Siri speaks louder than Google to most voice-control users

Both Apple and Google's voice-control technologies get high satisfaction ratings from half or more users, but Siri has an adoption edge for many tasks.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
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The dulcet tones of Apple's Siri and Google Now are getting high marks from most users, but Siri's enticing them to more tasks more often, according to a survey by market research firm Parks Associates.

Adoption rates for voice control are up from last year, climbing to about a fifth of broadband users, and both Apple's Siri technology and Google Now are commonly used for many functions.

But in most cases, save for sending text messages, Siri edges out Google Now in adoption.

Among Siri users, 48 percent turn to the feature for five or more activities a month, versus 39 percent among Google Now users. To look up information, Siri is the source for 77 percent of users versus 70 percent for Google Now. And more than half of Siri users play music or schedule events with the technology, a much higher rate than Google Now users.

In text messaging, Google Now has a slight lead: 74 percent adoption compared with Siri's 71 percent.

Earlier this month, Apple unveiled a new look for Siri with new voice options, actions, and some hot integration, including in-car options and music streaming. A recent software tweak had Siri prodding inquirers to keep their questions simple.

"Roughly one-half of those using these features say it is 'very important' to have voice control on their next smartphone, and our research shows this consumer demand is expanding to TVs and other connected home devices," John Barrett, the firm's director of consumer analytics, said.

Google voice search comes to desktop this year, via Chrome and the Chrome OS.