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.

Source: Google Blog


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.