updated 01:36 am EST, Wed December 11, 2013
Google wins on 'most improved,' Siri gains upper hand on OS commands
An annual shootout between Google's Google Now and Apple's Siri voice-assisted virtual assitants conducted by Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has resulted in a virtual tie, with both services receiving the same overall grade. Siri barely edged out Google Now by virtual of its better integration with OS commands -- an advantage that comes with the program's deep OS integration -- but both programs got the same overall grade (C+) and percentage of questions correct (79 percent).
The test is comprised of 400 questions, and Munster saw progress on both services (which are both available for iOS) over previous years. Siri went from a "D" grade two years ago to a "C" last year to a "C+" in the latest rankings, answering 79 percent of questions correctly. Google now, however, has progressed faster -- going from a "D-" in 2012 to a "C+" in a single year and answering the same percentage of questions. Munster said that the 400 questions are asked both indoors and outdoors, and cover five different categories, reports Barron's.
Munster feels that Google Now "has been gaining on Apple's Siri in terms of correct answers in the commerce and local categories, but it still lags significantly in OS commands." He added that "we have seen strong growth in Google Now's ability to parse out the user's voice in uncontrolled environments." Munster noted that it had improved to 92 percent accuracy in noisy environments compared to 78 percent a year ago. Siri, however was still better in noisy environments -- scoring 94 percent, an improvement from 83 percent a year ago.