Apple Continues to Improve Siri’s Voice Searching Abilities

According to a side-by-side comparison of Apple’s Siri and Google Now carried out this month by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Apple is continuing to improve its voice-driven personal assistant Siri, though Google Now voice search is still slightly ahead, AppleInsider is reporting. Siri was found to correctly interpret questions 96% of the time, up from an 88% accuracy rate in tests conducted in December 2012.

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In a new research note, Munster shared the results of his tests, according to which Android voice search function correctly answered questions 84% of the time, barely edging out Siri, which was 82% correct. However, he highlights that there’s still a disparity between correctly hearing the question and correctly answering it. When Siri heard the question correctly, it still provided the wrong answer 16% of the time.

Munster’s tests also found that Siri has continued to reduce its reliance on Google, and answered just 3 percent of questions using data from the search giant. That’s down considerably from the 27 percent for which it relied on Google in December of 2012.

“We believe Siri will continue increasing the number of queries it can answer without consulting outside sources,” the analyst wrote. “This is important because if Siri consistently directs users to other search engines, they will be more likely to simply use Google/another search engine instead of going through Siri.”

Last year, Munster ranked Apple’s Siri with a grade of “C+”, which at the time was even with his assessment of Google Now. But now, while Siri improved to a “B-“, Google’s search has been given a slightly better grade of “B”.