Google Search vs. Siri: Voice search speed test (video)

In writing my review for Google Search yesterday, I realized the new Voice Search features are quite a bit faster than Siri.

Google Search
I asked, "Who is Michael Jordan?" and not only did it give me speedy results; Google Search also read me a short bio. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Google Search (free) has been on iOS for some time, with well-known search capabilities, access to Google apps, Google Goggles for identifying products, and Voice Search. But an update to the app yesterday enhanced Voice Search with spoken answers, and it quickly became clear Google Search had an edge on Siri -- especially when it comes to speed.

Siri has a distinct advantage in most cases because it's integrated with the iOS. This means you can have Siri "Call Rebecca," for example, and Siri accesses your contact list along with your phone app to make the call. Ask Siri where to get pizza and you'll automatically get a result on a background tailored to match Yelp listings. Similarly, you can launch an app using your voice because Siri knows what apps you have and has the access to launch apps for you. Google Search doesn't have this kind of access.

What Google Search does have access to is the most-used search engine in the world, and with the upgraded Voice Search, it seems it also has the fastest voice results available. I performed a number of tests by asking both Siri and Google Search the same question to see how long it took for each to give me results. In the video below you can watch as I ask "Who is Michael Jordan?" and "Who is Lady Gaga?"

Play

Obviously, Google Search is much faster at giving you results and I have to admit I like the short spoken summaries, but that's probably a matter of taste. Siri still has a distinct advantage on your iPhone because it's integrated with apps and can turn up tailored results for many of your questions. But it's also clear that if you're a search junkie who likes to use voice search, the Google Search app may not have the same access, but it is quite a bit faster than Siri.

About the author

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

 

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