Generally I don’t take sides in the Android/iPhone battle. Having had both Android phones and iPhones, I think both have great qualities. I also think that iPhones are easier to use for those who don’t have the nature or inclination to tweak an Android phone to get it working just right. However, I will say, that I think Android voice control is superior to iPhone’s Siri. Apparently I am not the only person who feels this way; Wozniak himself agrees. (Wozniak is the co-founder of Apple for people not in the know and a brilliant engineer.)
In the commercials Siri works perfectly. It does all of these amazing things that I would love to have my phone do. But in the real world I have watched people struggle to get Siri to respond properly. In a seminar I attended recently the instructor had trouble getting Siri to cooperate. He tried over and over again to get Siri to conduct searches and it just wouldn’t work properly. The answers were nonsensical, very limited, or the phone simply couldn’t understand him.
I know Siri is supposed to learn, but from what I have seen perhaps it doesn’t learn quickly enough. It also requires a connection to the Siri server to work, meaning if the server is down or the phone is unable to connect, the voice control is useless. The old iPhone voice control didn’t have this issue and the current Android doesn’t have it either. To me the server connection problem is a pretty major step backwards.
Would I like to have something that works as well as Siri seems to in its commercials? Yes. And I have absolutely no doubt that both the iPhone and Android phones will develop amazing voice control abilities in the future. But here is a simple reality; while it has improved substantially, voice control is limited because it has trouble understanding our various ways of speaking. So though I ask my phone to call Ellen Freedman constantly, it always wants to call Allen Friedman. This is a problem on every phone.
Is Android voice control perfect? Far from it. Can it do everything Siri claims to be able to do? Nope. But for what it claims to do, make calls, start navigation, turn on music, conduct searches, and so on, generally the Android does it better and more accurately than Siri is currently capable of doing. As a result of the issues I have seen, Siri seems to me more of a gimmick than a reality. I have said it before I am sure I will say it again; I don’t really have much use for gimmicks.