Google has enhanced the voice search capabilities on its free iOS app, making them more like Apple’s Siri. The technology relies on Google’s Knowledge Graph technology to provide immediate answers to some types of questions.
TUAW’s Mike Wehner reported, “Not content to let Siri be the only big name in voice-assisted search on iOS, the Google Search app has been updated with voice recognition features that bring it almost in line with Apple’s own offering. The new search feature lets you verbally request information like weather reports, sports scores and even driving directions — using Google Maps, of course. The info you request is then spoken back to you automatically.”
PCMag’s Chloe Albanesius noted, “When opening the free Google Search app on your iOS device, you will be greeted with a ‘Try our new voice search’ message above a microphone icon on the main page. Tap that microphone, and speak into the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as if you were talking to Siri. Words will appear on the screen as you speak, and the answer will appear below as any other search query might show up. ‘If it’s short and quick, like the status and departure time of your flight—Google tells you the answer aloud,’ the company said in a blog post.”
Ars Technica’s Jacqui Cheng observed, “Some of the provided examples… show Google’s voice search giving better results for certain kinds of requests—such as ‘what does Yankee Stadium look like?’—than Siri does for those same requests. But for others, such as ‘when does daylight saving time end,’ or ‘who’s in the cast of The Office,’ I found that Siri could provide those same answers just as easily.”
Wired’s Christina Bonnington added, “The app’s ability to interpret spoken text was at least as good as Siri’s, if not slightly better. It struggled to distinguish between ‘has’ and ‘is’ in my test, but even when it misheard me, it still turned up the correct search results.”