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Apple Siri versus Google Jelly Bean: Voice search showdown

Armando Rodriguez and Liviu Oprescu | July 5, 2012
One of the big enhancements in the Android 4.0 (Jelly Bean) operating system update that Google announced on June 27 is improved voice recognition in search.

Winner: Apple Siri

Question 5: "What's the Capital of Canada?"

Both phones came up with an answer, but Android was faster at fetching a result.

Winner: Android Jelly Bean

Question 6: "Get Me Directions to the California Academy of Sciences"

As with the Empire State Building question, Android immediately brought up a map with the location of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and started opening Google Maps to give us directions.

Siri found two entries for the California Academy of Sciences, and required us to select the correct entry before proceeding to give us directions.

Winner: Android Jelly Bean

Question 7: "How Old Is Stan Lee?"

Both Siri and Android gave us an answer, but Google showed us a picture of Marvel's Stan Lee and read the answer to us.

Winner: Android Jelly Bean

Question 8: "Who Was the Number One Pick in the NBA Draft Last Year?"

Neither Siri nor Android had an answer to this question, and both defaulted to performing a Google search instead.

Winner: Tie

Next Page: Math, Horoscopes, and Kayne West

Question 9: "When Was Apple Founded?"

Siri gave us an answer from Wolfram Alpha, but Android read us our answer.

Winner: Android Jelly Bean

Question 10: "Set a Timer for 5 Minutes"

Siri actually set a timer and had a nice graphic to go with it.

On Android, Jelly Bean set an alarm for 5 minutes into the future. Both approaches work, though we preferred the way Siri handled this task.

Winner: Apple Siri

Question 11: "What's 56 Divided by 7?"

Android was the first one back with the answer to our math problem, while Siri took time to contact Wolfram Alpha for help.

Winner: Android Jelly Bean

Question 12: "What's $100 in Euros?"

Much as with our math problem, Android was the first one back with an answer.

Siri took longer, but it went above and beyond the call of duty by also bringing us currency rates for assorted countries, plus a graph showing past conversion rates for the euro.

Winner: Apple Siri

Question 13: "What's My Horoscope for Today?"

Both Android and Siri failed to answer this question, and defaulted to performing an online search.

Winner: Tie

Question 14: "Tell Me a Story"

Siri went on to tell us a rather lengthy tale, while Android just did another Google search.

Winner: Apple Siri

Question 15: "Sing Me a Song"

Siri sang us a song, whereas Android performed a Google search for the phrase "sing me a song."

Winner: Apple Siri

Question 16: "Play Some Kanye West"

Siri started playing a Kayne West song from the iTunes library, while Android tried to conduct a search for "Conyay West."


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