Want to know how Siri stacks up against Google Voice Search? Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster did too and so he conducted a test that pits the two head to head.
According to Munster, Siri – the voice assistant of the iPhone – has lost to Google Voice Search in a test he (perhaps with his team) conducted. Making a total of 1,600 searches on each system, Munster wrote in a note to clients on Thursday that Siri gets a “D” grade while Google Voice Search gets a “B+”.
Furthermore, Munster writes that Siri could take perhaps more than two years to catch up with Google Voice Search.
“In order to become a viable mobile search alternative, Siri must match or surpass Google’s accuracy of B+ and move from a grade D to a B or higher,” Munster wrote.
The test involved asking Siri 800 questions on a noisy Minneapolis street. The assistant was again asked another set of 800 questions in a quiet room. The same was done with its Google counterpart.
About Siri’s comprehension score, Munster wrote:
We measure Siri comprehension at 83%. On a noisy Minneapolis street, Siri comprehended 83% of our queries. We believe this is the most accurate representation of Siri’s comprehension because Siri is rarely used in a perfectly quiet setting. As a point of comparison, we performed the test in a quiet room where Siri was able to comprehend 89% of queries. Siri will need to improve from a B in comprehension to at least an A if it is to be considered a viable alternative to Google (A+), which could take two or more years.
On Siri’s accuracy, the Piper Jaffray analyst said:
We measure Siri accuracy at 62%. Siri accurately answer 62% on the street and 68% in a quiet room. (See page 2 for difference between comprehension and accuracy). We believe accuracy is where Siri needs the most improvement if it wants to rival Google. Currently, we measure Google at 86% accuracy in the US based on comScore result page per search data. According to comScore, Google delivered an average of 1.14 search results pages per search over the past year. We believe this is a relevant proxy suggesting that 14% of the time, users could not immediately find that for which they were looking, thus 86% of the time, Google was accurate.
Nonetheless, Munster was optimistic about the future improvements to Siri. He asserts that iOS 6 and the new Siri it will bring will lessen dependence on Google. He writes:
Google provides 60% of answers today, 48% when iOS 6 ships. We estimate that changes to Siri iOS 6 will decrease dependency on Google by 12%, from 60% to 48%. Apple has made several significant changes to Siri on iOS 6 that will decrease Siri’s dependency on Google. First and foremost, Apple’s in-house maps app will eliminate Siri’s dependency on Google for navigation. Second, Siri’s new integration of Yahoo Sports, Open Table, Rotten Tomatoes, and Fandango will provide answers for sports scores and statistics, restaurant reservations, movie show times, and ticket purchases.
On the other hand, here’s an example of what things Siri got wrong in the test:
- What team does Peyton Manning play for? Siri answered with the answer to whatever was asked before this question.
- Where is Elvis buried? Siri looked for “Elvis Buried” and not answered with where the King of Rock and Roll rests.
- Where am I? Siri sometimes dropped a pin in the wrong place.
- When did the movie Cinderella come out? Siri searched Yelp for current screening times.
- How do I get from Boston to New York? Siri says: “I can only give directions from your current location. I can’t give you directions to a place you are not in.”
- What spices are in Lasagna? Again, Siri searched Yelp, this time for Lasagna items on menus.
- When is the next Haley’s comet? Siri said: “You have no meetings matching Haley’s.”
- I want to go to Lake Superior? Siri directed to a company called Lake Superior X-Ray.
Those are essentially the important points noted by the test conducted by the Piper Jaffray analyst. However, while we’re at it, let’s list supported language for both camps.
For Google Voice Search, the following are supported: English (Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, US), French, Italian, Spanish (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, US, Uruguay, Venezuela), German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese (Traditional Taiwan, Simplified China, Simplified Hong Kong), Yue Chinese (Traditional Hong Kong), Czech, Polish, Turkish, Russian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Dutch, Afrikaans, Indonesian, Malaysian, Zulu, Latin, Pig-Latin, Arabic.
Meanwhile, Siri supports these languages: English (Australia, United Kingdom, United States), French, German, Japanese.
Siri (iOS 6 BETA2) Vs Google Voice Search (Jelly Bean 4.1)