Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray – the one known for constantly predicting an Apple television – put Siri and Google Now, the two prominent virtual assistants, to the test. With iOS 6, Siri had earned a “C” grade, with the stats from that test being shown alongside the iOS 7 results above. This go around, however, with the new features of iOS 7 and Siri, it improved ever-so-slightly to a “C+.” Looking at the stats, Siri vastly improved recognition in noisy (or “uncontrolled”) environments.
Cupertino’s voice assistant improved in nearly every category, and the overall ability to answer questions went up two points from 77% to 79%. Google Now’s overall ability to answer questions also sits at 79% according to Piper Jaffray, however Mountain View’s take on voice assistance doesn’t give a correct answer back to the user when the question is heard correctly quite as often as Siri does.
Google now’s grade has increased from “D” to “C+” (equal to Siri’s) over the past year. With the release of iOS 7, Apple decided to lessen the reliance on Google for Siri’s search results, instead using Bing for many of the results, or going to Wikipedia directly in some cases. According to Piper Jaffray, Siri only relies on Google for 4% of queries now, compared to over a quarter of responses from the same time last year.
It wasn’t a surprise that Apple was dropping Google after it had done so for other services such as YouTube and Maps, replacing Maps with its own version of the application and completely removing YouTube in iOS 6. Google instead released its own version of Google Maps and YouTube shortly after the release of iOS 6. Apple later had to apologize for its Maps application, directing users to a dedicated Maps section in the App Store for alternatives.
What do you think? Are these numbers surprising? Do you prefer Google Now or Siri? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.