A survey in the United States found that 85 percent of all users on iOS 7 never consult Siri. Which leads me to the question: Do Android users use the voice software on their device? Is it even the right time for voice control? Perhaps Siri is just poorly implement and Google Now is a better alternative?
For many people talking to their devices, such as smartphones, are almost like a page out of a science fiction novel. And yet, people still have reservations of using the feature either through embarrassment of using voice controls in public or just are frustrated by mismatches for verbal queries. The technology is still pretty young but offers some pretty amazing services: obtaining sports results, currency conversions, running apps, making reminders. And so, the lack of people using the service, according to the Intelligent Voice, is a bit surprising. Nobody advertises their voice control like Apple does, and Google has just started to get on the bandwagon highlighting Google Now with their latest Moto X venture.
How does Google voice control stack up?
One personal example: I was stumped lately and asked my old Galaxy Nexus the following questions: “What’s the third law of thermodynamics”. The answer was quickly provided to me by the female voice on the smartphone with very little delay. Also, I often ask Google Maps for directions or where the nearest shop or restaurant may be. Most of the times, I get relevant results in a relatively fast manner. In fact, in a small test I did, I provided Google Now with a bunch of queries in English, asking only once, and just took a screenshot of the immediate results that I go.
For many hands-free interactions with the smartphone, the voice controls are definitely a main part of it. Of course, there are going to be discrepancies between the manufacturers’ own voice control system, such as S Voice on Samsung of Siri on iOS. At least on my Nexus it understood my queries in English pretty well (when tested in German, there was definitely a little bit lacking in comprehension). Even the dictation of text works much better than I would have expected it too. The only criticism on my part? It lacks a quick selection for the input language of the voice control. My system language is English, but there are situations where I am looking specifically for German content and the search in English doesn’t make much sense. In that case, Google understands me only when I have change the language settings of the entire device manually.
So, do you, if at all, use Google Now or a different type of voice control on your device? Do you see this a value added feature or just another gimmick?