The tech-war continues to grow stronger between these two Tech Giants, Google and Apple. “Your analysis was the dumbest affair I’ve anytime read. It strains me to abstain profanity in anecdotic how brainless you sound.”That’s the affectionate of email that brightened my day afterwards I advised Google’s Moto X buzz two weeks ago.
My correspondents seemed abnormally black with one book in that review: “Android’s articulation commands are still no bout for Siri.”Man, I absolutely was stupid. Who’d be impaired abundant to yield abandon in a religious war? I’d accept been bigger off writing, “Conservatives are better-looking than liberals” or “Pro-life humans are worse drivers than pro-choice.”
But the ahead of smartphone speech-recognition technology is not an abandoned question. Already touchscreens became the approaching of phones, articulation acceptance became badly important. After concrete keys or buttons, entering argument and manipulating software controls are fussy, multi-step procedures.
So I’ve just spent two weeks absorbed in articulation recognition. I agitated an iPhone and a buzz active Google’s Android operating arrangement with me everywhere. I batten to both phones simultaneously. I capital to get to apperceive the differences, the strengths, the weaknesses.
When humans allocution about accent recognition, they mean, and about confuse, three altered functions. There’s dictation, area the buzz converts accent to text; commands, area you accomplish the buzz by talking; and internet advice searches. There are all-inclusive differences a part of the successes of the three.
Dictation, for example, is still adequately poor on both systems. Both Android phones and Siri, the iPhone’s accent feature, accomplish abounding archetype errors. If you apprehend humans bashing smartphone transcription, declaring, “I gave up on it,” they’re usually apropos to dictation.
That’s forgivable, but arise on. You’re allurement your buzz to accept capricious accents at capricious distances from its microphone, in apartment with capricious accomplishments noise. It’s a admiration this affection works at all.
The latest Android adaptation doesn’t crave an internet affiliation to do basal dictation. And in Android, the words arise on the awning as you absolute them; Siri doesn’t transcribe until you stop talking.
On the added hand, Siri understands formatting controls such as “capital”, “all caps” and “no space”, as able-bodied as all kinds of punctuation ??“ “colon”, “dash”, “asterisk”, “ellipsis” and so on. Android understands alone the basal symbols, such as “period”, “comma” and “exclamation point.”
The additional category, phone-control commands, is far added acknowledged for far added people. This is if you say: “Call mum”, “Text Emily”, “Wake me at 7.30”, “Play some Billy Joel”, “Remind me to augment the cat if I get home”, and so on.
Controlling your buzz after affecting it is important for safety, of course. If you accept to collaborate with your buzz while driving, speaking to it absolutely seems safer than searching at it.
But don’t overlook the accessibility factor. It’s abundant faster to say, “Open Angry Birds” than to cast through home screens abounding of icons. And “Set my anxiety for 8am” is about 375 finger-taps quicker than application the alarm app.
Here, Siri has the edge. As you’re active along, for example, and you apprehend the admission bulletin sound, you can say, “Read my new messages” and Siri reads them aloud. It even invites you to behest a reply, after anytime demography your eyes off the road. Android can’t do that.
Both systems can tap into some of the phone’s own apps. They recognise commands such as “Make a affair with Bob Barnett Thursday at noon” (a agenda interaction), “Make a agenda to pay aback Harold” (notes), “Send an email to Danny Cooper” (mail) and “What’s Steve Alper’s home address?” (contacts).
Android assault abroad iOS, though, in web searches. Both kinds of phones do an amazing job adorable acclimate updates (“What will the acclimate in Detroit be this weekend?”), times (“What time is it in Belgium?”), banal prices, sports advice (“When’s the next Cowboys game?”), conversions (“How abounding dollars in 32 euros?”), calculations (“How abounding canicule until Valentine’s Day?”) and every affectionate of web-search concern (“How abounding calories are in a Hershey bar?”, “When is the next solar eclipse?”, “How do you spell schadenfreude?”, “Show me pictures of a 1985 Corvette”, and so on).
But Google’s aliment and adulate is web searches, so Android responses are about much, abundant faster. (To try this speak-and-ye-shall-find business on an iPhone, download the Google Seek app.)
Android is abnormally amazing at dialling places after accepting to attending them up (“Call the Macy’s on 34th Street”) and admonition (“Get me to La Guardia Airport by accessible transportation”), aback its Map app is so awfully good. It’s aswell smarter about abutting one catechism with another. If your aboriginal catechism was, “Who is Hillary Clinton?”, you can chase up with, “Who is her husband?”
And Google has a congenital music-recognition feature, like the Shazam app. Tap the voice-recognition icon, let the buzz accept to whatever song is playing, and curiosity as it instantly identifies the song and singer.
When it comes to accessing external hardware like security cams available at www.jmcsecure.co.uk both Apple and Android will do a relatively good job. Unfortunately, Android has an Achilles’ heel ??“ actually, added like Achilles’ absolute leg. To affair announced commands, you accept to tap the microphone figure on the Google seek bar. And it’s alone on the home awning or the Google Now awning (swipe up from the bottom). So you can’t allege commands if your buzz is locked, or if you’re in addition app.
On the iPhone, you authority down the Home button or the clicker on your earphones cord, so the articulation command affection works if the buzz is comatose or in any app.
In added words, to use an Android phone’s accent features, you frequently accept to aces it up, and you consistently accept to attending at it, which defeats abundant of the purpose. The exception: Motorola’s new phones, such as the Moto X, can be set to accept all the time.
Siri is bigger with restaurants and movies, too. Both phones understand, “Good Indian restaurants about here” or “Call the Olive Garden on Daleford Road”. But Siri can aswell book reservations, acknowledgment to affiliation with OpenTable.com. You can say, for example, “Make a catch at an bargain Italian restaurant Saturday night at 7”.
Similarly, Siri provides attractive, circumscribed acknowledgment screens for, “What movies are aperture this week?” “Give me the reviews for The Way, Way Back”, or “What are today’s appearance times for The Smurfs 2?” Android just shows you Google seek results.
And again there’s the affair of personality: Siri has it, Android doesn’t.
We’re talking about wisecracks, jokes, attitude, acclamation you by name. If you ask Siri, “Who’s your daddy?”, she replies: “You are. Can we get aback to plan now?” Say, “Beam me up, Siri”, and she says: “Please abolish your belt, shoes and jacket, and abandoned your pockets”. Say, “Talk bedraggled to me”, and she replies, “Humus. Compost. Pumice. Silt. Gravel”.
Now, on the abundant battlefield of the Apple-Google fanboy war, humour is baby potatoes. Apple haters about barb their eyes out if you acknowledgment Siri’s personality. “It’s not useful! It’s a parlour trick! It strains me to abstain profanity in anecdotic how brainless you sound!”
And that’s fine. That’s why there’s choice: two camps in this abstract school. (Well, there’s aswell Windows Buzz and BlackBerry, but their accent acceptance is acutely rudimentary.)
And so: put down your swords, fanboys. Both systems are awfully useful, already you absorb the time to apprentice them. (Here’s a website with a acceptable account of Android articulation commands; and one for Apple’s Siri.)
Though Siri has the edge, the gap has bankrupt substantially, and both systems are rapidly improving. For example, until afresh Android had no phone-control appearance at all ??“ alone web searches. And the advancing iOS 7 update, Siri will accretion a added affable speaking voice, faster searches and the adeptness to change settings by articulation (“Turn on Airplane Mode”, “Turn up the brightness”, “Turn on Bluetooth”) something neither buzz can do now.
This abundant is clear: smartphone accent acceptance is accepting bigger fast. Very soon, we’ll do beneath talking through our phones and added talking to them.