Google challenges Siri with Voice Search
Brings its revamped voice activated tools to iPhones and iPads as race to steal Siri's thunder hots up
Published: 9 August, 2012
As Apple seeks to distance itself from Google's services on its iOS platform, the search giant is taking the challenge to the iPhone. It is bringing its upgraded voice-enabled search software to iOS, taking on its rival's famous Siri voice activated personal assistant.
Google has offered Voice Actions for Android devices since 2010 but a few weeks ago unveiled a significantly overhauled version, along with Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). Now called Voice Search, the product combines speech recognition tools and, according to Google, a deeper understanding of natural language. It also draws on Knowledge Graph, a database of more than 500m people, places and objects with 3.5bn attributes and connections.
On the Google Blog, SVP of search, Amit Singhal, wrote: "You just need to tap the microphone icon and ask your question, the same way you'd ask a friend. It works for everything from celebrity factoids to the height of Kilimanjaro and more."
The feature will now be available for iPhones and iPads running iOS 4.2 and above. According to The Verge blog, Google submitted the offering to Apple's App Store about a week ago and hopes it will be available within a few days.
Independents are also trying to steal thunder from the heavily marketed Siri, which was the highlight of the iPhone 4S launch and, some believe, its major sales catalyst. Nuance Communications, whose software is included in Siri, recently introduced Nina, a virtual assistant enabling companies to add speech-based customer service to iOS and Android applications.