Google Voice Actions Knocks Out Siri on Motorola Android Phones

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2012-02-29
 
 
 

Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) demonstrated how Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Voice Actions speech-recognition software defeated Apple's own Siri voice-based assistant in three video contests, pitting Motorola's Photon 4G, Atrix 2 and Electrify versus the iPhone 4S.

The videos, which show the Android phones conducting the same voice prompts alongside the iPhone 4S, are humorously couched as boxing matches, with a crowd cheering in the background. Motorola sounds a bell for each voice search, such as "text Dorothy Foster, "I'm running late, period."

Each time, Google Voice Actions beats Siri to the punch in the bouts, discovered by 9to5Mac. The videos come a month after Motorola provided a similar competition between the Droid Razr and iPhone 4S.

Two of the Motorola phones are running on 4G networks: The Photon 4G is on Sprint's (NYSE:S) speedy WiMAX network, while the Atrix 2 is on AT&T's 4G HSPA+ network. The Electrify runs on U.S. Cellular's 3G network.

So the Photon 4G and Atrix 2 would appear to have some network performance advantages over Siri. Still, at least one iPhone user who watched the Atrix 2 vs. Siri bout noted:

"As an avid iPhone User and App Designer, I will always stick_ up for Apple when they are right. Siri is wrong. While she may have intriguing quips when I ask "Are you single?" Siri IS slow, often wrong, and often doesn't provide the information I am looking for. Additionally, she has often given me the error message: "I am really sorry, Joe, but I cannot access any information right now."

While Voice Actions proved faster than Siri in these video grudge matches, Siri is considered more intuitive. The app "learns" to refine and tailor searches based on voice queries the iPhone 4S user puts to the application. Voice Actions hews to preset voice controls, but Siri goes beyond simple task completion by lending context to certain actions.

Ask it the weather and it will retrieve the info, using an iPhone 4S user's current location. A user can also ask Siri if he or she needs an umbrella, and it will analyze local weather info to determine whether it's going to rain.

Voice Actions does not do these things as currently rendered. However, Google is reportedly working on an upgrade to the application that would make it more Siri-like.

"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," according to the Android and Me blog.

The trio of videos was published Feb. 27 during Mobile World Congress, two weeks after Google received regulatory approval from the European Commission and the Justice Department to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion.


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