Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Apple's Siri and Android's Voice Control

Its been a while since Apple's iPhone 4S was released and everyone going GAGA over Siri. It seems very funny looking over claims of Apple fanboi's to be able to talk to their phones and it replying it back. That feature has been in Android for almost an year.

However, Siri is absolutely amazing.. Apple has once again shown us that better implementation always attracts positive attention.

Presently, Android's voice feature is not as extensive as of Siri. For example, I can say "weather in Morgantown" in Android and it will give me a weather prediction on a Google search page. Siri will give me the weather directly by speaking to me (which is really cool).

We need to specify the input properly in Android. For example I can't say "drive to Pittsburgh" in Android (this opens up searching "drive to pittsburgh" in google search) rather, I would have to say "Navigate to Pittsburgh" which is not so natural (to me).

However, translate feature is awesome on Android.

Android 4.0 features updated text to speech feature, making the API more cleaner. I think this move will encourage more developers to bring in more apps to Android market. Previously, I believe developers would have to write it in C++ (unofficial API), now there is no need for that.

No matter, Siri is a great feature but I'm a little skeptical over its success as its not a natural interface to talk to phone. Google voice search, and voice dialer are great features on Android which were present since the days of Gingerbread. But, I see very few people talking about it or using it extensively.

Andy Rubin also claims the same. They want to wait and see how the public reception of this feature will be.

But on the other hand, maybe Apple did the right thing by giving voice control in iPhone 4S a name ("Siri") and calling it an personal assistant or it is an marketing tactic made by Apple.

I guess its time for Google to make the same move.

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