Google Trying To Take On Siri With Enhanced Voice Search In Upcoming iOS App

Google Trying To Take On Siri With Enhanced Voice Search In Upcoming iOS App

Siri will be able to give sports info too in iOS 6 this fall.

Apple and Google haven’t exactly been been on the best of terms in recent years. The stock YouTube iOS app disappearing is a more recent example of the bad blood between the two companies. Google tried its best to sherlock Apple’s 3D technology in the iOS 6 Maps app, and many moves Apple and Google make can be seen as direct outcomes of the bad blood Steve Jobs spoke of when he vowed to wage thermonuclear war on Android.

Apple and Google may hate each other, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t compete in the same markets. Today Google lifted the curtain on a major update that’s coming to its iOS Search app. The new version of the app will feature smart, contextual voice recognition that clearly mimics Apple’s own digital assistant, Siri.

As you can see, even Google’s promotion video piggybacks off Apple’s ads in which Siri is used to answer a bunch of questions and complete tasks.

You just need to tap the microphone icon and ask your question, the same way you’d ask a friend. For example, ask “What movies are playing this weekend?” and you’ll see your words streamed back to you quickly as you speak. Then Google will show you a list of the latest movies in theaters near you, with schedules and even trailers. It works for everything from celebrity factoids to the height of Kilamanjaro and more. When Google can supply a direct answer to your question, you’ll get a spoken response too.

Tapping a result opens a Chrome-like webpage inside the app. By using the personal information associated with your Google account, the app will be able to answer questions like “when is my flight” as well. Like Siri, Google is baking in contextual awareness so Voice Search knows who you are. The integration will obviously not be as seamless and full as Siri in iOS, as Apple restricts the level of system access App Store apps can take advantage of.

Google’s free iOS Search app should be receiving the update within the next few weeks.

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  • cbong1993

    Awesome! Google Now tech is in the iPhone :)

  • TheRealGtafan

    Wow, hats off Google. I was amazed by this feature in Jelly Bean, I can finally get a decent advanced voice search assistant on my iPhone 4. Siri is too limited to only the 4S and New iPad.

  • joewaylo

    Only problem is this isn’t integrated with 4S and iPad 3. If Apple wasn’t greedy about license pricing, we’d have Google Search on the iPhone as an integration instead.

  • coolman1081

    Why would I want this on my iPhone? I already have Siri, which works fine, and can be accessed quicker.

  • Sean Liu

    So it’s like part of the Google Now functionality? Cool

  • Th3_1d

    Does google do anything that ISN’T from someone else’s design??? Obviously not. Don’t be evil, just unoriginal.

    The stupid, it hurts.

  • Michael Kleinpaste

    Does google do anything that ISN’T from someone else’s design??? Obviously not. Don’t be evil, just unoriginal.

    Apple didn’t create Siri. They bought it in 2010. Android incorporated “Voice Actions” in 2.2 “Froyo” (May 2010) and was announce prior. Apple purchased Siri in April 2010. Hmm. Sounds like Apple didn’t want to start falling behind. Siri wasn’t introduced into iOS until October 2011 as an Installable App then later included with the iOS. Do you really think Google Sat still after they release Voice Actions 2 years ago? Seriously? Google Now is an evolution of this concept. And guess what… Google’s not done. Project Majel is coming with significant additional advancements. Yuh see? Not sitting still.

    As for copying? iCloud, yeah Android has had that for a few years now.

    Quick responses? A4.0(2011), iSO6(2012).
    Notification bar? A1.5(2009), iOS5(2011).
    Actual Applications? A1.0(built into it from design),iOS2(2008, after much developer complaints).
    Navigation? A1.0(2008), iOS3.0(2009)
    Sharing (holy crap, iOS has NOTHING on Android in regards to sharing). Not just facebook or twitter either.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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