Though people expected Siri to be the new ‘search engine’ competing with Google when it first came out, Steve Jobs denied it at the time in 2010 at the D8 conference when he said “We have no plans to go into the search business. We don’t care about it. Other people do it well.”
iPhone 4S’s Siri vs Google Now On Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
This has proved quite true as Siri is intelligent in different ways to a search engine as it can send texts for you, reminders, etcetera, and the search system on Siri is reliant on Wolfram Alpha which can answer novelty questions better than genuinely useful ones.
Now Google Now has been announced by Google (sorry for the lack of better choices words), and this is another voice-powered virtual assistant which will be featured on the upcoming Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update but with all the actual usefulness of Google Search.
In a story for BusinessInsider, Steve Kovach discusses how he has been testing out Android 4.1 on both the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7 and goes on to say how much more favorable he finds Google Now to the Siri for features and practicality.
These are some of the anecdotal reasons he found Google Now preferable:
It told him when he needed to leave for a meeting in order to get there on time (even considering traffic)
Answer to an obscure question in under 1 second
Automatic intuitive sports updates, knowing what games he would care about based on previous Google searches
Flight updates when waiting for the flight
Instantaneous and relevant information – due to months of work by Google Now to reduce response time (according to a conversation with Hugo Barra – Android product manager for Google)
He also acknowledges Apple’s side of the story – namely that it is in beta (though this isn’t marketed) and that the iOS 6 launch is imminent, which is will produce an improved Siri. Finally that Siri does have an amusing novelty quality, but this is not particularly valuable.