Ina Fried of AllThingsD went on a trip to Taipei and took along an iPhone 4S and the HTC Salsa.
She tested Google’s expanded speech-to-speech capabilities in an electronic store. To use this feature you can simply say something in your language, and it automatically gets translated to another language. According to Ina Fried, it worked quite well.
Because of Siri’s missing local search outside the U.S., Siri wasn’t able to help her find the nearest noodle joint.
One year ago, Android released Voice Actions, Androids own voice service. At a quick glance, Google’s Voice Actions and Apple’s Siri appear similar. And in many ways, they are. Here’s a list of things you can do in Voice Actions:
- Creation of text messages and emails.
- Get navigation directions.
- Call a contact.
- View a map of a particular area.
- Write a note.
- Play music.
- Perform a web search.
Google’s Voice Actions includes features Siri currently cannot do. For example the ability to call a business just by saying its name and location.
Here’s a demonstration of Google’s Voice Actions:
The main difference between Google’s Voice Actions and Siri lies in Siri’s ability to understand natural language. While you had to say the exact sets of commands in order for Google’ Voice Actions to function, Siri can understand a variety of different expressions.
Another important point is Siri’s personality. Siri is much more entertaining to use because you sometimes get witty replies. Even though this doesn’t help the productivity, it’s still fun and entertaining, and therefore a lot more interesting to use.
In addition to Google’s Voice Actions, there are a lot of third-party products available in the Android Market, like “Iris”, a Siri-like clone for Android.
The team at Dexetra.com, led by Narayan Babu, built a Siri-like clone for Android in just 8 hours during a hackathon. It uses Android’s built in speech-to-text functions to understand the questions and allows you to search on various subjects including conversions, art, literature, history, and biology.
When we started seeing results, everyone got excited and started a high speed coding race. In no time, we added Voice input, Text-to-speech, also a lot of hueristic humor into Iris. Not until late evening we decided on the name “iris.”, which would be Siri in reverse. And we also reverse engineered a crazy expansion – Intelligent Rival Imitator of Siri. We were still in the fun mode, but when we started using it the results were actually good, really good.
Iris will soon be available at the Android Marketplace.