Tests find Apple's Siri improving, but Google Now voice search slightly better

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 41
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) I am surprised to see Siri doing so well, especially where it bests Google Now in key areas. Perhaps the real-time-[I]ish[/I] transcription will go a long way to alter that perception of it being slower than Google Now.

    2) I'm surprised that iOS 6 and iOS 7 results for accuracy are so different when I assume this is all handled on the server. I wonder what devices they used for each.
  • Reply 22 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,235member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    1) I am surprised to see Siri doing so well, especially where it bests Google Now in key areas. Perhaps the real-time-ish transcription will go a long way to alter that perception of it being slower than Google Now.

    2) I'm surprised that iOS 6 and iOS 7 results for accuracy are so different when I assume this is all handled on the server. I wonder what devices they used for each.

    Without Gene being a bit more detailed it's impossible to know how reliable and repeatable the testing was. Siri could actually be returning even more dependable results than Google Now ( which would not be totally unexpected IMHO) but you can't tell from the limited information provided here. FWIW that's just what Munster found back in 2012 and again in December last year, Siri offering better or at least equivalent results to Google Now. If the roles were reversed in the latest tests with Google Now performing better it would be a mild surprise.

    EDIT: Added clarifier.
  • Reply 23 of 41
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Without Gene being a bit more detailed it's impossible to know how reliable and repeatable the testing was. Siri could actually be returning even more dependable results than Google Now ( which would be totally unexpected IMHO) but you can't tell from the limited information provided here. FWIW that's just what Munster found back in 2012 and again in December last year, Siri offering better or at least equivalent results to Google Now. If the roles were reversed in the latest tests with Google Now performing better it would be a mild surprise.

    Good points. What we really need are the same set of robust questions and commands asked for the various tests (although perhaps not written out for us to see so neither company can dope their results artificially) and completed by many individuals using both devices each time so we can an idea for accuracy with various accents, dialects, and other speech patterns. I'd also like you see various languages detailed.
  • Reply 24 of 41
    unicronunicron Posts: 154member
    I wish Siri had the ability to do simple things offline... like set a timer, set an alarm, or launch an app.

    Not sure why those simple tasks an online connection. Is Siri a completely dumb client (basically a microphone to the cloud)? Is there no local processing going on?
  • Reply 25 of 41
    psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 462member

    I noticed a major degradation in Siri with iOS7.  Accuracy has been for shit.  I have to correct much of it, even though I speak loud enough and slowly enough.  

  • Reply 26 of 41
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 422member
    Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

    I noticed a major degradation in Siri with iOS7.

     

    I agree. It seems to have gotten worse lately. Specifically, if I ask it a question about any famous figure, Siri tells me she can't find him/her in my contacts list. Also, any foreign sounding word seems to be a lose for Siri. I then try it on Google, and get much better question comprehension, though often inaccurate results.

  • Reply 27 of 41
    mnbob1mnbob1 Posts: 264member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post

     

     

    I agree. It seems to have gotten worse lately. Specifically, if I ask it a question about any famous figure, Siri tells me she can't find him/her in my contacts list. Also, any foreign sounding word seems to be a lose for Siri. I then try it on Google, and get much better question comprehension, though often inaccurate results.




    I have seen a few problems lately as well as Siri being unavailable every once in awhile. Trying the question again seemy  to get the right answer and if she is off line trying again right away usually finds her back online. My theory is that Apple is making some big data base changes and upgrades in anticipation of iOS 8. I didn't have these problems before the iOS 8 beta went live. IMO Apple is working on something big in their data centers that is causing some hiccups right now. Should it be happening? Absolutely not! But it might be worth it in the long run. I could be completely wrong about this. I hope I'm not. I have no proof and I expect that there will be others here that will knock my head against the wall with their comments.

  • Reply 28 of 41
    mnbob1mnbob1 Posts: 264member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

     

    Sure, but the speak to text part could feasibly be on-device, and then the comprehension engine could deal with local actions, such as "play music", "send an iMessage", "open app" etc, without recourse to the internet.




    Since most iPhones are sold with 16GB storage the space used for proper voice recognition would take up too much storage space in that configuration. The integration with other Siri commands that require on-line mode would also be troublesome. Some options that Apple could integrate are make the base system 32GB or I think maybe a better solution could be a voice processor integrated into the system similar to how the M7 motion processor was added. Of course that would require dealing with battery, space, heat, etc. Since I'm not an electrical engineer I'm not even sure if a voice processor is possible at this point in time. Any engineers have input?

  • Reply 29 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,235member
    mnbob1 wrote: »

    Since most iPhones are sold with 16GB storage the space used for proper voice recognition would take up too much storage space in that configuration. The integration with other Siri commands that require on-line mode would also be troublesome. Some options that Apple could integrate are make the base system 32GB or I think maybe a better solution could be a voice processor integrated into the system similar to how the M7 motion processor was added. Of course that would require dealing with battery, space, heat, etc. Since I'm not an electrical engineer I'm not even sure if a voice processor is possible at this point in time. Any engineers have input?

    I don't know that it's the problem you imagine it to be. Google Now (and Microsoft Cortana too I think) includes off-line voice recognition and the ability to do perform some searches and find some information by voice alone and without an internet connection. At least with Google Android it works with hardware much less stellar than what Apple uses.
  • Reply 30 of 41
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,050member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mnbob1 View Post

     

    Since most iPhones are sold with 16GB storage the space used for proper voice recognition would take up too much storage space in that configuration. 


    Don't see why.  Google Now and Microsoft Cortana seem to do just fine, and handsets for Android and Windows Phone 8 have the same sort of capacities.

  • Reply 31 of 41
    mnbob1mnbob1 Posts: 264member

    I know this article is about voice recognition. I have only used Siri but I have been told that Google Now has the ability to answer questions in series. Such as: Who's pitching for the Twins today? Yohan Pino What are his stats?

    Siri will answer a question but doesn't recognize the answer to the previous question.

    Is this accurate about Google Now? How well does it actually work? Just wondering. Sorry for going off topic.

  • Reply 32 of 41
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    Apple should bring highlights to spotlight since in iOS 8 it's finally becoming on par with Google now but is not easy enough to discover IMO. From the lock screen searching for a place is now super easy as well as calling directly without having the number. But they should include a 'search with maps' option.
  • Reply 33 of 41
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mnbob1 View Post

     

    I know this article is about voice recognition. I have only used Siri but I have been told that Google Now has the ability to answer questions in series. Such as: Who's pitching for the Twins today? Yohan Pino What are his stats?

    Siri will answer a question but doesn't recognize the answer to the previous question.

    Is this accurate about Google Now? How well does it actually work? Just wondering. Sorry for going off topic.


     

    When asked, "Do the Twins play today?"  I got a verbal answer of "The Twin are playing the Indians today at 7:10 PM"  I follow with, "Who's pitching?" and it did a Google search for "who's pitching for the twins today" (no verbal answer).

     

    I also asked "How tall is Barack Obama?" and got a correct answer spoken back.  I followed up with, "How old is he?" and also got a correct answer spoken back.

  • Reply 34 of 41
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mnbob1 View Post

     

    I know this article is about voice recognition. I have only used Siri but I have been told that Google Now has the ability to answer questions in series. Such as: Who's pitching for the Twins today? Yohan Pino What are his stats?

    Siri will answer a question but doesn't recognize the answer to the previous question.

    Is this accurate about Google Now? How well does it actually work? Just wondering. Sorry for going off topic.


     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

     

     

    When asked, "Do the Twins play today?"  I got a verbal answer of "The Twin are playing the Indians today at 7:10 PM"  I follow with, "Who's pitching?" and it did a Google search for "who's pitching for the twins today" (no verbal answer).

     

    I also asked "How tall is Barack Obama?" and got a correct answer spoken back.  I followed up with, "How old is he?" and also got a correct answer spoken back.


     

    It can use contextual reference points as DroidFTW stated.  Here are two quick examples.

     

    Q - "How tall is Barack Obama?"  A - "Barack Obama is 6'1" tall."

    Q - "What about Michelle?"  A - "Michelle Obama is 5'11" tall."

    Q - "And how old is she?"  A - "Michelle Obama is 50 years old."

     

    Q - "How far away is Jupiter?"  A - "...365 million miles..."

    Q - "No, Jupiter FL!"  A - "The drive from your location is 163.2 miles."

    Q - "And Tampa?"  A - "The drive from your location is 92.7 miles."

  • Reply 35 of 41
    Can people write articles that focus on how people might really use these tools? It was only until now that you could even use Google Now from a locked screen. Why no mention of that?
    OK, why not try and ask Google Now to give you directions to somewhere? 90% of the time it searches the web. It doesn't offer you choices like Siri at all. I use both iPhone and Android ALL THE TIME and I can tell you that Siri is still much more useful on a day to day basis for hands free use.

    OK try this. Say send a text to "will be there soon".
    Siri will READ THE TEXT out loud - like you really want.

    Google Now will NOT say anything but "do you want to send it"? Yeah, how useful is that when you are hands free.

    It's just really irritating about how ridiculous these writers are. There are a lot of GREAT things in Android, but Siri (at the moment) is much more useful for hands free use.
  • Reply 36 of 41
    overlordoverlord Posts: 59member
    Sorry, Apple.

    I have a iPhone 5S and Google Now is a lot better that Siri.
    Why?
    Google Now can understand Portuguese BR. Siri doesn't.
  • Reply 37 of 41
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Overlord View Post

    I have a iPhone 5S and Google Now is a lot better that Siri. Why? Google Now can understand Portuguese BR. Siri doesn't.



    So, no, it’s not actually better.

  • Reply 38 of 41
    19831983 Posts: 1,199member
    My experience with Siri is that it's still very flaky and for me anyway Google Now still works much better. I'm glad to read here that it's improving though. But it's going to have to get a lot better before I go back to it.
  • Reply 39 of 41
    solipsismx wrote: »
    1) I am surprised to see Siri doing so well, especially where it bests Google Now in key areas. Perhaps the real-time-ish transcription will go a long way to alter that perception of it being slower than Google Now.

    2) I'm surprised that iOS 6 and iOS 7 results for accuracy are so different when I assume this is all handled on the server. I wonder what devices they used for each.

    Re iOS differences: better microphone or sound processing?
  • Reply 40 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,235member
    Not unexpectedly the new Nadella-led Microsoft is being more aggressive in their advertising and no longer just attacking Google. In one of their newest ads they pit their Cortana voice assistant against Siri. Only one guess which one wins.

    [VIDEO]
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