Google Now pitted against Siri in voice assistant face-off

By , Jun 28, 2012

Google announced a lot of shiny new things yesterday during its mid-morning media event. Among those, was the next version of Android OS with a built-in voice assistant.

The company’s Google Now voice commander is the latest in what’s becoming a long line of “Siri competitors.” But it looks like this one might actually be up to the task…

The folks over at TechnoBuffalo created the following video with an iPhone 4S, running iOS 6, and a Galaxy Nexus, running Android 4.1. Siri vs. Google Now, round 1, fight!

So judging from the video, both voice assistants seem to be on par as far as overall capabilities. But with its speedy responses and more natural speaking voice, Google Now actually comes off as the more polished product.

Obviously, this is just one test, on one set of devices. And Apple is in the process of making some major changes to Siri. But regardless, we have to admit that on the surface, Google Now looks pretty impressive.

Credit where credit is due.

What do you think of the video?

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  • http://twitter.com/Grolubao Grolubao

    Impressive indeed, but kinda expected because Google is a giant in search. Respect!

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      Google is a giant in advertising…

      Everything you do on Google, makes them earn more money :)

  • Howard Ellacott

    It’ll probably be quicker on the 6th Gen iPhone, when it’s released though. Sadly, android works better at the mo! Siri looks nicer though… :)

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      Not really man… I have an iPhone 4S, an iPad 2, a Transformer and an HP Touchpad… My wife still uses her i4 and a few (:P) friends at work use HTC androids…

      I can easily say my phone does everything theirs can (provided, I’m jailbroken, no doubt) but there are lots of things they can’t do :)

      And, in general, iOS is still much more fluid and responsive, no matter how many cores you get into an Android phone… Background tasks still stack up and beat the crap off the device after a while :(

      I’ve yet to experience Jelly Bean, but I’m using ICS on both tablets, along with HP’s WebOS.

      Btw, WebOS would be the real competitor to iOS/Apple (one Android failed to become since it’s invention), if such a force as Google was behind it, instead of crap HP!

  • tward09

    Wow. Quite impressive, Google. Why does everyone have to come out with awesome stuff!? Windows, Apple, and Google have me rethinking everything I thought I knew!

    • http://youtube.com/MathiasVerden Mathias Lindberg

      Windows is an OS.

      • tward09

        Dammit. You’re right…edited.

      • cruzcontrol1001

        He’s talking about the surface.

      • http://youtube.com/MathiasVerden Mathias Lindberg

        A lot of idiots call Microsoft for Windows..

      • cruzcontrol1001

        Your right. I see your point now I must of saw his comment after he fixed it.

  • http://twitter.com/CokerGerald Gerald Coker

    well google really are pushing so hard now, i like it when there is so much competition between these tech giants, but i am also impressed with how natural the voice sounds and am hoping Siri will do better

  • Charles Valdez

    They already had this. They just added a new UI and voice that talks back -_-

    • Cyleleghorn

      Yeah this is true, I got my Droid 1 three years ago and they had voice search, all they had to do was add the voice to keep up with apple lol

  • http://youtube.com/MathiasVerden Mathias Lindberg

    Way better then Siri.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jermell1234 Jermell Fisher

    The Galaxy Nexus is a 4g phone so should get the info faster then the iPhone which is not a 4g phone

    • http://www.facebook.com/moin1998 Moin Youwastedyourtimereadingt

      False, the devices were on wifi.

  • http://twitter.com/ozguryilmaz Özgür Yılmaz

    Siri’s voice is more sexier.
    Who am I kidding, this is better than Siri.

    • http://twitter.com/brushpicks11 Austin Steffen

      I don’t want my phone to sound human. That just gets creepy

      • maurid

        Well, that’s a lame excuse, if I ever heard one.

  • http://twitter.com/Tim_Red_Beard Timothy Griskus

    He really didn’t specify if he was on Wi-Fi or if he was using the 4G LTE on the Nexus and HSPA+ on the 4S…if he was using 4G vs. HSPA+ of course it will be faster, do this again when the new iPhone model comes out and then you’ll have a better test. Either way being an iPhone 4S user i will say i’m impressed with the Google Now response time, will it make me change phones….I doubt it.

    • JaeM1llz

      You can clearly see that both devices are connected to wifi.

    • Noel Scerri

      In does not make sense to switch phones just for voice recognition functionality. The pros vs cons should be more holistic and both OS’s have their + and -.

  • http://twitter.com/rud0lf77 Rudolf Lichtner

    Pretty disappointed by the dumb comments before mine…

  • imot65

    I’m so sick and tired of EVERY TIME Apple comes up with some innovative feature… there comes stupid google or M$ or SamDUNG with their version of it claiming that its “better”… Oh yah here comes the pounding on me..

    • Imad Ali

      Ya, but Google never said it was better… and stop being such a hypocrite, you hate Google, Samdung (I agree), MS, while others hate Apple

      • imot65

        Dude… I really don’t see the word “hypocrite” have any meaning with my comment. And because I’m a nice dude, I will retrain myself by asking you to go wipe your a** with sand paper…

      • anthrex

        They didn’t make it they just licensed it from Nuance

      • imot65

        So? Apple licensed it then google et al will also have the cleverest idea to have one similar.. JUST ‘CAUSE APPLE DID FIRST AND WE GOTTA HAVE IT TOO! GENIUS!

      • anthrex

        Or they did it as Apple has done, by waiting until it was more readier to be released. See iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, iPad

      • imot65

        ZZZzzzzzzzz……….
        ZZZzzzzzzzz……….
        ZZZzzzzzzzz……….

    • OfTheDamned

      Innovative features like the new notification panel that Google/Android had years ago? Innovative features like voice search and actions like Google/Android had years ago? Innovative features like maps and navigation that Google/Android had years ago? Innovative features like multitasking that every phone had years ago?

      If you think Apple innovates then you have bought into hype and marketing. None of these companies are that different. They all see a good idea and try to improve upon it or make it their own. Apple has copied Google/Android on so many things it isn’t even funny. Some of them have been improved upon, like voice actions and adding a vocal response with Siri (which Apple didn’t create, they bought). Now Google has taken the idea, added new features and improved upon it. Next year, maybe Apple will do the same thing.

      Competition is good for the consumers. It drives innovation. Keeping an idea or concept on one carrier, one device or one OS does nothing good for any of us.

  • http://twitter.com/parky190 Parker Crain

    I just want to point out that the reason that Google Now is faster is because it doesn’t use the internet to figure out what you’re saying, it’s build in, unlike Siri which sends the data to apple’s servers to be translated so it knows what you’re saying

    • Anirudh B

      Offline speeh recognition, another new feature of JellyBean

  • M Last

    that is not comparing
    just asked set up the time? search for dog? LOL

  • http://twitter.com/doubleaa25 Adham Abousalem

    Google Now gets its information from [gasp] Google, whereas Apple gets it from its servers. So in reality Google Now may be better, but no one would opt for an unstable OS just because of how better the voice assistant may be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1071132386 Jimmy Chen

      Android is not unstable. I’ve had many more app crashes on my iPod Touch and iPhone than on my Android tablet.

      • http://twitter.com/doubleaa25 Adham Abousalem

        Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh with unstable, but I have used different Android phones and they all happen to be laggy at some point in time.

      • OfTheDamned

        You haven’t used ICS or Jelly Bean then.

      • http://twitter.com/doubleaa25 Adham Abousalem

        Actually I have used ICS before and it was on a Nexus phone. Maybe because of the age of the phone it was not spectacular with the OS since it is probably more demanding than the older OS.

        But still, unless you are getting on of the high end Android phones, the experience with Android wont be great.

      • OfTheDamned

        And why exactly would you compare a low end phone to a high end phone in the first place? The iPhone 4S is considered high end, correct? Why would you compare it to anything other than another high end phone?

      • Guest

        do you know why they make low-end phones? not so they can compete with iPhones and Galaxy phones. it’s because not everyone can afford such expensive devices. Google understood this when they made Android so they can diversify their market to include all income classes. it’s unfair to compare the two types. you might as well compare a Toyota with a Ferrari.

        TL;DR – low end devices are exactly that: cheaper hardware to accommodate low-income consumers. you can’t compare an iPhone or other high end phones with it.

      • http://twitter.com/doubleaa25 Adham A.

        Yea, but you make one Android OS for a variety of devices? Definitely not going to work so well. I know that the OS for each device is tweaked in some way to work better, but it is not perfect.

        Correct me if I am wrong however.

      • 3aloo1

        is your ipod or iphone jailbreaked if it is that means you are wrong

  • http://twitter.com/jake1047s jacob wolin

    This I what android does they take an apple software or device and make it better, no origionality, an apple does do that as well

    • OfTheDamned

      Please tell me you aren’t claiming Apple is original.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1562666980 Milad Khahil

        Where was android and window phones. Before apple started all on 2007 ???

      • OfTheDamned

        LMAO if you actually think Apple started anything. Ever hear of a Treo? Palm was doing all of it before any of these companies got into the game and they even bought into it when they purchased Handspring. Apple didn’t start anything. They just get credit for good marketing.

  • Emre SÜMENGEN

    Creating a reminder sets it :)

    My voice assistant should keep talking to me, instead of showing me a page of settings IMO.

    Google has a great database of sounds/voices and general information. They are also pretty good at software, and technology in general. But, what Google lacks is Apple’s detail and sense of beauty, unfortunately. And, that’s a big one, at least for me…

    • http://twitter.com/Tommy123O Tomislav Oršolić

      Yes, but on the other hand, Siri asked to search the web while google now searched it already. search results were built in the google now interface, while siri opened Safari for that purpose.
      And, I must say that android did pretty decent job with the ICS update and Google Now, it improved a lot in design of the OS but still, most of the apps aren’t updated for the ICS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/toni.gebertbartoszak Toni Gebert Bartoszak

    why do people hate on Google?

    • http://twitter.com/melovestoast Jared Floyd 

      They copy.. There are very few original concepts/features in android. You can’t tell me google would have brought out this amazing assistant if siri never existed.

      • JaeM1llz

        Actually I can tell you exactly that. Vocal feedback is part of the natural evolution of technology and Apple surely was not the originator of such a concept.

      • http://twitter.com/melovestoast Jared Floyd 

        When did i say they did? Im saying if it wasn’t for Siri’s success Google wouldn’t have tried to create a knockoff to compete.

      • JaeM1llz

        And I’m saying you are wrong. With or without Siri, Google would have ended up releasing a similar feature. As I said, vocal feedback is part of the natural evolution of technology and Apple did not come up with the concept.

      • http://twitter.com/scooterinmn scooterinmn

        This is the definition of “iSheep”. Apple hasn’t had an original concept or idea in years! They spend all of their time and resources on litigation with the original developers of the product or idea. They just put enough spit and polish on it so that iSheep will be willing to pay more for it. If you come out from under your rock, you will find many devices that are faster, more stable, have WAY more capabilities at half the price than what you paid!

      • locolbd

        HI5!! I dont know how true but i heard apple is changing the usb and charge ports for the iphone. Do you think people will stop buying the iphones. Nope they will spend even more money

      • OfTheDamned

        It cracks me up every time someone says that Google copied Apple. Voice search and commands were on Android devices for a few years before Siri came out. Same thing can be said for the notification panel in the iOS. Where do you think that came from?

        Now you’re going to tell me that Google copied the touch screen from Apple, right? LOL

      • http://twitter.com/melovestoast Jared Floyd 

        Yeah they’ve also been on iPods and iPhones for years. Im just saying they wouldn’t have been a big hit, and tried to even do that if it wasn’t for Siri’s success..

      • OfTheDamned

        There is no way you or anyone else can know that. Google does some interesting stuff and probably 99% of it has nothing to do with what Apple is or isn’t doing. They have their won visions of Android and how a mobile OS should be. Stop thinking in terms of copying or doing the same thing. Anyway, since there is so much that an Android phone can do that an iPhone just can’t your whole argument is just moot.

      • Noel Scerri

        They both take ideas from each other… nowadays Apple is taking more ideas from Google and there is no question about that (check the release notes for IOS 5 and you will know what I am talking about). At the end of the day, competition is always healthy and the one who benefits are us the end users.

      • locolbd

        Please! Everyone copies. The GUI for the mac computers you think those two crazy nerd came up with that. Nope their copied, just like Microsoft and google

  • http://twitter.com/C_Bergerac John Dough

    None of this is new. Apple, Google, MSFT. They all either copy or buy the newest stuff. But lets give credit to Google and see what Apple does to reply. Competition is good for us consumers. Keeps from resting on laurels and getting a fat ass. Right MSFT?

  • TGMzero

    Google Now is awesome. Siri is good as well. But both have beta like status. So let’s wait a bit to see how these things work out.

    But honestly, the voice on Google Now is better.

  • Miguel Meza

    wow the new google is very nice! I like it better then my siri!

    • Myles Crouther

      same.

  • http://twitter.com/friendlyraaj Rajkumar Ramadoss

    Don’t steal the ideas from Innovators. Think Different.

    • OfTheDamned

      Please tell me you aren’t calling Apple an innovator.

  • prghon

    did really NOBODY notice that Google FAIL when Nexus set the ALARM instead of the TIMER?

    • http://twitter.com/geekinit geekinit

      It’s easier to innovate when you have competition to steal ideas from. I mean looking at how similar the results really shows just how much Google is becoming a copycat giant (with a few tweaks). I realize Apple bought Siri but still..

      • OfTheDamned

        So you think Google is copying Apple? Riiiiiiiiiight. It might be a good idea to look back at who had what first. Things like voice actions, notification panel, multitasking, maps, navigation…..were all on other devices long before Apple “innovated” them.

    • Anirudh B

      The time was 9:38 so the 10 minute timer was set for 9:48… true, no countdown, but same result in the end.

  • ZiiG

    Lol.

    The speeds were *exactly* the same.

    The Galaxy happened to actually Speek the answer about 1 second before Siri…but they both brought up the information at the exact same speed…..Siri was a little faster at actually showing the information with some things.

    Same exact speed…except the Galaxy’s voice started 1 second before Siri.

    Depends on how you look at u guess. I would concentrate more on when the information is shown…..then when the device speaks the info to you mostly.

    • Anirudh B

      In more than one occassion the Galaxy actually displayed the information before Siri did. For instance the weather: while Siri was still spinning, the Galaxy had already pulled up the information and began speaking. Then Siri started speaking and a half a second later displayed the information.

    • OfTheDamned

      I don’t know if you actually watched the video, but they never finished at the same time.

      Weather test: Google Now displayed and started speaking first.
      Timer test: Siri looked to start a little faster, but Google Now finished faster.
      Sports test: Google now had the image up and finished speaking before Siri even started.
      Coby Bryant test: Siri gave the answer faster, but Google Now displayed the image faster.
      Reminder test: Google now had the settings screen up and ready to approve before Siri had even finished speaking.
      Picture test: Google Now had the pictures on the screen before Siri had even finished asking if you wanted to search the web.

      Overall Google is faster. Then again the speech recognition software is actually on the phone and it only has to pull up the information. Siri still hs to figure out what you are saying and then pull up the information so it takes more time. Maybe with the new updates Apple has planned for Siri it will speed things up.

      The important thing is that each phone is capable of doing this, if you want it to. They both do it pretty quickly and bring back accurate information.

  • http://www.facebook.com/itsugawa Jerwyn Feria

    TBH just like apple with 4s+ requirements for Siri. So will google’s phones. We all try to pit each phone down on each other but it’s just the same as ever.

    • locolbd

      the only requirements would be that your phone is running android 4.0+

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000362271828 Kevin Nguyen

    Well, there’s only a few people with the 4.1 Jellybean software. There’s millions on Siri, so it would be acceptable that it would be a little laggy.

    • OfTheDamned

      Starting last night, just about anybody that knows were to look has Jelly Bean now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Holland/598925594 Dave Holland

    is it just me or is this a gimmick? Its just a voice command thing that you will use 3 to 4 times and then never touch. Maybe an iPhone user would use it all the time, but they do that and play games as to show off their phone like they are the only one who has it, like someone will walk out of the crowd of people and say :”oh COOL”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Holland/598925594 Dave Holland

      I messed with Vlingo before this Siri came out and I thought it was cool but completely not something I would use. To me its easier for me to use my finger than to sit there and do a long voice command wait for a prompt, continue message, confirm message… Another Example that is used a lot, “I am lazy hipster, what the weather like siri?” by the time they said that I already just clicked on the accuweather app. its inefficient for most of its uses, maybe only good for driving and texting.

  • Michael Delaney

    Please tell me you’re joking? I’m by no means and Android/Windows fanboy as the only phone I’ve had is an Apple phone from 3g-4s. Just because someone made the phone first, doesn’t mean the ideas weren’t taken from else where. The technology was made and tested long before. Don’t see how they’re copy cats when Android had the features before hand, have updated them and Apple only brought them out in the latest phone. Are you stupid?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072687623 Ashish Kumar

    Its Kinda bad to see Siri suck ! Google seem to be catching up like read bad…. With Jobs gone no clue what Apples up too…

    Cant believe what I saw was real, Jelly just won hands down :( I hope iOS 6 is better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Brown/100001195746691 Mike Brown

    First of all their testing Siri in old hardware while google has new hardware, to make fair you would have wait until iPhone 5 (6th generation) to be released

    • Noel Scerri

      It even works on Nexus S my friend, which is on par with Apple iPhone 4 in terms of specs

      • locolbd

        Yes is is unfair. But you know whats even worst I am comparing them iphone vs droid x2. Which is not getting 4.0 or 4.1. I am running al custom roms. After the comparison guess who comes out on top:D

  • locolbd

    hahahaha. I am an android freak and i do love the iphone but isnt the reason why the nexus was pull stuff up that faster was because its running 4g speeds ? also i am sure apple has a bomb up their sleeve for then new iphone. But all in all, google effin ROCKS!