Android, Windows Phone bosses downplay Apple's Siri threat

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Google Android boss Andy Rubin and Microsoft's Windows Phone head Andy Lees have both publicly criticized Apple's new Siri voice assistant and questioned its usefulness.



Apple announced Siri alongside the iPhone 4S, billing it as one of the most exciting features for the new handset. The Cupertino, Calif., company built the virtual personal assistant feature into its new phone after purchasing Siri for $200 million last year.



According to a recent report, the Siri team at Apple is one of the largest software teams at the company. Siri's unique personality and sense of humor has even inspired the creation of numerous websites and blogs detailing its creative responses.



Though initial reviewers have called Siri the "standout feature" of the iPhone 4S, Rubin and Lees don't appear to view it as much of a threat, based on comments they recently made at AllThingsD's AsiaD conference in Hong Kong.



Rubin, who currently serves as Google's senior vice president of mobile, said in an interview on Wednesday that he doesn't "believe that your phone should be an assistant.?



?Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn?t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone,? he added.



According to the executive, who is a former Apple employee, it still remains to be seen whether customers will take to talking to a phone and not another person. ?We?ll see how pervasive it gets,? said Rubin. He did point out, however, that one of the co-founder of Android had worked on a cellphone speech company. Google itself has already built a measure of voice recognition functionality into Android, though the technology is not as advanced as Siri.



?This isn?t a new notion,? he said. ?In projecting the future, I think Apple did a good job of figuring out when the technology was ready to be consumer-grade.?







On Thursday, Microsoft's Lees said that he didn't think Siri was "super useful," as reported by Engadget. He also touted Windows Phone 7's own voice recognition implementation as harnessing "the full power of the internet, rather than a certain subset," because it uses Bing for its voice search feature.



It's unclear what exactly Lees meant by the comment, however, as Siri allows users to run searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo, in addition to providing access to a set of services, including Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia and Yelp.



According to the report, Lees implied that Microsoft would avoid having its users speak commands to their phones in public.







While Apple's competitors may doubt Siri's usefulness, millions of customers have already voted with their wallets. During launch weekend, Apple sold a record 4 million iPhone 4S units. Company executives have said they are confident that the new device will set an all-time high for iPhone sales in the current quarter, which ends in December.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 223
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 987member
    And in a few months they will bring their own Siri-like assistant. What a bunch of tools.
  • Reply 2 of 223
    Rubin doesn't sound like he's dissing it, just offering his opinion...he may be wrong, sure, but he isn't offensive or even dismissive.



    Lees on the other hand?
  • Reply 3 of 223
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    And in a few months they will bring their own Siri-like assistant. What a bunch of tools.



    They both already have Siri-like features...Siri is an advancement of that tech...likely Google will add open API's or something to allow for the inputting of calendar events etc, but I doubt it'd be as fun as Siri is. Maybe not even as natural.



    something like "Mark event, Friday at 12pm, Lunch with Deborah."
  • Reply 4 of 223
    I agree with most of it I suppose. Apple's purchase of Siri was a great decision. Especially the deep integration it has. I however would not use this in public, and would probably laugh / shake my head at anyone who does when I finally see it happen.



    I would however use it to send a text to someone while driving.



    A lot of these features have been available on Android for quite a while. As in, with a single button press, I can tell my phone to call anyone, to send a text message, or to start voice navigation.



    Everything else that Siri has is usually just a glorified Google search.
  • Reply 5 of 223
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,041member
    Quote:

    ?Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn?t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone,? he added.



    I'm sorry, but this is one of the stupidest statements I've ever read. That's quite some spin. Really? So these new fangled phones are only for calling people now? We 'communicate' with the phone every time we use it. If we can get a variety of tasks done faster by voice than by touch, that's not a good thing? I know he doesn't really believe in his comment and it's just PR, but thats what I can't stand. Google has always been big on voice. He's saying bullshit for the sake of saying bullshit, which makes it very difficult to respect anything else he has to say.
  • Reply 6 of 223
    Quote:

    ?Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn?t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone,? he added.



    Yes, because we all use our smart phones exclusively for talking to people.



    I would say I spend about 50% of my phone time using Safari, 30% playing games and using 3rd party apps, 10% writing e-mails, 5% consuming media (music, movies, podcasts) and the other 5% actually talking to people.



    However I do agree that within a year, these same companies will unveil a beefed-up Siri clone that they'll claim is superior to Apple's Siri, however by then the novelty will have worn off and people really won't care.
  • Reply 7 of 223
    These guys have to put down Apple's advances and play up their own. That's their job.



    That being said, their criticisms are lame and sound so hollow. I actually use Siri on a daily basis for anything from commanding Music to dictating text messages and messages in Facebook. I use it for Googling whatever search I need also. Siri is bad ass. That's all I can say.



    Every time I talk to Siri, I think of Jarvis in Iron Man. I can't help but think this where this is going. I hope I get to see and use something that advanced in my lifetime.
  • Reply 8 of 223
    We heard the same threat from Motorola back in 2007 when the iPhone debuted. Siri is Steve's last "One more thing."



    Microsoft and Dragon Speaking have been at it for almost 20 years, and Apple comes along and does it in 3. If the iOS is the future of computing, then Siri is HAL 2000 in reality.
  • Reply 9 of 223
    SIRI is still very young and not fully fleshed out. It will become more significant with time. It's not a game changer yet, but it has the potential.
  • Reply 10 of 223
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Santoanderson View Post


    Yes, because we all use our smart phones exclusively for talking to people.



    I would say I spend about 50% of my phone time using Safari, 30% playing games and using 3rd party apps, 10% writing e-mails, 5% consuming media (music, movies, podcasts) and the other 5% actually talking to people.



    However I do agree that within a year, these same companies will unveil a beefed-up Siri clone that they'll claim is superior to Apple's Siri, however by then the novelty will have worn off and people really won't care.



    I think the novelty of Siri is already starting to wear off (which is WAY sooner than I expected). I myself was all over the blogs looking at Siri's responses to random questions. My friend I believe put it best, "It was the most entertaining 10 hours of my life. I'm wondering if I'll ever use it again though."
  • Reply 11 of 223
    PDA = Personal Digital Assistant

    Smartphone = A device that is a PDA and Phone with many/most now having cameras and media players.



    Keyword? Anyone? Oh Yes, ASSISTANT! lol.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Rubin, who currently serves as Google's senior vice president of mobile, said in an interview on Wednesday that he doesn't "believe that your phone should be an assistant.?



  • Reply 12 of 223
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Rubin, who currently serves as Google's senior vice president of mobile, said in an interview on Wednesday that he doesn't "believe that your phone should be an assistant.”



    Then lets see how long before Android OS gives you an assistant. Oh wait... they already do, just not one as advanced as Siri.



    Quote:

    “Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone,” he added.



    Most asinine statement of 2011.

    "Siri, what do sour grapes taste like?"



    "I don't know. You'll have to ask Andy Rubin about that."

    And here are some 4 year old examples of people high up in the tech industry downplaying the significance of a new paradigm entering the market:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U (video, 2 minutes)



    http://www.electronista.com/articles...iphone.in.2007 (Let's not forget their claims that virtual keyboards suck)
  • Reply 13 of 223
    rs9rs9 Posts: 68member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    And in a few months they will bring their own Siri-like assistant. What a bunch of tools.



    Andy and Andy don't have a clue. We all know Apple is slowly migrating IOS to the Desktop.



    Imagine your Imac or Laptop with Siri Integration. Imagine Apple TV with Siri or more likely the often rumored 46 inch plus Apple flatscreen.



    I can see it now a voice controlled entertainment center. Any one for:



    - "record Toy Story"

    - "set up recording for.....?

    - "call Mom," via your TV



    Apple didn't pay $200 million to embed Siri on a smart phone.



    I certainly wouldn't and can think of a number of ways to use Siri. Siri and the Iphone is only the beginning.
  • Reply 14 of 223
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    The intelligence of a mouse trying to understand the universe. Microsoft and Google are the mouse and Apple is the universe. I see SIRI as the future. Apple always looks to the future. Apple always works to innovate. Apple's 80 billion dollars proves it. Google and Microsoft can say all they want. That 80 billion dollars says enough. I predict SIRI will open doors for allot of people beyond the iPhone 4S in the future.
  • Reply 15 of 223
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by santoanderson View Post


    ... However by then the novelty will have worn off and people really won't care.



    qft
  • Reply 16 of 223
    So the next thing they'll be telling us is that we should all go back to basic phone because THAT is all we need. Siri is outstanding for a first release. Honestly, it makes texting and email so cool. And I'm just starting to learn what it can do.
  • Reply 17 of 223
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    I'm sorry, but this is one of the stupidest statements I've ever read. That's quite some spin. Really? So these new fangled phones are only for calling people now? We 'communicate' with the phone every time we use it. If we can get a variety of tasks done faster by voice than by touch, that's not a good thing? I know he doesn't really believe in his comment and it's just PR, but thats what I can't stand. Google has always been big on voice. He's saying bullshit for the sake of saying bullshit, which makes it very difficult to respect anything else he has to say.





    I agree. These two companies are at odds. Why not commend Apple for the sake of be innovative. Why be negative. If these companies complemented each other there would not be such stupid statements like the one he made about communicating with your phone. I for one like the option to talk to my device. I get lonely.
  • Reply 18 of 223
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Ahh I think the statement made in this post by Google is so stupid. I have to make another post. It is a novelty. My God man. Thats like calling the iPhone a flash in the pan. A novelty. I can see people utilizing the iPhone 4s siri in ways that will dramatically enhance their life. I just wish I could afford one right now. I have the iPhone 4 and want this spectacular device to enhance my life. I am womanless and would love to have her (SIRI) in my life. I see the iPhone 5 dramatically utilizing SIRI in a more advanced way. Maybe we can see it on the iPad 3. But statements like Googles and Microsoft makes me see a arrogant person who thinks poorly of Apple just because he can. That makes me not like Google and I already dislike Microsoft greatly. Screw them and their self righteous attitude.
  • Reply 19 of 223
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post


    So the next thing they'll be telling us is that we should all go back to basic phone because THAT is all we need. Siri is outstanding for a first release. Honestly, it makes texting and email so cool. And I'm just starting to learn what it can do.



    I found myself setting up standard calendar events, and time/date and location reminders with it where I typically wouldn't have bothered to take the time. It even noted when there was an overlapping event. After using it for a day i found going back to my iPhone 4 to be difficult. I kept trying to get my iPhone 4 to access Siri. It's rough to have great technology taken away from you.
  • Reply 20 of 223
    Lay off Windows and Android bosses, people! In case you've forgotten, Apple is no stranger to such tactics. Remember when Steve Jobs said that 7-inch tablet makers should ship their tablets with a nail file? How about when he he went on AllThingsD and trashed Adobe and Flash?



    It's how the game is played. Executives are supposed to talk up their product and their strategy. They're supposed to poke holes in competitor's products/strategies. As far as I'm concerned, Andy Rubin did his job as the Android boss. Whether he's right or not is irrelevant. It's his job to to say good things about his company's products and show how they're better than competitors' products.
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