I’m forever walking around the house asking my phone random questions like “what year did Scooby Doo first broadcast in the UK” or “how much is a season ticket at Liverpool Football Club” or “what is $750 in UK pounds” I love voice search partly because I have limited typing skills so it saves me ages typing long search requests and partly because it makes it quick and easy for me to find the information I need, no matter how odd that information maybe.
Two big players in voice search are Apple with their Siri program and Google with their voice search option that appears in search boxes. I’ve always been an Android man although my partner and daughter are Apple fans so I see both voice search offerings being used most days and the difference in them is marked.
Siri seems to work well when you ask it to perform phone or device based task such as “Call Andy” or “when am I meeting Andy” but ask Siri a general knowledge based question and results can be…well….interesting.
I’m not knocking Siri as it kinda led the way for voice search but it’s just not as accurate in finding out and presenting answers to question as Googles voice service.
Siri adds the equivalent of an unnecessary click in your internet journey by telling you “let me search the internet for………”, it then presents a set of search results without indicating which website they used to get the information and which could be the best option for you. The results it does present can often be wrong and not really what you were looking for.
In comparison, Googles voice search option is simple to use, gives clear instructions while you are using it and the results are usually bang on the money. A voice, (which is much nicer that Siri’s voice) then gives you the basic answer to your question while not only displaying a range of search results but also highlighting what it thinks is the best answer in enlarged text at the top of the results screen and highlights the URL that it thinks will provide you with the information you are looking for. Often, the audible reply you get is enough and there is no need to click or look at anything.
Apple have also noticed how much better Google voice option is and so they’ve just completed a root and branch rebuild of Siri and it’ll be interesting to see the results. Will it still be mainly an Apple search option 1st and a knowledge search service 2nd or will it better reflect what people really use voice for search for and cater for people walking around their homes asking their phones random questions, only time will tell.
This short but very funny video highlights perfectly many peoples experience of Google Voice -v- Siri and makes me laugh every time I watch it.