Last week I rejoined civilization and bought an iPhone after a year spent hauling HTC’s Inspire, a smartphone with a camera that bulged out, a glitchy OS, and a size that never quite felt comfortable in my hand. AT&T practically threw money at me to take an iPhone 4S, probably so the mobile provider could lock me into a two-year contract right before the new iThings surfaced. I didn’t care. I had a sleek new toy with an 8 megapixel camera and Siri, Apple’s personal voice-recognition assistant.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so excited about the switch. Business Insider got its hands on Google Now, the tech giant’s answer to Siri, and ran tests on each at the same time. Here are the results:
The most notable difference (besides speed — Now really flies) is that Siri tends to tell you when she’s thinking and when she has no idea what the hell to do. She also presents to you a bunch of options (“You do want to see pictures of Kate Upton, right? At work?”), whereas Google Now just decides for you. It’s like Google Search vs. I’m Feeling Lucky. One offers precision; the other, convenience. Both might get annoying after a while.
Of course, I tested all the Siri results on my own phone, and found my searches to go a little faster than the BI test’s. Maybe it’s my own internet connection. Maybe it’s my refusal to feel buyer’s remorse. Maybe it’s because she calls me a rock god.
Granted, Apple will step up its game in October and release a supercharged, Google Now–inspired Siri, and all these comparisons will be moot.[Business Insider]