Google Search for Apple iOS devices
Free from the Apple iTunes App Store
It’s become fashionable to criticize Siri, the speech-controlled digital assistant found in Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad. I refuse to join the mob. I’ve often found Siri quite useful. Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement, and now Apple’s smartphone rival Google has stepped into the breach. Its new Google Search app for Apple phones has a speech-controlled search feature that frequently leaves Siri in the dust.
This shouldn’t surprise anybody. Google is all about search and gets billions of chances to practice its craft each day. As a result, Google Search is superbly responsive. Its speech recognition feature starts translating your question even before you’ve finished speaking it. While Siri often takes five or 10 seconds to find an answer, Google Search often responds in just three or four. When Siri can’t find an answer, it asks for permission to run a Google search; the Google app just does it, saving more valuable time. And Google Search responds to more questions verbally, in a voice that sounds far more human than Siri’s robotic chirp.
Of course, Siri lets you launch other apps with voice commands, something Google Search can’t do. But time and again, I found that Google Search was better at answering everyday questions than Siri. I always figured that rivals would catch up with Apple’s vaunted digital assistant. But it turns out that Google is in the passing lane, and stepping on the gas.
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