Google is reportedly working on its own version of Siri for upcoming Android devices. The project has been given the internal codename of “Majel” (a reference to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the Federation Computer from Star Trek) and is meant to be an evolution of the current voice recognition technology in Android, Voice Actions.

Siri is by far the iPhone 4S’s hottest feature, and Apple has used marketing to put itself in the lead once again with the rest of the industry now forced to play catch-up. Will Google’s upcoming assistant be the competition that Siri needs?

Android and Me has the info on the Majel project:

Majel is an evolution of Google’s Voice Actions that is currently available on most Android phones with the addition of natural language processing. Where Voice Actions required you to issue specific commands like “send text to…” or “navigate to…”, Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language similar to how Siri functions.

Speaking of actions, it sounds like only Google search queries will be included with the initial release, that could come as soon as this year. I say this year because I’ve heard that engineers at Google X are working around the clock on finishing the first release and the NYTimes previously reported that one product would be released by Google X this year.

An early-2012 release seems to be the plan for Google’s secret project, but the exact date is not known. In a recent interview, a Google executive hinted at what the future of its voice technology holds:

“Our approach is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer.”

This ‘Star Trek’ approach lines up perfectly with the codename that’s supposedly been given to the project. Andy Rubin, the man in charge of Android’s development, famously said that smartphones were not meant to be assistants, just tools for communication with other people. It appears as though Siri has forced Google to wake up and get its head in the game.

To top it all off, The Next Web is reporting that Google has bought Clever Sense, the makers of the Alfred recommendation app for the iPhone. If you recall our review of Alfred, you’ll remember that the app performs Siri-like actions by interpreting natural language. The buyout makes perfect sense in light of where Google is headed in the voice technology department.

Will Android be the first real competition for Siri? We doubt it, but we’re willing to have Google prove us wrong.

  • I guess this WON’T be considered a gimmick by the Google fanboys like Siri is?

    • Anonymous

      IKR , it’s like saying you dont like my red mountain bike because it’s a huffy , and turn around and buy a blue tricycle just because huffy didn’t make it and say “it’s the natural evolution transportation”.

      • Anonymous


    • LOL Oh this is all so funny ,over devices

  • Anonymous

    I think this is simply the natural evolution of Google Voice, and I highly doubt Google started making it as a response to Siri. By “highly doubt” I mean “find it completely impossible that.” This sort of thing takes months, even years, to make.

    Not to mention Apple’s already working on 1up-ing its current Siri offering, so Google has to think one step ahead of the current Siri if it wants to be on-par with Apple in 2012.

    I think adding GlaDOS support would be that “one step ahead” Google needs. ^_^

    • Anonymous

      Why everytime Apple create something , ppl diss it and then when it’s mimicked , ppl say it’s only natural evolution. Apple should be called natural evolutions , cause thats always the excuse for their replicated technology

      • Everyone knocks then copies Apple why?

    • Jon Garrett


      great response. but look at the typical fanboy rebuttal by Mysteroy3k. NO FACTS, NO research, just a mindless zombie like response to anything non-apple.

      • Jon garrett – made up facts, false research, brainless troll response to anything apple

      • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        Like your mindless rebuttal of there wasn’t no voice controls on previous iPhones. Infact the old voice control is still optional on the current 4s if you turn off Siri. Stop trying to justify you weak purchase cause you wanted to be “different”, little do you know , no matter how different and “rebel” u think you are , you are still a follower of android losers who troll just like you , who frustrate themselves day and night cause they can’t convenience ppl to choose crap over quality. Androids suck , get over it. One minute this feature sucks, now it’s okay because it’s android is mimicking it to compete with apple, your such a douche. We bought our product cause we love the tech when it was first released in 07, you bought yours cause either you’re cheap or you hate apple, either way poor reason on your end to spend money, and your life consist of a hate of a company that’s so imaginative , it’s disturbing to what it’s doing to your reality, I bet you really think we are trying to make u buy apple products o_O…. You’re weird dude, simple

      • Jon Garrett


  • Google not only copies Apple but they also copy Star Trek. lol

    • Jon Garrett

      Android has had voice control and commands for a long time now. like most iOS users, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Like most morons, you pretend to know everything even if you know nothing.

      • Jon Garrett

        most morons is a category you’re in all by yourself and you probably suffer from low self esteem as well hence your offense when someone attacks the brand you’re so obsessed with.

        why don’t you use the brain you have and do a quick Google search, something called FACTS just pop up all over the place.

      • *Ahem* The amount of things Apple have ripped off from other companies could quite possibly go on forever. Notification menu, voice control, using the phone whilst syncing and OTA Updates are just a few to be named.

      • and ios also had a voice system from many years in iphone we are talinking about advance voice system google always get new technolgt from stolin products

      • Jon Garrett

        what voice system in iOS are you talking about? there was no voice system on the 3GS,3G or 2G.

        and the word is spelled “stolen”

      • angad bawa

        Jon are you poor who cannot afford an iPhone?? So satisfy yourself by praising your CHEAP ANDROID PRODUCTS!!!
        FYI – 3GS has had voice controls right from the beginning.

      • Jon Garrett

        angad bawa

        I have 2 iPhone 4’s a Galaxy S II, a Galaxy Tab 10.1 a Galaxy Player 4, an Acer Iconia Tab 7″ and a Kindle Fire.

        In fact, I have a you tube channel and I do reviews on products so I don’t know what you’re talking about me not being able to afford an iPhone.

        go check out my channel then come back here and talk about what I can or cannot afford.

      • Yawn.

  • It won’t be great straight away, Siri has had years Of research and development, even before apple purchased it, and they are constantly working on ways to improve it.

    Sure google has a large team, but so does apple, and it keeps getting bigger. I welcome to competition though, it can only be good for us Siri uses as apple will keep pushing themselves to improve the tech.

  • Jon Garrett

    “Clone” really? you sure know how to get your base all riled up.

    • Jon, I know you’ve been around for awhile, but if you don’t stop trolling our comments section on Android posts we will ban you. In fact, I’ll ban you right now for posting one more non-constructive comment on this thread. So by all means, go ahead.

      • About time Alex….finally! Glad to know Jon is Gone for a while…i’m sure he’ll b back

      • Jon Garrett

        nope, not this time. If I’m banned a 2nd time I will NOT be back. I’m not a troll and I wont hang around where I’m not welcomed.

      • Jon Garrett

        trolling? because I disagree with your misinformation and propaganda?

        Its one thing to ban somebody for insulting other members or spamming but if you wanna ban me because I always comment on your misleading and erroneous reporting the go ahead and ban me.

      • If you don’t like our reporting, then go somewhere else. Simple as that.

      • nah nah nah nah nah nah nah,
        hey hey hey,

      • Jon Garrett

        looks like I have another fan.

      • GO AWAY how is that? Sheesh

  • tbh siri blows, it was fun for the first couple of weeks, now I don’t use it at all

  • Anonymous

    Lol. That is ifanboys rummor .
    Why is that necessary???
    Android has already Speaktoit that beats Siri all the way. No doubt about it.Try it side by side!
    And Speaktoit is there long before Siri.
    I think iboys invented this “news” to show how important is the stupit Siri and how Google copy this “pure magic” 🙂

    • angad bawa

      What you write & what you know is SOOO TRUEEE TO YOUR NAME….. PHART…..!!!!!!!!

  • google will say in 2014 we were first to have majel voice recogesniation rather than siri we was doing work on this from 2005 hahahahah google your tricks we already know tthe truth google you cannot make it you need a person in apple to get some information from there becouse you always use stilin products

  • Anonymous

    You guys should get laid and start going outside for a change

  • Hynek Los

    well siri is not competition…. only support for few langues, and working properly only in US.

  • i am jon garret and i like to suck tiny willy wazz hurzz

  • i like to troll around to get all the guys here

  • Do you thing George Lucas will have a problem letting certain Androind phone makes that use his “Droid” copyright installing something referencing Star Trek in its operating system?

  • Oh Google I have heard that imitation is the greatest form of flattery but come on, your nothing but a cheap knockoff of true success.

  • They proved it by putting the Siri for Android out there, then pulling everything fast, to avoid more lawsuits, it’s too late for that.

  • This is correct Garret maybe you should do some research. Yawn.