Google Voice Search Vs. Siri

Google is so much faster.

  • Shaun

    Not only is it much faster, the quality of the synthesized voice is much better. Let’s hope Apple fixes this by the time Siri exits beta.

    • Steven Fisher

      I doubt that’ll be “fixed.” Google’s doing the voice on the server and downloading the sound to your phone. Siri is sending the words to the phone, which is synthesizing the voice. The server side voice will always be better, but will take exponentially more data.

      It’s the sort of choice you make when you care about impressive demos rather than day-to-day use.

  • The rate of “innovation”/change on Android is why I left iOS and have been pleased ever since. Things like this add more validation to my decision as I’ve long felt voice integration was better on Android. I’m not saying Android has fully arrived but I’m thoroughly pleased by the rate of progress.

    Personal preference. (in other words, no need for a long comment thread telling me I’m wrong or ways Android sucks in your personal opinion)

    • Shaun

      The other side to this story is carriers never update their phones to the next version of Android—unless you’re on a Nexus phone, of course, but that’s an exception to the rule. This is one of the reasons I switched from Android to iOS. I got tired of the empty promises by carriers and manufacturers that they would be upgrading their phones to the latest version of Android and it never happening.

      Sure, you can flash custom ROMs, but that often times introduces as many new bugs as it does features. That, and it’s time spent screwing with my phone to make me happy with it that I’d rather spend being happy with my phone in the first place.

      • Agreed. That is my biggest complaint and why I went Galaxy Nexus. Switched to AT&T so am on S3 and fighting the same issue again.

        • Buckeyestar

          Yes, I prefer to be the customer rather than the product.

          • Without one single report of Google selling any customer data, I have to call bull on the “users are the customers” argument.

          • rattyuk

            You’ve seen Google’s earnings, where do you think their money comes from?

          • Ads served on sites.

          • So you’re being sold.

          • Ok

          • Umm I hate to burst your bubble but selling customer data is Googles business model. Odd that you don’t know this.

          • Wrong. Ads is their big draw. Selling customer data is not.

    • John I break it down like this, Apple is happy to take you money for building very fine products, Google is happy to provide you with software for ? , money -no personal data Yes i would rather give money and be done with it

      • Again, personal preference. You’re opinion as to why Google built Android is conjecture, IMHO. They built it, in my opinion based on their statements, to provide a better/alternate experience based on their services.


    • What you are telling us is that you don’t know much about either iOS or Android.

      • Please. I’ve been on iOS for 4 years and Android for 3 as well as having built apps for both so I don’t think my knowledge of either is questionable.

        Disclaimer: I am in no way saying I’m the foremost expert on either just that I’m no clueless commenter.

        • dvdphn

          You’re just an unintelligent commenter. You’ve ruined my experience reading the comments from Loop articles. Please stop commenting and stick to your own blog.

  • Joe

    uhhh, sorry, but this is BS — I tried a number of these, and Siri clearly outperformed Google.

    • Steven Fisher

      Siri certainly performs slower, but in most of the cases I preferred the result. The exception was the how many rods to a hogshead question (or whatever, I watched it a few hours ago), where Siri provided a useful answer in text only form.

      I’ve rarely thought to myself “Oh, Siri would be so much more useful if it got that answer to me a half second earlier!”

      All in all, I’ll stick with Siri for most things. Even if the slight speed edge was worth the recognition problems, Siri being able to perform tasks is a major plus to me. On the other hand, if my plan is to do a web search I’ll say “open google” rather than “search the web for.”

      Also, I found the technical decision to do server side voice synthesis a pretty obnoxious disregard for the user. But I’m not sure Apple provides a hook to their TTS, so maybe Google had no choice in that.

      • On Android, it works offline just as well so that’s not true.

        • Steven Fisher

          Sorry John, but the app is too small to include a good speech synthesis engine. Maybe on Android it’s local, but on iOS it’s impossible for that to be anything but server side.

          • Ah, on iOS. My fault. I thought you meant Google overall implementation.

        • rattyuk

          I’ve just tried it on my Nexus 7 switching the wifi connection off. It does NOT work offline.

          • You completely missed what I was referring to, apparently you didn’t read Steven Fisher’s comment.

            Voice recognition (TTS included), which is what Steven was referring to, is capable offline on Android. Searching an online search engine offline is ridiculous and I would never suggest that’s possible.

    • Paul

      Dont know where you have been but clearly google now on nearly all videos out classed siri! i have used siri and i have used google now, Google now is Far Away Superior so its now my chosen platform. I think you can relate to this statement i would show you how siri works but im not sure if i have a good connection here so i want show you! 🙂

  • fredfx

    Yes, but does this do anything except search? How about messaging, dialing a phone number, replying to a text message, dictation.

    I almost NEVER use Siri for search. I DO however use it for phone related tasks…dialing, messaging, opening apps. That’s where it shines.

    • Pretty much a voice entry to Google Search, to my knowledge.

      • rattyuk

        OK John. Now I am getting fed up.

        Every day you post hundreds of replies most of which you get called on and then you are forced to accept.

        Like yesterday’s “Samsung makes numbers available” response where, yes Samsung like to brag when they have something to brag about (although their sales pale into comparison with Apples)

        And the “Google Voice Search works offline” above.

        You are now claiming that Siri is a voice entry to Google Search which once again shows that you know nothing about the subject.

        The reason why Google are upset with Apple for Siri is that for a huge chunk of queries to Siri, Google doesn’t get to see it. If all the information providers fall over then Google will get the query, if Google is the selected web search tool on the iOS device. But generally the companies providing the information get the queries first so Google yet again loses valuable data.

        Siri is expandable so as more providers of information come forward less and less queries will actually hit Google and like maps, Google suddenly loses a huge amount of data from a proven money spending market of device owners.

        This is why they are trying to knife the baby here. A voice search of Google is not what Siri does, but Google wants to create the impression that that is all Siri is.

        • Be fed up all you want. I respond to those who respond to me. If they keep responding, I give them the respect to continue the conversation; as I’m doing now.

          LMBO @ your grossly wrong perception of my above comment. I never once said “Siri is a voice entry to Google Search.” I said Google Voice Search works offline, as you properly stated, and later clarified on Android. Please read more carefully before you attempt to belittle someone’s intelligence on a matter. How you have such a massive problem with it but the people I discussed it with don’t is beyond me. 🙂

          Yes, Siri bypasses Google for certain results and I’m sure Google isn’t too pleased w/ losing traffic.

          How is Google painting such a picture? They simply improved a multi-year old app to bring it up to par with the long standing Android offering (voice search). This is par for the course as they continue to enhance their iOS apps to provide iOS users with the same quality we enjoy on Android for their services.

          • “I said Google Voice Search works offline, as you properly stated, and later clarified on Android.”

            He actually said that it doesn’t work offline on Android. Which is it?

          • Voice recognition. Just edited the comment. Thx for catching it.

            Here is a demo of what I’m referring to:

  • tylernol

    i’d love to see a bandwidth usage comparison. Wireshark time!

  • Jim, don’t you mean “Siri sucks balls?” Isn’t that your usual refrain when the competition falls short?

  • the_other_stevejobs

    Makes you wonder what would have happened if Apple made kick ass phones, and Google kept making amazing internet technologies.. instead of each trying to fuck with each other

  • The thing with the “pints” search is slow because wolframalpha is slow.

    Apple should do a background search or voice recognition on the fly

  • Mr. Bee

    If you changed Siri’s behaviour to simply “always search the web first” for each request, it would be the same as Google or faster. Except for the weather, it seems that’s pretty much all the Google search is doing each and every time.

    The “slowness” of Siri is because it’s set up to only search the web if it can’t find the info from other sources like Wolfram Alpha etc. The biggest delays are when it fails and has to ask you if it should search the web for that.

    Not exactly a fair comparison.

    • That is actually a really good point. I highly doubt Wolfram has the infrastructure setup to compete with Google on speed.

  • Siri does much more than Google Voice search which this “test” does not show.

  • One thing is for sure: Using Google will get you the better weather… I know I’m repeating myself, but why don’t Apple and Google behave like grown ups and cooperate again!?

  • It may be faster, but it gives you the results it wants, not what you were looking for. Siri may be slower, but the results are clearly better, not to mention the wits…

  • I can not believe what did Jim said above..