According to the investment firm Piper Jaffray, tests with Apple’s personal assistant, Siri, have found the service turns to Google for an answer in iOS 6 half as much as it did in iOS 5. Previously, in June, when tested with a list of common queries, it was discovered that Google was responsible for about 60% of the data returned. Now with iOS 6, Google seems to only be responsible for 30% of the data.
Gene Munster wrote “the biggest change in query resolution to Google was the removal of Google Maps in iOS 6, as 23% of queries resolved to Apple Maps. Yelp and Yahoo! also benefited slightly. Net-net we view this as a slight negative for consumers on Apple products as we view Apple Maps as an inferior product to Google Maps.”
The tests that were recently performed also found evidence of behind-the-scenes improvements to Siri, though the changes don’t seem too drastic. In iOS 5, Siri understood 89% of queries spoke in a quiet environment, while that number improved to 91% in iOS 6. Similarly, 76% of queries were answered correctly in iOS 5 and that improved to 77% with iOS 6. Since Piper Jaffray’s first Siri test, Google has released its own voice-driven assistant service, named Google Now. For its latest test, Google Now was included to offer a head-to-head comparison with Siri, where it was concluded that Apple’s service has a very slight advantage at the moment. Munster said the following regarding this topic:
It appears the two voice assistants are comparable to one another in terms of understanding the spoken query and returning the correct result. In our test, Siri correctly understood our queries 91% of the time in a quiet environment compared to Google Now at 88%. In terms of accuracy, we determined that Siri accurately answered understood queries 77% of the time compared to 75% for Google now.
Munster provided some closing input stating that an area that both Google Now and Siri are lacking in is commerce. He believes that Apple will integrate with local deal companies such as Groupon and Living Social to enhance commerce assistance with Siri. We’ll have to see how the whole ordeal pans out though and how long it takes Apple to implement said features.
Source: Piper Jaffray via AppleInsider