Larry Magid: Google Now Catching Up To Siri

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Google is catching up to Apple when it comes to voice-based search apps according to a new study.

Consumer investment banker Piper Jaffray tested both Google Now and Siri, but the voice recognition technology on both only earned a C+.

I use both of them myself and the results you get really depend on the type of question you ask and which network you’re on. Sometimes the networks aren’t robust enough to transmit the issue over to the servers.

Frankly, I’ve found that Siri has been slipping over the last couple of years. I don’t know if that’s because of the iOS 7 upgrade, but I’m getting better results from Google.

I use voice recognition a lot for a few reasons. One, I don’t particularly like to type on a little keyboard. Two, sometimes I have to use it while I’m driving. With Google, you don’t even have to touch the phone in theory, but with Siri you have to push the Siri button. Technically, I think it also breaks the state hands-free law while driving.

The problem is that this technology is still a long way from perfect. I’m thinking it’s only around 60 to 80 percent accuracy, which isn’t bad, but it really needs to be closer to 100 percent before anyone considers it totally reliable.

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