Google Creates Halloween Mischief for Apple's Siri - Boo!

By Peter Bernstein November 01, 2012

With everything surrounding the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy you might have missed something of interest in the ongoing battle of the ecosystem giants Google and Apple.   As most of you are probably aware, October 30th, the night before Halloween typically has public safety officials in the U.S. on their toes because it carries the unofficial title of “Mischief Night.” Call it coincidence but Google chose Mischief Night to release its most advanced version of voice search for the Google iOS app. This is very mischievous indeed.

Here are the details from none other than the official Google blog as posted by Kenneth Bongort, Engineer, Google Search.

“When you have a question, finding the answer should be effortless—wherever you are and whatever device you’re using. The new Google Search app for iPhone and iPad helps you to do just that with enhanced voice search that answers any question with the comprehensive Google search results you know and love.” 

Fast and accurate voice recognition technology enables Google to understand exactly what you’re saying. Getting an answer is as simple as tapping on the microphone icon and asking a question like, “Is United Airlines flight 318 on time?” Your words appear as you speak, you get your answer immediately and—if it’s short and quick, like the status and departure time of your flight—Google tells you the answer aloud.”

You can get answers to an increasingly wide variety of questions thanks to Knowledge Graph, which gives our search technology an understanding of people, places and things in the real world.

In short, “Take that Siri!”

Google was even kind enough, or diabolical enough depending on how you feel about such things, to provide a nice little video —via YouTube of course.


As a few observers of this have already noted, if you are a constant user of the Google Search app on your iPhone, you might be just a bit inconvenienced. After all, Siri is optimized for use on the iPhone and Google’s voice search will not let you do things like create reminds, make appointments, etc. That said, however, you have to like Google going into the lion’s den and looking to undermine Siri. 

I realize the Apple folks are busy fixing Maps, but one wonders why they have not come up with a capability for the iPhone where if you went to use an alternative voice search and navigation capability Siri came back with something along the lines of “REALLY! Think you might wish to reconsider!”

 If you are an iPhone owner and would like to download the Google Search App here is your link. Now I wonder if as a counter strike I can get an enhanced version of the Siri app I have on my Android phone so I can do a apples-to-apples (sorry Google) taste test.

Boo! Who?


Edited by Brooke Neuman
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