Enhancements Coming to Google Assistant Set to Rival Siri Improvements in iOS 11

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    In the run-up to the official release of iOS 11 this month, much of Apple's focus has been on touted improvements coming to its built-in virtual assistant, Siri. Apart from becoming more naturally spoken, Siri will allow users to get real-time translation between select languages and is said to boast a greater understanding of the user's needs dependent on circumstance and time of day, with the AI assistant's learning synced across devices.

    Apple is hoping these and other improvements will go some way to quashing negative perceptions of Siri, which have led some iOS users to turn to rival assistants for a better experience. One of those rivals is Google Assistant, which as well as powering Google's Pixel smartphones is integrated into Google's iOS Search app. In general tests, Google Assistant consistently beats Siri in areas including language comprehension, responsiveness, and answer accuracy. But like Apple, Google's AI team is not resting on its laurels, and this week at Google Developer Days, the company demoed some of the new features it is working to bring to its flagship assistant in the near future.

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    Like Siri, one of the major additions coming to Google Assistant is a new translator mode, which once activated by the user with the phrase "OK Google, be my [specify language] translator", repeats everything that is subsequently said in the requested language both vocally and visually. While standard translation as such isn't new to Google Assistant, the new way of interacting with it is designed to be more useful when users are traveling abroad.

    Another improvement coming to the virtual AI is better contextual understanding of questions. For example, in the GDD stage demonstration, Google Assistant is first asked to show pictures of Thomas, and the AI returns images of Thomas the Tank Engine. Next, responding to the phrase "Bayern Munich team roster", the Assistant returns details of the German soccer team. Then it is once more asked for "pictures of Thomas", but this time the Assistant pulls up pictures of Bayern soccer player Thomas Müller, putting the results correctly in context to the rolling set of queries.

    In a subsequent example, the audience is shown how Google Assistant can help them remember the name of a movie that's on the tip of their tongue. The stage demonstrator asks, "What is the name of the movie where Tom Cruise acts in it and he plays pool and while he plays pool he dances". With little hesitation, The Color of Money appears on the screen and the Assistant relates further details about the film.


    In addition to these new features, Google said its virtual assistant can now respond to questions faster and is able to understand a user's voice more accurately in noisy environments. It also claimed that the AI now has deeper integration with Google Search, which should enable it to provide more detailed answers to queries.

    It's unclear which of these enhancements will make it over to Google's iOS Search app, or whether the company makes some of the features exclusive to Android. Whatever its plans, the GDD demonstrations show just how much the virtual assistant wars are hotting up. And with Google Assistant now showing up in third-party smart speaker devices, there's every indication that Siri in iOS 11 - and in Apple's upcoming HomePod speaker - will have plenty of competition in the virtual assistant space.

    Article Link: Enhancements Coming to Google Assistant Set to Rival Siri Improvements in iOS 11
     
  2. timmyc macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Title should read Siri improvements set to rival Google voice recognition technology
     
  3. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020

    jamesrick80

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    #3
    Sounds like Google Assistant will remain the best.....always actually improving as usual.
     
  4. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

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    Siri will still win out ultimately because of their integration with iOS. It’s going to be siri which schedules my calendar events and sets my alarms and reminders. watchOS 4 will even bring Siri to my Apple Watch screen front and centre.

    Google may have the better service, but you still can’t beat Apple in terms of ecosystem lock.
     
  5. GadgetBen macrumors 6502a

    GadgetBen

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    #5
    Siri hasn’t improved and constantly frustrates me to the point where I only use it to set reminders. Even then it gets some of the details wrong.

    I have no desire to ask Siri about anything complex if it can’t complete simple tasks accurately.

    It’s disappointing that Apple have failed to improve this technology and failed to announce any improvements to Siri when they revealed HomePod. Especially as HomePod will almost certainly rely solely on voice commands.

    I’m hoping they announce ‘Siri 2’ on Tuesday.
     
  6. macfacts macrumors 68030

    macfacts

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    So because iOS doesn't allow "default apps", Siri is more integrated with the OS. Surprise surprise.
     
  7. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

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    #7
    It's a personal choice and opinion. I know many happy apple users who use Google AI. There is no win.....
     
  8. 1applerules1 macrumors regular

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  9. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

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    #9
    I've used Siri, Alexa, and Cortana a fair bit; Google's assistant somewhat less. Frankly, I find them all rather frustrating and underwhelming. I'm sure it's my own expectations which are the issue... but I get really tired of having to conform my phrasing to match what they know how to interpret.

    Someday they'll all make that leap, I'm sure; and that day will be amazing. But none of them are there yet.
     
  10. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #10
    Just a shame can't say ok google on iPhone to activate it
     
  11. Nozuka macrumors 68020

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    #11
    i gave Siri another chance with iOS11 yesterday. sadly it's still terrible.
    while she was very good at hearing what i was saying (everything i said was correctly written on the screen), she didn't understand anything i asked correctly.

    even asking her to play the newest album of artist XY is too much of a task for her... (well at least she started to play music from that artist randomly) and that was the only tasked she almost managed to do.

    Siri is no good if i have to learn which phrases she understands first.
     
  12. MH01 Suspended

    MH01

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    #12
    That would result in even more switching. So understandable why it's not allowed.

    I just want Siri to stop serving the iTunes Store and actually listen to my questions. My major gripe is that it is useless about TV shows etc.....
     
  13. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #13
    I tried Google assistant. It's very good on the iPhone, but I also agree that you can't trigger it unless you activate the iPhone as you would when you say hey Siri. To me, A hands-free assistant is crucial without having to physically use my iPhone to activate it.
     
  14. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    Agreed which is why i think i will always use Siri for most tasks. That said i don't use Siri much. Just to see alarms and reminders/appointments.
     
  15. Superhappytree macrumors 6502a

    Superhappytree

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    #15
    I would never allow google to use my voice. I would feel uncomfortable considering their stance on privacy which is a stark contrast compared to Apples. Also, it’s easier for them this way because they have Google’s entire back catalog to rely upon. It’s basically a voice assistant search engine which google takes advantage of because they track what you search and now ask for. I have much more respect for Apple due to this. It may be behind in some areas but I’d take some slight drawbacks considering the above.
     
  16. neliason macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I am sure Google has a serious advantage in this. To make a search engine you need linguists. To make a virtual assistant you need linguists. Google should have a lot of knowledge and experience from the search engine. Now, if Alexa is considerably better that would be harder to explain.
     
  17. Ds6778 macrumors 6502a

    Ds6778

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    #17
    It's disappointing to see that Siri is still so far behind. Hopefully iOS 12 fixes that. Google is probably 2-3 years ahead of Apple.
     
  18. thekeyring macrumors 68040

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    #18
    I agree with you. My main complaint is I'm not sure what exactly Siri is for. It can't match all the functions of the built-in apps (or anywhere close), but it does things like show me sports scores - a feature not covered by any default app on the phone.

    So, I'm bound to be missing a load of Siri functionality because I don't know that Siri can do it (how am I supposed to know?!). Also, when I try something and it doesn't work, I feel a little foolish and think "well, I guess it's not built for that".
    --- Post Merged, Sep 10, 2017 ---
    Also, Google has direct access to the search results. Siri's "Here's what I found on the web" feels like Siri has failed, where as Google showing you results that link to web pages feels like it's part of the intended experience.
     
  19. jacksmith21006 macrumors member

    jacksmith21006

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    On a hike with my wife with a really bright sun out. She takes a bunch of 4K photos on her iPhone 7S. Without touching a single button or doing anything we later get home walk into our family room and she asks for very fine details in the photos and the TV turns itself on, input sets and the photo in 4K with HDR displays on the largest screen in our house. So like "hey google show me ducks from my photos on TV" and a lake we saw on our hike with Ducks swimming in the lake appear but in 4K and HDR.

    It was the least amount of friction possible. I mean she did ONLY touched the shutter button as she always did. But it is NOT only using technology but how easy to set it up? She simply purchased, plugged in, logged in and that was it. Nothing else and as easy as it can be.

    Does she have a HomePod? AppleTV? No we purchased a Google Home, 4K Chromecast and she already used Google Photos on her phone. You just can not have any better integration and it is with Google Assistant and NOT Siri.

    It is also the ONLY way to see your iPhone photos in 4K and HDR on the largest screen in the house as there is NOTHING today from Apple to do this.

    Now it might change but right now the Google Assistant is miles ahead of Siri and Google is doing better integration than Apple is doing with the Apple iPhone.
     
  20. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

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    #20
    Except we are talking about google assistant on the iPhone, not a third party smart speaker.
     
  21. oldmacs macrumors 601

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    #21
    Or in my case it will be my thumbs after I give up on Siri after the 3rd or 4th attempt.
     
  22. JackRipper macrumors regular

    JackRipper

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  23. jacksmith21006 macrumors member

    jacksmith21006

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    #23
    "Enhancements Coming to Google Assistant Set to Rival Siri Improvements in iOS 11"

    What? Google Assistant is already miles ahead of Siri I hate to say. It really is NOT close. True story. I was driving with my wife and she was asking something of Siri and it kept getting it wrong in a way we both found crazy funny. It would get it wrong one way and she would try again and then it would another way and this went on several times.

    I was laughing too hard that I could NOT drive and had to pull over to the side of the road. The very first attempt with the Google Assistant it got it exactly right on the very first try. But this is a common experience.

    I do NOT know what the problem is with Siri but it is just horrible which is crazy that Apple let it happen. They were first and had an incredible brand with Siri but now Siri is the modern day Internet Explorer. It is trash and the brand is trash. Apple should really invest into fixing it and then change the name. Some day they will fix it but the Siri brand is so damaged I do NOT believe it can be fixed. I really thought with iOS 11 Apple would finally fix Siri and I thought wrong.
     
  24. pika2000 macrumors 601

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    #24
    In terms of recognizing voice, imo Google still has an upper hand. I mean they had a much earlier head start (eg. transcribing tons of voicemail form Google Voice). But as for actual capability, I actually find both to still in their infancy. On my Android phones, Google assistant cannot even start navigation to one of my contacts for some weird reason.
     
  25. stainless macrumors member

    stainless

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    #25
    You do realize the amount of steps your leaving out? Either you work for Google or simply anti-Apple.

    How did your wife activate google asst on the iPhone?

    How often does the Chromecast break and need to be reconnected?

    What about security, your wife doesn't care that the kid next door can hack Chromecast and access what you streaming very easily?

    How about the FACT that Google actually allow their employees to view your photo AND know who took those photos, when and where?!

    Then that lead us to the FACT that Google also tracks her and your polictical views, who you support, what causes you support, health issues you've researched, etc etc etc...

    All that aside, no one has mentioned the important FACT about iOS 11 and Siri sharing "learning" via others interactions randomly... i.e. Your at a coffee shop and all the iPhones will randomly connect and learn from each other! Something that Google does NOT have the numbers on or can with Google Asst. on the iPhone.
     

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