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Google Search iOS app update takes on Apple's Siri with smarter conversations

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Google's official Search application for iPhone and iPad was updated on Tuesday with enhanced functionality, allowing users to have "smarter conversations" with the software in a manner not unlike Apple's own Siri personal assistant.




With Google Search version 4.0.0, users can ask questions with their voice, by either tapping the microphone icon or simply saying "OK, Google" while the application is open.

From there, Google Search can respond to queries such as "What's the weather like?" The new "smart" conversational style allows users to ask follow-up questions such as "How about this weekend?" and the system will understand the context.

The Google Search update also provides users with updates on favorite topics, upcoming trips, and other material such as selected authors or blogs.

Version 4.0.0 of Google Search also includes cricket sports card in the Google Now view, faster loading, and more fluid image results.

Voice search first came to Google Search in late 2012, at the time proclaiming it to be the "most advanced voice search" available. As Apple and Google have become fierce rivals in the mobile space, Apple has made efforts to move away from the search giant, making the default search engine for Siri Microsoft's Bing with last year's iOS 7 update.
post #2 of 55

Why bother? Google sucks.

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #3 of 55

“Answers before you ask”

 

Not only is this not a point in its favor, this concept is terrifying and invasive.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #4 of 55

And Apple will update Siri with IOS 8 and it will still be better and won't sell your information to the world like Google will.

post #5 of 55

Google Now is pretty cool - love its cards. When I was travelling, it'd show me nearby attractions, time back at home, and a currency converter. It also does cool things like showing traffic.

 

I can understand why some people would be concerned by it, but that's why it's an opt-in feature.

post #6 of 55
"OK Google, recommend a nearby restaurant for dinner"

"Based on your location, and all the information we have compiled on you from all your past Google searches and gmail messages, Google has a recommendation for you, but first Google will show you ads for 4 other restaurants that have paid us money to promote them.

"Google is sorry you are not interested in any of the restaurants in those ads - Google recommends you go to the 7-Eleven around the corner and get a microwave burrito and a Slurpee"
post #7 of 55

Except all the comments you all made, Google is doing also what Apple is doing.  Just accept it.  s/

post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

"OK Google, recommend a nearby restaurant for dinner"

"Based on your location, and all the information we have compiled on you from all your past Google searches and gmail messages, Google has a recommendation for you, but first Google will show you ads for 4 other restaurants that have paid us money to promote them.

"Google is sorry you are not interested in any of the restaurants in those ads - Google recommends you go to the 7-Eleven around the corner and get a microwave burrito and a Slurpee"

Marge, is that you?
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #9 of 55
Talking of Google ... which I try to avoid, but as we are ... The only thing I still used of Googles on my Mac was their maps.google service now and then, now with my Magic Mouse, they zoom in and out like the page is possessed and are impossible to use. I was convinced it was me drinking too much but I'm starting to think it is lousy programming now.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #10 of 55
"...in a manner not unlike Apple's own Siri…" Huh?
 
I have yet to have Siri understand a follow up question. This capability is not new to Google either, perhaps improved, but the ability to ask follow up questions has long been a major differentiation between the two.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #11 of 55

Apple, Google and Amazon are competitor's who parasiticlly squat in the Apple-store git rid of them.

post #12 of 55
Google discovers that people are far more willing to accept voluntary surveillance if they opt-in to get free services in return.

Think I'm joking? I'm not.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 55
Speaking "OK, Google" is not working for me on my iPhone 4. Does it require a newer handset for the always-on listening?
post #14 of 55
The former Apple fan sites like this one has sold their souls to Google. Why else would they post articles that praise a Google update and imply their update gives them smarter conversations. They mention Siri in the title but fail to mention Siri has long been able to do this. Try out their example on an iPhone, Siri correctly answers both the initial and follow up question. It can even do it with sports scores, making dinner reservation or even just getting direction after searching something. If Apple includes something that Google had they are lacking in innovation even if their implementation is much better and includes tech Apple patented years ago. Even the Beats deal is called a desperate move but Google can spend 4 times as much on failing companies that still fail and they are praised for it.
post #15 of 55

Not to worry, instead of buying some real AI companies, Tim Cook will just buy some more urban brands to convince kids that Siri's better than Google Now.

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Speaking "OK, Google" is not working for me on my iPhone 4. Does it require a newer handset for the always-on listening?

According to the app's description, the specific "Ok Google" voice functionality requires an iPhone 4S or later.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-search/id284815942?mt=8

post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

Try out their example on an iPhone, Siri correctly answers both the initial and follow up question. It can even do it with sports scores, making dinner reservation or even just getting direction after searching something.

You're right Siri does seem to understand a follow up question about the weather as in the above example. Seems like it might be a special case as in pre-programmed contexts. As you say she is also good with sports information, but I tried lots of other contextual questions with no luck. She mostly just points to a wikipedia page with generic information regarding some word in my follow up question. A large percentage of the time she gets the first question wrong so there is no point in a follow up.

 

What is the furthest plant from the Sun?

Siri: The answer is Neptune.

What is its distance from the Sun?

Siri: The distance from the Earth to the Sun is about 1.01 astronomical units

How far is that in kilometers?

Siri: I searched the web and found this: (how to convert kilometers to miles)

 

I tried the exact thing in Google and it was flawless.


Edited by mstone - 5/13/14 at 3:15pm

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post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

"OK Google, recommend a nearby restaurant for dinner"

"Based on your location, and all the information we have compiled on you from all your past Google searches and gmail messages, Google has a recommendation for you, but first Google will show you ads for 4 other restaurants that have paid us money to promote them.

"Google is sorry you are not interested in any of the restaurants in those ads - Google recommends you go to the 7-Eleven around the corner and get a microwave burrito and a Slurpee"

 

 

Doesn't work like that. Never had a ad with Google Now.

post #19 of 55

Perhaps he was joking.

post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
What is its distance from the Sun?

Siri: The distance from the Earth to the Sun is about 1.01 astronomical units

 

 

That is not the distance to the sun, it's a definition of the phrase 'astronomical unit'

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
What is its distance from the Sun?

Siri: The distance from the Earth to the Sun is about 1.01 astronomical units

 

 

That is not the distance to the sun, it's a definition of the phrase 'astronomical unit'

Whatever… it was not the answer to the question I asked. I'm having a fun time over here asking contextual follow up questions. So far Siri is batting worse than Mike Moustakas, but don't try to ask Siri who that is.

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post #22 of 55
I know that a lot of you won't like hearing this, but Siri is terribly over-rated. I have repeatedly run into issues with it. The fact is that I actually get surprised when it gets something right on my first try.

I have pretty much stopped using it.

Here's the heresy: I tried Google's offering a few times, and I had no issues at all. I came away rather impressed. Granted, I may have a different impression if I used it more. So I'll definitely give this a spin before forming a judgement.

Btw, it's not my accent (in case some of you are wondering, given my name).
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post
 
Doesn't work like that. Never had a ad with Google Now.

Is Google Now the same as Google app on iOS? Anyway using Google voice search on iPhone, if the answer turns out to be web search results, you might not see any ads on the first page but if you click on Next, there will most likely be ads on that page.

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post #24 of 55

Just add 'in miles' to your question to get the answer that is more meaningful to you. I will never load Google-anything to my phone, iPad, or iPod until I can be convinced that they are more concerned about my needs more than theirs. I just don't trust Google anymore.

post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipkal View Post
 

Just add 'in miles' to your question to get the answer that is more meaningful to you. I will never load Google-anything to my phone, iPad, or iPod until I can be convinced that they are more concerned about my needs more than theirs. I just don't trust Google anymore.

The only person who might put your needs above theirs is your mother and maybe not even her. Why you would expect a technology company to put your needs above their own?

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post #26 of 55

OK, Google ... exactly how many Ads Larry and The L Team shove up citizens of the world's A$$'s ?!! :smokey: 

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post
 
Doesn't work like that. Never had a ad with Google Now.

 

Based on the example @msimpson hilariously illustrated, you would never know if you were seeing an ad or not, would you? How would you know if that first result is really based on your preferences or if the restaurant paid Google to make them first?

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #28 of 55

Apple is out to make a profit, but not at the expense of their customers' interests. I know. I've been an Apple customer since 1984. Google, well, that's another story. All 'technology companies' are not created equal, my friend.

post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

The former Apple fan sites like this one has sold their souls to Google. Why else would they post articles that praise a Google update and imply their update gives them smarter conversations. They mention Siri in the title but fail to mention Siri has long been able to do this.

 

Increased controversy = more ad impressions.  So they encourage the shit stirrers in hopes of increased page views.  Same MO as MR, 9-to-5, etc.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

“Answers before you ask”

Not only is this not a point in its favor, this concept is terrifying and invasive.
More terrifying and invasive than an app knowing just what you're doing and what mood you're in? 1hmm.gif
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post #31 of 55
I don't want or need Google's services, I lived most of my life fine without them.

When I deleted my account the world didn't end.

Just lots of ads for Google things started appearing.
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post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Based on the example @msimpson
 hilariously illustrated, you would never know if you were seeing an ad or not, would you? How would you know if that first result is really based on your preferences or if the restaurant paid Google to make them first?
You can know because advertisements are marked. On the desktop version it's recognizable by a yellow 'ad' box. On the mobile version it's identified by an 'i' symbol. If you click on it it says that it is an ad based on your search query. (The differentiation between organic and advertisement results in search engines is something that is determined by the FTC through guidelines)
Edited by Chipsy - 5/13/14 at 6:02pm
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I don't want or need Google's services, I lived most of my life fine without them.

When I deleted my account the world didn't end.

Just lots of ads for Google things started appearing.
You still get ads? Are any of them for things you have an interest in a.k.a. personalized? Serious question.
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post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Speaking "OK, Google" is not working for me on my iPhone 4. Does it require a newer handset for the always-on listening?

You need to allow the program to use your microphone in the Google Search app settings.

post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You still get ads? Are any of them for things you have an interest in a.k.a. personalized? Serious question.

No, just ads to install Google Apps on my iOS devices, makes me wonder how they know I don't have them installed any more, perhaps they kept my device ID from when I uninstalled every single one of their Apps.

On my MacBook Google is blocked completely.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #36 of 55
I too find googles voice search to be better than Siri, except for the obvious lack of integration with the OS. And it sounds a lot better.

Both companies are recording data.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #37 of 55
This feature has nothing at all to do with trying to deliver a service that will enhance the user experience. This is purely Google's move to prevent advertising revenue loss caused by Siri. At the end of the day Google is mostly an advertising and data mining company disguised as a product producer. I'm not saying this is bad, especially for stakeholders, but never forget that most everything Google and Amazon "give" you from what looks like a product or service perspective is intended to provide or preserve their ability to gather data and analytics about you for their real customers who are paying Google to push ads in your face. Maybe no different than the decades of TV and radio - but never forget that everything Google gives you comes with a price tag and most often the price is loss of privacy and having your eyes bombarded with advertising. If you're willing to live with this model then good for you, because it will never end. But just remember that many of these wonders of Google are just there to keep the data sucking pipeline and ad spew channel between Google and their real customers, not you, intact.

Apple on the other hand uses most of its products and and features to sell you more Apple products and keep you in their customer base. Is this any better or worse than Google? Both models are legitimate. Do you want to invest in a company that devotes itself to serving you as a customer or do you want invest in a company that devotes itself to setting you up as a tool that serves the needs of customers other than you? I'd have to say that most people don't really care because they are solely focused on consuming whatever "candy" happens to be put in front of them regardless of how or why it got there in the first place.

The choice is yours - choose wisely.
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

No, just ads to install Google Apps on my iOS devices, makes me wonder how they know I don't have them installed any more, perhaps they kept my device ID from when I uninstalled every single one of their Apps.

On my MacBook Google is blocked completely.
So Bing doesn't serve targeted ads then or did you block Microsoft as well? Another serious question as I haven't used Bing more than a handful of times. I know Yahoo does ad targeting as that's who my wife uses.

As far as my own ad tracking experience I use Ghostery and just block 'em all.
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post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


So Bing doesn't serve targeted ads then or did you block Microsoft as well? Another serious question as I haven't used Bing more than a handful of times. I know Yahoo does ad targeting as that's who my wife uses.

As far as my own ad tracking experience I use Ghostery and just block 'em all.

 

How many times do I have to tell you, I don't care AS LONG AS IT IS NOT GOOGLE.

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

 

How many times do I have to tell you, I don't care AS LONG AS IT IS NOT GOOGLE.

See, that wasn't so hard. No need to come up with excuses like ad tracking when you can just be honest and admit that you hate Google.

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