At Google’s own answer to WWDC, the annual I/O conference, the search giant just announced its own answer to Siri: a radically overhauled version of Google Voice Search.
Google’s always been able to search using voice transcription, but in the post-Siri world, that’s no longer enough. What Siri does isn’t provide search results, but answers: what’s the weather like? What’s the time for a movie? What’s the average annual rain fall in the Amazon basin? And so on.
With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean’s new Google Voice search, Google’s taken a page out of Siri’s book, not only trying to give precise answers to questions — for example, “Show me pictures of pygmy marmosets” — but also present those answers in a clean new UI, something much more akin to Siri in the way it has been visually presented.
With Google being totally locked out of Siri, they really need to present their own strong competitor, but the new Google Voice only looks halfway there: a refinement on the current Google Voice system, rather than a fundamental shift in the way Google looks at providing information to people. Can it really compete?