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Google's Siri competitor for iOS arrives

Google's latest voice search technology can be found in a new update for the company's iOS app that makes Siri look slow.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

Nearly three months after its snazzy demo, Google's enhanced voice search for iOS is here.

The service, which mimics some of the functionality found in Google's search technology built into Android as part of Jelly Bean, aims to keep Siri on her toes.

The software (iTunes) provides contextual, spoken results for voice queries and serves up Web searches for everything else. In some brief testing this morning, the answers came back markedly quicker than Apple's own offering, even showing you voice transcriptions as queries were spoken -- something Siri does not do until users are done talking.

The new feature went out as part of an update to Google's search application this morning, which also added support for Apple's iPhone 5. iOS users need to be on iOS 4.2 or above to use the new feature.

In an interview with CNET earlier this year, Google said it plans to build some of the same search integration into its other products, namely Calendar and Drive, though it has not set out a timetable for those additions.

Here's Google's promotional video of the enhanced voice search in action: