For those who you who don’t have an iPhone 4S (or the new iPad with iOS 6) and feel left out with not being able to converse with Siri, you’ll soon be able to do many of the same things that Apple’s digital assistant is able to. Along with Google’s announcement today that Knowledge Graph will be making its way outside the US, and the introduction of the Gmail in personal search results feature, the Big G has made it known that the Google Search app for iOS will be updated soon and it’ll include voice-based questions and answers.
From the Google Blog:
Often the most natural way to ask a question is by asking aloud. So we’ve combined our speech recognition expertise, understanding of language and the Knowledge Graph so that Voice Search can better interpret your questions and sometimes speak the answers back as full sentences. This has been available on Android for a few weeks and people love it. It’ll soon be available on your iPhone or iPad (iOS version 4.2+).
You just need to tap the microphone icon and ask your question, the same way you’d ask a friend. For example, ask “What movies are playing this weekend?” and you’ll see your words streamed back to you quickly as you speak. Then Google will show you a list of the latest movies in theaters near you, with schedules and even trailers. It works for everything from celebrity factoids to the height of Kilamanjaro and more. When Google can supply a direct answer to your question, you’ll get a spoken response too.
Here’s Google’s demo showing what enhanced voice search on the Google Search app will be capable of.
And here is a video comparing Siri with Google Search running on a Google Nexus (with Jelly Bean)
According to The Verge, the updated Google Search app (iOS 4.2+ required) for the iPhone and iPad will be available in the “next couple of days”. It’s definitely exciting to see some real competition for Siri, not to mention that all iDevice users – especially those without the iPhone 4S – will be able to enjoy in the coming days a much improved voice-based Q&A experience.