Google Now vs. Apple’s Siri: Finding Best Voice Assistant?

Android Jelly Bean has been out for a while now and people are debating between its new ingenious Google Search and Apple’s Siri, the personal assistant. The Google Search app has been completely redesigned to offer users quicker results and improved user interface. People are of the opinion that Google‘s depth as a search provider proves its wherewithal against Apple’s Siri. So, in today’s article, we are pitting the iOS king Apple against the Web Giant Google and discussing which software is better.

One of the new features that were introduced in the Google Search App was the voice search that possesses a passing resemblance with Siri. Apple was the first one to bring about a voice assistant and hence deserves all credit for bringing up a unique concept. Samsung had also tried its hand in this zone by developing the S Voice which took on Siri with limited success. However, Google has sets its stall out by bringing its own in-house solution to Android 4.1, Jelly Bean and this could give Apple a run for its money. Comparing the Google’s Jelly Bean voice control to Siri from iOS 6, results are positive for Google’s solution. Both of them are effective in getting accurate answers to questions asked, however Google gives more detailed responses to searches and often was faster. However, when the two of them were asked to sing a song, Siri sang a song while Android performed a Google Search for the phrase “sing me a song”. Despite some quirks, Android wins in this. With a good 6 months away from public use, the iOS 6 has chances of improvements now that Google Voice is out.


Voice Assistant and Google Now are separate yet united features. Google Now is an amazing feature that enables Jelly Bean to know what we want before asking it. Google Now for now is limited to things like places, travels and appointments. Google Now presents information in “cards” and in Android’s drop down notifications. It will tell you whether an accident has occurred on your daily commute.

Google Now for now is a work in progress. It is believed that it will grow into something bigger than Jelly Bean and will tap into our activities using other Google products and services.

In giving answers Google has an added useful feature – it leverages its depth doing maps, a functionality that Apple does not include in iOS 6. In this way, Google Search on Jelly Bean gives more accurate answers to location based questions – for example, a question about the nearest Pizza Hut will be answered more effectively by Google.

Google has removed the important search functionality from Android 4.1 in response to the patent that Apple successfully used to gain preliminary injunctions against Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus. There is a disparate app search but no universal search bar for the entire device.

A lot of people talk about Google Search on Jelly Bean overtaking the Siri. We mustn’t forget that Google’s day job is Search. Google’s main revenue source is online ads. This is why updating the Search component in Android is so important. On the other hand, Siri is not Apple’s search engine but is a voice assistant. It uses many online resources to come up with answers – from Google, Yelp, WolframAlpha, Yahoo and Wikipedia.

If we look into numeric results we find that Google understands 100 percent of the questions (not a surprising thing as the questions are keyed in) and replies accurately 86 percent of the time. Siri understands 83 percent of the queries in a noisy room and 89 percent in a quite environment. Siri answers accurately 62 percent of the time on the street and 68 percent of the time in a quiet room.

Siri is a neat product and no matter whatever people say, it was the first of its kind when it came. Google Search is ingenious, no doubt, but we better wait for iOS 6 to come out and find what Apple has in store for us. It might end up giving Google a run for its money instead. Wait and watch.

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