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A new voice search and personal assistant app called Hound debuted on iOS yesterday that apparently outperforms Siri, Google Search and Cortana in terms of speed and recognition accuracy.

Developed by the creators of music-recognition app SoundHound, the new app provides extremely fast responses to complex, nested natural language queries with highly accurate results and location-based suggestions.

hound.jpg

Hound uses a simple single-button interface similar to the Google Search app for users to tap and ask a question. Alternatively, users can say "Ok, Hound" to initiate a query, which can broach a multitude of subjects, including weather, GPS navigation, directions, Uber, web searches, and local hotel, bar and restaurant queries.

As well as stock price, flight status, date, time, alarm and timer requests, users can also activate a Shazam-style music recognition feature called "SoundHound Now", which also responds to sung and hummed queries.

Many of the queries are already handled by Apple's voice-activated personal assistant Siri, however it is Hound's reaction speed, language translation and search accuracy that make the app particularly noteworthy, according to The Verge.
The app is so fast that it can produce near real-time translations of whole sentences in other languages, and it can spit back mounds of requested data faster than you could ever possibly glean it from Google with a keyboard.

[...]

The software's true appeal is understanding questions within questions and sussing out human context. You can give it sprawling, absurd requests nested inside other requests like, "What is the population and capitals of Japan and China, their area in square miles, and the population of India, and the area codes of France, Germany, and Spain?" and Hound will give you the information just seconds later.
The developers are apparently reluctant to disclose how the app is able to perform so well compared to competing voice-activated services. However, SoundHound CEO Keyvan Mohajer puts it down to a new "speech-to-meaning" language processing technique.

In essence, while other digital assistant software translates what you speak into text and tries to figure out what you said, Hound supposedly skips that step and deciphers your speech as it hears it.


Despite Hound's impressive abilities, iOS users will take some convincing to adopt the app in replace of Siri, which comes baked into Apple's operating system and can be voice-activated at any time without having to open an app.

Hound is a free download on the U.S. App Store and is compatible with iPhone and iPad.

Article Link: Fast Voice Assistant App 'Hound' Comes to iOS, Takes on Siri
 

levitynyc

macrumors 65816
Aug 19, 2006
1,117
3,402
I think I may use Siri once a month to set an alarm.

Other than that, is anything faster using voice?

Most of the time I've tried to use it, it either hears me wrong or spins for 10 seconds and does nothing.

I can't believe Apple is still going with something so frustrating and clunky to use.
 

hsoj1006

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2015
94
79
Siri works well integrated into my car. It is nice to tell it to call someone or open an app or play a song without ever touching my phone.
 

BradWould

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
272
252
Nova Scotia, Canada
I think I may use Siri once a month to set an alarm.

Other than that, is anything faster using voice?

Most of the time I've tried to use it, it either hears me wrong or spins for 10 seconds and does nothing.

I can't believe Apple is still going with something so frustrating and clunky to use.
HomeKit. I use Siri many times per day.
 
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Suprdave71

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2016
5
8
Yeah, Siri isn't perfect, but it gets the job done for me way more often than not. I still think of voice recognition technology as being in its infancy.
 
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thatanonymoususer

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2015
250
317
For me, Siri is good at getting me to places using maps, playing music, setting timers, and after setting up names for lists in reminders, saying something like: "Hey Siri, add milk to my grocery list". I'd say that I use Siri probably at least daily.
 

rp2011

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2010
2,010
2,147
I installed it, and it is very impressive.
And I agree, products like this make you feel giddy about the future.
And I also a agree that Apple should see if they could buy it and integrate it into Siri.
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
I think I may use Siri once a month to set an alarm.

Other than that, is anything faster using voice?

Most of the time I've tried to use it, it either hears me wrong or spins for 10 seconds and does nothing.

I can't believe Apple is still going with something so frustrating and clunky to use.

I use Siri multiple times a day. I wake up in the morning and have it turn on my lights. I have it start my music. I have CarPlay, so I use it there. I use it to launch apps, for searches and to answer questions quite often. I use it to get directions. I also use in on my Apple TV. And yes, it is much faster to use in all of those instances.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,874
15,012
In between a rock and a hard place
Probability what they have for the next version is better.

But they can hire some good talent, so it seems.
What makes you think the next version of Siri will be better? If history is any indication, you're most likely wrong. Seems that Siri was more functional before Apple acquired it, imo of course. If Hound is as good as advertised, Apple could do worse than acquiring the team. Heck, Apple has done worse. GT Advance sold Apple on smoke and mirrors. This at least is an actual working product.
 

rp2011

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2010
2,010
2,147
Probability what they have for the next version is better.

But they can hire some good talent, so it seems.

Because it uses years of data and kinks from their Soundhound app. That kind of stuff is invaluable and not really something you can throw talent at to get.
 

Zirel

Suspended
Jul 24, 2015
2,196
3,008
What makes you think the next version of Siri will be better? If history is any indication, you're most likely wrong. Seems that Siri was more functional before Apple acquired it, imo of course. If Hound is as good as advertised, Apple could do worse than acquiring the team. Heck, Apple has done worse. GT Advance sold Apple on smoke and mirrors. This at least is an actual working product.

This app is only a 10%-50% better than Siri, and only in some areas. What we need is an App that's 1000% better than Siri. That needs another level of engineering that Apple or their partners can be working on now.

"Seems that Siri was more functional before Apple acquired it"

Of course, for an Apple hater.
 

SteveJobs2.0

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
854
1,454
My issue with Siri is that she babbles too much. I just want her to do what I tell her rather than trying to be witty all the time. Her remarks certainly appeal to some individuals, such as kids, but professionals find it to be an annoyance.

There should be a "simple" mode where she doesn't constantly tell me that my "digs" are ready when I turn on the lights. Who thought that it would be a good idea to use the word digs?
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,874
15,012
In between a rock and a hard place
This app is only a 10%-50% better than Siri, and only in some areas. What we need is an App that's 1000% better than Siri. That needs another level of engineering that Apple or their partners can be working on now.

"Seems that Siri was more functional before Apple acquired it"

Of course, for an Apple hater.
What we need is for people to display an ability to make an intelligent comment without relying on the handicap of hyperbole. 1000% better? :oops: Even if your completely made up 10-50% was accurate, it's still better.

Apple hater? Grow up. Nothing in my posting history would even mildly be considered Apple hate. It's there for you to dispute. Pro tip: When your rejoinder consists of hyperbole and name calling maybe yahoo comment section would serve your style better.
 

rolsskk

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2008
300
297
It's not hard at all to beat something that's a half-measure effort from Apple that works maybe one time out of fifty. For something that's supposed to be a flagship feature of iOS, it's probably the most maddening because it's downright terrible in functionality, and cannot work without a connection.
 
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