Google takes aim at Siri with Voice Search on iOS app

The feature will debut in the Google Search app for iPhones and iPads, meaning it will be available to more users than Siri

Google is set to bring its own competitor for Apples Siri voice assistant to the iOS platform. The updated voice-enabled search feature works a lot like Siri. It will debut as an enhancement in the Google Search app for iPhones and iPads, meaning it will be available to more users than Siri.

Voice-assisted Google searches are not a new thing. The option has been available for a couple of years within the Google Search app for iOS, but it wasnt a match to Apples voice assistant, Siri, which launched with the iPhone 4S and uses natural language to talk to you. Now, this is exactly how Googles rival product will work, too.

Google announced the feature in a blog post, saying that the revamped Voice Search will give you a spoken response when it can supply a direct answer. It will also behave like Siri when asked about movies in theaters, displaying a list of the latest flicks in cinemas near you. A promotional video for the feature on the iPhone also showcases scenarios of weather enquiries, image search (show me pictures of&) or directions to a certain location. Google said this also works for for everything from celebrity factoids to the height of mountain peaks.

Pros and Cons

The answers for the voice search feature are pulled from Googles Knowledge Graph, a database with mapped connections between facts, concepts and ideas. Just like Siri, the feature needs an Internet connection to work, as your voice requests are processed remotely on Googles servers. Googles app though has an advantage over Siri -- it will work on all iOS 4.2 and above devices, while Siri is currently limited to the iPhone 4S, with third-generation iPad support from iOS 6.

The improved Google voice search has been available on Android devices for a few weeks now, with the introduction of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. But as my colleague JR Raphael remarks, the new Google Voice Search is even more limited on Android than Siri is on iOS, as it is exclusive to the Jelly Bean OS, currently installed on only 0.8 percent of Android devices.

Even though the improved Google voice search is not yet available on the iPhone, Laptop Mag has put it to the test (via Android 4.1) against Siri and S Voice (for Samsung Galaxy phones). The tests found that although Google Voice Search has nifty abilities, like returning sports scores and images, Siri is better at other tasks like making calendar entries and writing messages, which gives it the edge.

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?