not only appeared to operate more efficiently, but had a voice that was closer to human.

In iOS 7, Siri's voice has been updated, and if Monday's demonstration is any indication, very closely mimics true speech. Apple has also added a male voice option which sounds equally impressive. Cue said the new Siri will rollout with support for English, French, and German, while other languages will move to the updated voice capabilities in the future.

Siri


Apple has also allowed Siri to access higher functions on certain devices, for example the control of Bluetooth radios and screen brightness. Contextual queries have been improved, with new commands like "Play my last voicemail" added to current offerings.

Finally, Cue showed off iOS in the Car, which is heavily reliant on Siri's services. Dictating messages, playing back music, dialing phone numbers and more are accomplished through the service, which Apple dubbed Eyes Free. The hasn't seen wide adoption yet, though the executive noted some 95 percent of cars have some type of support for music playback and control from an iOS device.
post #2 of 66

I noticed that. I liked it.

 

I also noticed that Craig outright said "Google search" in another part of the keynote. Immediately I wished he had said "search engine" and had had Yahoo! or Bing as the preset for the demo. 

 

Never mind the true embarrassment of having to use Chrome in the Windows demo. Why no Safari 6 for Windows? Why no Safari 7 for Windows?!

post #3 of 66
AI needs a genuine persona to really take off. i don't walk to talk to Siri.

i want to talk with Hal.

Apple should license the rights (wonder who owns them).
post #4 of 66
"Over Siri's lifetime, the service relied only on Google for Internet searches"

Hmmm... That's not true. Siri just dumped the request to the web browser which used whatever your default search engine was.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #5 of 66
I wish tSIRI's voice had more options... I kinda like the old SIRI voice but I really wish SIRI could sound like Homer Simpson (Yogi Bear as second choice). Too human sounding is creepy!
post #6 of 66
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post
i want to talk with Hal.

Apple should license the rights (wonder who owns them).

 

His voice actor's still alive (though probably not in a condition to give up the accurate set of phonemes necessary)…

post #7 of 66
Apple really needs to start owning more data. Google, Navteq, Tom Tom, and Waze are the only companies with worldwide mapping data. Apple should be added to the list. I noticed tht the biggest weakness of Maps was not addressed. Namely, Apple's reliance on Yelp for POI data. Yelp is weak for non restaurant data, and it is slow to update. You normally get a response from Google within a day or two.
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Never mind the true embarrassment of having to use Chrome in the Windows demo. Why no Safari 6 for Windows? Why no Safari 7 for Windows?!

To demonstrate that iWork on iCloud can function on a different OS and a different web browser.
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

"Over Siri's lifetime, the service relied only on Google for Internet searches"

Hmmm... That's not true. Siri just dumped the request to the web browser which used whatever your default search engine was.

 

So are you saying the default search engine is now Bing?

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #10 of 66

Click-bait headline uses the word "snub." Oh AI, you're so transparent.

 

If true, I'm certain Apple worked out an agreement with Microsoft over the default search engine. And nothing like that happens without money changing hands.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #11 of 66

Anything that screws over Google is fine by me, but I don't get why everyone is saying these voices for Siri are "more realistic."  They sound different, but just as fake to me.  

She sounds kind of squeaky actually.  From what I've heard so far I prefer the original. 

post #12 of 66
Why does Eddie remind me of Parker from Thunderbirds?

Anyway, will Siri a) work on iPhone 4 b) work in New Zealand? Both of those would be great.

I was trying out Dictation when it came to Mountain Lion and set it to British English because that's the dictionary I use (of course I don't speak with a British accent). I couldn't get it to type "bad", instead it typed "bed". I asked a colleague who does have a British accent how to do it and it goes something like this:

bad = bed
baad = bad

I'd hate to see what I get when I want "bard".
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jman225 View Post


To demonstrate that iWork on iCloud can function on a different OS and a different web browser.

 

I'm just loving how Firefox and Mozilla are being squeezed out of iWork in the cloud also.  1smile.gif

 

They sowed the seeds of "difference" and are now reaping the rewards of "incompatible."

Almost makes you believe in Karma. 

post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Lowe View Post

Why does Eddie remind me of Parker from Thunderbirds?

Anyway, will Siri a) work on iPhone 4 b) work in New Zealand? Both of those would be great.

I was trying out Dictation when it came to Mountain Lion and set it to British English because that's the dictionary I use (of course I don't speak with a British accent). I couldn't get it to type "bad", instead it typed "bed". I asked a colleague who does have a British accent how to do it and it goes something like this:

bad = bed
baad = bad

I'd hate to see what I get when I want "bard".

 

I haven't tried it for a while, but Siri dictation failed utterly for me also.  It could not get a single sentence or sometimes even words from the sentence right, during literally dozens of tries in a quiet, empty room with me speaking normally and carefully.  When I escalated this through Apple's help system, it turned out that Siri fails to function most of the time for English dictation whenever your localisation settings are not plain old "American."  

 

This was last year, so maybe it's been fixed, but in my case it was because I had my settings set to "English" but *wasn't* speaking in an English accent (I don't have any appreciable accent).  Apparently if you set the date, time and spelling preferences to "English" instead of American, it assumes you are about to speak in an upper class toff accent and won't recognise "regular" speech.  

 

If this is true (and the helper assured me it was the cause), then I imagine it also has a hugely difficult time distinguishing between the many local English variant accents.  

It probably only works if you're from Sussex. 

 

post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Lowe View Post


Anyway, will Siri a) work on iPhone 4 b) work in New Zealand? Both of those would be great.

I think you'd get much better results setting Siri's language to "English (Australia)"

---Dictated with Siri.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Finally, Cue showed off iOS in the Car, which is heavily reliant on Siri's services. Dictating messages, playing back music, dialing phone numbers and more are accomplished through the service, which Apple dubbed Eyes Free. The hasn't seen wide adoption yet, though the executive noted some 95 percent of cars have some type of support for music playback and control from an iOS device.

 

I don't think they showed ALL the brands of cars that will be supported. (Showed like 16 or so)

 

I also noted Lexus wasn't among those shown... what the hay!!!?

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I noticed that. I liked it.

I also noticed that Craig outright said "Google search" in another part of the keynote. Immediately I wished he had said "search engine" and had had Yahoo! or Bing as the preset for the demo. 

Never mind the true embarrassment of having to use Chrome in the Windows demo. Why no Safari 6 for Windows? Why no Safari 7 for Windows?!
Yes They did that to show that apple haters who are forced to use it can... It is also a joke that it was an apple laptop running it with the smoothness of a Mac, lack of Mac OS X but still the best for windows running (even if the slight lag was a joke)

I rather it be Siri uses your preset for safari search in settings...
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I haven't tried it for a while, but Siri dictation failed utterly for me also.  It could not get a single sentence or sometimes even words from the sentence right, during literally dozens of tries in a quiet, empty room with me speaking normally and carefully.  When I escalated this through Apple's help system, it turned out that Siri fails to function most of the time for English dictation whenever your localisation settings are not plain old "American."  

 

This was last year, so maybe it's been fixed, but in my case it was because I had my settings set to "English" but *wasn't* speaking in an English accent (I don't have any appreciable accent).  Apparently if you set the date, time and spelling preferences to "English" instead of American, it assumes you are about to speak in an upper class toff accent and won't recognise "regular" speech.  

Toss back a few beers and give  her another go, she can't understand Aussie if ya not pissed.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

So are you saying the default search engine is now Bing?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Click-bait headline uses the word "snub." Oh AI, you're so transparent.

 

If true, I'm certain Apple worked out an agreement with Microsoft over the default search engine. And nothing like that happens without money changing hands.

 

I'm thinking Apple will soon buy Yahoo, which is the search engine "Bing" uses and this is just a half-step on the way there.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Anything that screws over Google is fine by me, but I don't get why everyone is saying these voices for Siri are "more realistic."  They sound different, but just as fake to me.  

She sounds kind of squeaky actually.  From what I've heard so far I prefer the original. 

 

The new chick voice is based on Barbara Eden (as in Genie). She'll also call you "master" and you don't even have to treat her nice.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Anything that screws over Google is fine by me, but I don't get why everyone is saying these voices for Siri are "more realistic."  They sound different, but just as fake to me.  

She sounds kind of squeaky actually.  From what I've heard so far I prefer the original. 

Just when I want to thumbs up your post you get all negative nancy again ;)

 

But to me the voice did sound a bit more natural, and I think I remember Apple coming out with several patents relating to inflection and prosody in speech. The fact that the "new voices" are only available in select languages leads me to believe there is an actual improvement.

 

Screw google. Those classless tools. What I want to see is an Apple competitor to youtube, I hate youtube, but there is no real widely used viable alternative. Apple could do it so much better. And as an accessory to the hardware, they could focus on the users, and offer optional ad support with the ad revenues going to the producers of the content, whether it be record labels or individuals with cool content, such as this guy talking about the Tarsier:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=6Jz0JcQYtqo

   

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post #22 of 66
"His voice actor's still alive (though probably not in a condition to give up the accurate set of phonemes necessary)..."

He lives in my neighbourhood!
And will not talk about HAL. Ever.
post #23 of 66
It stood out like a sore thumb when he said "Bing" didn't it? In another part of the keynote, in the consumer satisfaction rankings, one of their charts showed MS phone owners as more satisfied than Android phone owners. Apple is clearly getting together with their old frenemy MS to put a dent in Google.
post #24 of 66

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #25 of 66

Bing's not half bad.  I switched a month or two ago from Google and I rarely find myself needing to go back to Google to find something.  I can only think of one thing and that's if I want to find a Wikipedia article on something.  Google tends to put a Wikipedia link high in it's search results and Bing doesn't so you have to add the word "wikipedia" into your search if you want to have that show up at the top.  Other then that one minor thing Bing has been perfectly adequate for my searching needs. 

 

As an aside, it's waaaay easier to find adult content with Bing as Google results are constantly getting censored due to DMCA takedown notices.  Or at least that's what a friend told me....   I wouldn't know as I never go looking for adult content....

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post #26 of 66
After seeing a few different Siri vs Google Voice Search "face offs", and noting that in most of them, Siri seemed to always take longer or return 'weaker' results, I wondered if Google wasn't intentionally deprecating Siri-driven search requests. It would always make Google/Android look better if they slightly delayed or 'dumbed down' the results returned to Siri-driven searches. "See how much more efficient Android is?" one could posit%u2026

Perhaps this is part of why Apple is relying less on them. They are intentionally trying to make Apple tech look the lesser?

It may make sense for Apple to launch their own search engine one day. It's not like they don't have the resources to pull that off.
post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post

I hate youtube, but there is no real widely used viable alternative. 

 

Check out Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com). A fine alternative, and one which I spend increasingly more time with. I'm done with YouTube since the introduction of the force-fed ads (I especially hate the 5-second "skip this ad" imposition) on almost every video.

post #28 of 66
I have been using Bing more and more even though I am certainly not a Microsoft fan. Lately I have had problems finding things with Google. Page after page of results that have the keywords, but not what I am looking for. Of course there are Ads at the top and the bottom and those are not even right either. I take the same keywords to Bing and find some excellent hits. Seems like Bing is using a little better logic on keyword grouping or something. It is time to switch my browsers default search. Guess it can be switched back if it isn't cutting it.
post #29 of 66

I use Bing on my Windows 8 tablet, Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet II, it's just okay. I still prefer Google overall though, especially when I need answers about a programming problem. I understand Apples position about Google, I'm hoping Apple will start their own search engine.

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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotstorm View Post

"His voice actor's still alive (though probably not in a condition to give up the accurate set of phonemes necessary)..."

He lives in my neighbourhood!
And will not talk about HAL. Ever.

Interesting that some actors so completely shun a role that the public adores and others embrace the adoration. One person who learned to embrace the popularity of his character, I believe, after shunning it and the fans for many years, was... da da - William Shatner. He once told fans 'to get a life'. I doubt that he would respond that way today. I too would have Douglas Rain's voice in an instant.

 

(Welcome to AI.)

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

 

Check out Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com). A fine alternative, and one which I spend increasingly more time with. I'm done with YouTube since the introduction of the force-fed ads (I especially hate the 5-second "skip this ad" imposition) on almost every video.

Well, it seems you'll also have ads with iTunes Radio

post #32 of 66
I've never been a Microsoft fan but I'll give credit where it's due... I love Bing. I quit using Google months ago and never looked back. I'm also impressed with the Xbox One. I haven't played with the new Windows or Windows Phones yet but I like what I've seen.

That said, I think a lot is being made over this supposed snub that I didn't really see. Google was still mentioned and used several times, even in the Siri screenshot of "Questions you can ask me". Chrome was used instead of IE. it seems to me that Apple is diversifying their partnerships rather than snubbing any particular one. Same applies to Samsung as a supplier.
post #33 of 66

I'm down with this.  When I kick off with a search from siri, im not really trying to do a nerdy search anyway.  Bing excels in "soft search" like shopping, twitter, etc.  Good fit.

 

If I need to include research docs and whatnot, for some reason google finds stuff better.

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Doodle Dice iPhone puzzle game: A fun, free physics-laden collection of dice games.  Greatest app made yet?  Perhaps young man... Perhaps.
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post #34 of 66

There's a reason why Google is the #1 search engine.. Bing sucks. Hopefully I can set google to be my default search

post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

 

 

I'm thinking Apple will soon buy Yahoo, which is the search engine "Bing" uses and this is just a half-step on the way there.

It's the opposite, Yahoo uses Bing for results. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple has tried to buy Bing from Microsoft, but since Microsoft is integrating Bing everywhere into their products, a sale is so unlikely as to be an impossibility.

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post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

I have been using Bing more and more even though I am certainly not a Microsoft fan. Lately I have had problems finding things with Google. Page after page of results that have the keywords, but not what I am looking for. Of course there are Ads at the top and the bottom and those are not even right either. I take the same keywords to Bing and find some excellent hits. Seems like Bing is using a little better logic on keyword grouping or something. It is time to switch my browsers default search. Guess it can be switched back if it isn't cutting it.


I use Bing all the time and it works great. Microsoft even has a take the Bing challenge where it puts Bing against Google. Bing also gives you points for using it that can be redeemed for things like Starbucks.
post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelraven View Post

There's a reason why Google is the #1 search engine.. Bing sucks. Hopefully I can set google to be my default search

Or maybe it is because Google is set as the default on everything. That is how Windows and Explorer received their dominance. Maybe it is because Google is just what people are used to.

Google's voice search is better on ios then Bing, but Bings result are just as good and the presentation often times better.
post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6ryph3n View Post

I've never been a Microsoft fan but I'll give credit where it's due... I love Bing. I quit using Google months ago and never looked back. I'm also impressed with the Xbox One. I haven't played with the new Windows or Windows Phones yet but I like what I've seen.

That said, I think a lot is being made over this supposed snub that I didn't really see. Google was still mentioned and used several times, even in the Siri screenshot of "Questions you can ask me". Chrome was used instead of IE. it seems to me that Apple is diversifying their partnerships rather than snubbing any particular one. Same applies to Samsung as a supplier.

Bing is great, but the Xbox One is a disappointment. Unlike the PS4 it costs $100 more, is less powerful, decides whether you can play used games or not, requires your system to check in every 24 hours, and makes it a hassle to play games at a friend home. Sony got it right this time.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Well, it seems you'll also have ads with iTunes Radio

No ads if you subscribe to iTunes Match, which is well worth it on it's own!
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Well, it seems you'll also have ads with iTunes Radio

Unless you have iTunes Match.
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