Google’s Search App Is Neat, But It’s No Siri

Google’s Search App Is Neat, But It’s No Siri

Google’s updated search app adds lightning-fast voice-controlled search, just like you get on Android. It’s simple, impressively fast and will run on just about any iDevice you might have, not just the latest hardware.

But it has a long way to go to compete with Siri.

After I switched the default language setting from Australian English to UK English, the app understands me pretty well. Not as well as Siri, but me and Siri have been hanging out ever since he showed up on my iPad in the iOS 6 beta, and we know each other pretty well.

The first thing you notice about Google’s app is its speed. Or its perceived speed at least. Whereas Siri does little but spin his (or her, in the U.S) purple rung whilst he thinks, Google pops up words onto the screen as fast as it recognizes them, one by one, and then fires up the resulting web pages just as quick.

But all Google is doing is piping your recognized words into a search query. Siri, on the other hand, is parsing your phrases and working out how to respond. Are you calling somebody? Are you making a note, or setting a reminder, or asking to change the time of an appointment with your dentist?

And even if it’s a search that’s needed, should that search be made at IMDB, or Wolfram Alpha? Or is it a sports question? Or a restaurant quastion?

You see? Siri might take a shade longer to answer you, but he is a whole lot smarter. Plus, as all the examples above make clear, Siri has some deep ties into iOS which a third-party app just can’t access.

So Siri is the winner. With one clear exception, as you can see in the screenshot at the top of this post.

  • skfalco

    Jajajajajaja i really laughed with this article, i know being isheeps is part of your job i really do but… iOS excels in a lot of things, believe me competing with Google’s Search app with siri is not one of them, Search app is just smarter, quicker and really understands everyone, Siri if course is slow requires some more taps and it’s not good enough, try as hard as you can to prove otherwise, but you know the truth

    Ademas autor hablas español, siri en español es una basura y lo sabes, mientras que la aplicacion de busqueda de google entiende el español perfecto

  • nefan65

    Shut it wetback…

  • cprblak

    In my attempts with Google I kept getting the wrong thing acknowledged even after repeated attempts and speaking very slowly. As an example Avebury was always Dave Berry no matter how hard I tried. And Hurricane Sandy was Andy and Cindy.

  • Stevaroo01

    After reading this article, I did several back-to-back searches and queries on both Google Search and Siri. What I found is that Siri was hands down the winner. I asked questions like, “Who are the Virginia Tech Hokies playing next?” She told me who, where, and when. Google just did a web search that provided no useful links (other than Virginia Tech’s own website where I guess I could look for the info myself). Siri was able to provide me with a chart of the Hokies standings (sadly, not good!), but again, Google Search did a web search that yielded no useful information.

    I asked them both where I could get some fast food. They both provided location based results and offered to give me directions. But for some reason Google Search gave me suggestions for Houston (I’m actually in Florida). Siri gave me suggestions that were within a mile or two of me. I also asked them both if there were any good movies playing nearby. Again, both gave location based results, but again Google Search suggested choices in Houston… another useless answer. Siri gave me choices close by and also gave me movie reviews and information about the movies.

    I guess if I was already planning on doing a Google search for something, voice search with this app would be a good option. But for day-to-day use and as an actual assistant, Siri is by far the only contender. That’s not to say that Siri is without her problems or wouldn’t benefit from improvements and enhancements, (she does have problems and she does need improvement). But as they both stand right now, there is no contest. If you have an iOS device that has Siri, she is clearly the best choice (at least for me). If you’re stuck on an older iOS device or Android, Google Search is better than nothing.

  • extra_medium

    He??

  • buckustoothnail

    The new Google Search app with Voice is a MILLION times better than Siri.

    Siri is the most frustrating POS to use ever. Sometimes it works and gets your hopes up but 9 out of 10 times it’s totally wrong or doesn’t get what you ask. It’s ALWAYS better to just go on Google and type in what you need.

    UNTIL NOW. I can’t believe how good this new Search app is. It’s ridiculous. Gets it right the FIRST time and EVERY time. Surprises me even.

    I love how it actually writes out what you say so you know if they are getting it right, which they are. Unlike Siri which you’re unsure most of the time and 90% the results are garbage.

    This has gotten me worried though. Google can pull the plug on Search for IOS ANYTIME. What if they get us addicted to voice command that actually WORKS and then PULLS the rug from under us? Like how Apple got rid of Google Maps without any real warning and screwed all of us.

    I wonder if it’s just better to go with Android NOW so to guarantee we won’t lose all of the Google services in the future? I say within a year we won’t be able to find ANY Google apps on IOS since Apple dictates what apps are available from the App Store.

    I wish iPhone just came with Android instead of sucky IOS 6. That way we would have the cool looking aluminium brushed friction stir welding on our phone but with a SUPERIOR and WORKING OS which is the latest Android. Also we’d get Google Maps back and it would work natively and tied in to all the other apps like Yelp and GPS, etc.

    The only thing is Apple should increase the screen size to around 5″. That would make the phone REALLY good and on par with its competitors and the iPhone will no longer be a generation or two behind everyone else.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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