How Siri, Google Now respond to five questions

Apr 29, 2013 by The Associated Press

With Google's voice assistant now available on iPhones and iPads, The Associated Press used an iPad Mini to throw five test questions at Google Now and Siri on Monday afternoon in New York.

Here's what the two digital assistants had to say for themselves:

Question: What is the meaning of life?

: "I can't answer that now, but give me some time to write a very long play in which nothing happens." Siri has more than a dozen prepared responses to that question.

Now: The voice assistant was silent. Instead, keywords in that question triggered an ad for the Mormons on the top of the search results page. That was followed by links to a entry for "meaning of life" and other sites.

Question: What is the weather like Friday?

Siri: "It should be nice Friday... up to 61 degrees and sunny." Siri also presented a graphic with day-by-day conditions over the next six days, using information from Yahoo.

Google Now: "Friday's forecast for New York, New York, is 64 degrees and clear." Google then presented a box with day-by-day conditions over the next 10 days, as well as current conditions.

Question: What movies are showing this weekend?

Siri: "I found five movies playing nearby on Friday." Siri then presented a card with show times, parental ratings and favorability ratings from the Rotten Tomatoes website. Four of the movies were at art-house cinemas, as theater chains hadn't released weekend schedules yet. Links to buy or rent those movies on iTunes were offered when available.

Google Now: "Movies playing in New York on Friday." Google then offered a page with times, descriptions and other information for 13 movies, including six IMAX movies playing at science museums in New York and Jersey City, New Jersey. As with Siri, most of the rest were at art-house cinemas.

Question: How did the Mets do?

Siri: "The Mets lost to the Phillies yesterday. The final score was 5 to 1." An inning-by-inning scoreboard was presented.

Google Now: "The Mets lost to the Phillies 5 to 1." An inning-by-inning scoreboard was offered up.

Question: Please set my alarm for seven.

Siri: "I've set an alarm for 7 a.m." Siri assumed 7 the next morning rather than 7 that evening. Siri then showed a digital clock with a lever at "on," which you can switch to "off."

Google Now: The was silent. Instead, search results appeared, including an article on "How to Use Siri's Clock - For Dummies."

Explore further: Blink, point, solve an equation: Introducing PhotoMath

3.4 /5 (8 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple enlists TomTom as Siri heads for cars

Jun 12, 2012

In-car navigation firm TomTom on Tuesday said it has inked a deal to provide map information to Apple, which a day earlier introduced its own mapping service for iPhones and iPads.

Apple sued over iPhone 4S 'assistant' Siri

Mar 13, 2012

An iPhone 4S buyer has sued Apple for promising more than it delivered with automated "Siri" voice-activated assistant software built into the coveted smartphones.

Google will put Majel on the line to rival Siri

Dec 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Majel is Google’s voice controlled assistant in the wings and it is poised to compete against Apple’s iPhone 4S-based Siri. The new chatter surrounding the yet to be launched Majel ...

Siri's abortion info flap: Blame it on Beta, says Apple

Dec 01, 2011

Siri is the intelligent iPhone personal assistant smart enough to give you an answer just by asking—unless your question is where to find the closest abortion clinic. In a fast and furious go-round this ...

Review: Despite flaws, voice search has potential

Mar 06, 2013

I never thought I'd be telling my phone what to do. But I often find myself talking to various digital assistants—Siri on the iPhone and Google Now on Android devices—to request driving directions, restaurant recommendations ...

Recommended for you

Google offers peek into Bhutan with Street View launch

1 hour ago

Google provided a sneak peek into Bhutan Thursday by unveiling a Street View project for the remote Himalayan kingdom, featuring panoramic views of its majestic mountains, monasteries and crystal-clear rivers.

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues

3 hours ago

Nokia appears to have turned around its fortunes after the sale of its ailing cellphone unit to Microsoft, reporting a third-quarter net profit of 747 million euros ($950 million), from a loss of 91 million euros a year earlier. ...

Yahoo CEO defends strategy in face of criticism

3 hours ago

Signaling her reign has reached a pivotal juncture, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is trying to convince restless shareholders that the long-struggling Internet company is heading in the right direction.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

powerup1
not rated yet Apr 30, 2013
What is the point of this article?