As Apple slowly but surely turns its back on Google, Siri, its intelligent digital assistant, is doing the same. If you’d have asked Siri a question back in June, there’s a 60% chance the data it came back with would have been from Google. Ask it a question today, however, and that chance is reduced to just 30%. Not only has Apple given YouTube and Google Maps the boot, then, it’s shunning Google’s search data, too.
Admittedly, the removal of Google Maps has played a big part in this. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, 23% of Siri queries are routed to Apple’s new Maps service in iOS 6, but in iOS 5, they go through Google Maps. Now that that’s been taken away, Siri doesn’t rely on Google so much. But Google’s search data also appears to be getting pushed out, with Yelp and Yahoo! benefiting.
Munster also reports that Siri has been improved under the hood somewhat. It now understands around 91% of the queries put to it, whereas it understood 89% in iOS 5. Siri isn’t as advanced as Apple would have you believe, however. In fact, Munster found that Google Now is almost as good, understanding just under 90% of queries.
Siri excels in local search and operating system-level commands, Munster says, while Google Now is better at navigation and fetching information.
“For example, Siri enables full control of the music application via Siri, but Google Now does not understand all song change/pause commands,” Munster said. “We believe Google will eventually strengthen its ability to control the OS in future launches.”
Both services are impressive in their own way, Munster found, but there is room for improvement — particularly when it comes to commerce. He believes that once Siri exits its beta stage, it will have the ability to find local deals via Groupon or Living Social.