In a series of exhaustive tests, reported by Fortune
, Piper Jaffray tested both Apple's Siri and Google's Voice search against each other with 1,600 different questions. These 1,600 questions were asked with half of them being done in a crowded Minneapolis street scenario and the other half being done in a quiet room scenario. Piper then compiled all of his data and reported to his clients the following findings.
Google understands 100% of the questions, unsurprisingly those questions are keyed in. Google replies accurately 86% of the time, while Siri comprehends 83% of queries in noisy conditions and 89% in a quiet room. Siri also responds accurately 62% of the time on the street and 68% of the time in a quiet room.
Part of the problem lies with the fact that Siri relies on a broad array of search locations while Google primarily replies upon itself. Currently, Siri's search mix is 60% Google, 20% Yelp, 14% WolframAlpha, 4% Yahoo and 2% Wikipedia. While there is no doubt that some of these are reliable places to search, in many cases the results could be plain wrong and Google's search has a much deeper base of search to build upon when answering a question. Furthermore, with iOS6, Apple plans to move their share of Google queries down from 60% to 48% which could either improve accuracy or hamper it further when compared to Google Search.
Interestingly, we recently watched a video where someone compared Google's Voice Search in Android Jelly Bean against Apple's Siri and the results were actually quite astounding when you consider how much Apple has marketed Siri.
As you can see, Google has significantly stepped up their voice search game and Apple's Siri will have to make some performance improvements with the iPhone 5 and iOS6 in order to surpass Google's improvements made in the latest iteration of Android.
Another worrying thing about Siri is the lack of adoption. The majority of iPhone 4S users very sparingly use the feature and the marketing behind Siri has been lackluster at best. Apple's success heavily relies upon good marketing and solid product development. While there is no doubt that Siri has quite a few improvements on the way with iOS6, there has been little mention from Apple when addressing speed and accuracy concerns when compared to Google's Voice Search and regular search.
Hopefully someone will try to replicate Piper's tests with the latest iteration of Google's Voice Search in Android Jelly Bean and to do an apples to apples comparison. We may even take up such an effort to see for ourselves.
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