Siri is much improved in iOS 6, that we know. But now? In iOS 5? The voice assistant leaves a lot to be desired, especially compared to a good old fashioned Google search. In fact, if Apple’s voice technology was to be graded on her current performance, Siri in iOS 5 would get a D, according to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster. Basically, if you have the time to use your hands, searching on Google is the more accurate choice.
In an exhaustive test that asked Siri 1,600 different questions — 800 “on the busy streets,” and 800 in a quiet room — the voice assistant never broke the 70 percent accuracy threshold with her answers. Searching on Google, on the other hand, accurately replied 86 percent of the time, while unsurprisingly understanding the questions 100 percent of the time.
“In order to become a viable mobile search alternative,” Munster explained, “Siri must match or surpass Google’s accuracy of B+ and move from a grade D to a B or higher.” In its current state, Munster believes Siri is “more than” two years behind Google’s technology.
Comparing a hand typed search method to beta software is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. However, Siri is meant to become a middle man for search queries, so we can understand where the idea is coming from. Perhaps a more accurate test would be to stack Siri in iOS 6 against Google Search, which we did just the other day.
According to Munster’s findings, here were some of Siri’s more typical mistakes:
- Where is Elvis buried? Responded, “I can’t answer that for you.” It thought the persons name was Elvis Buried.
- When is the next Haley’s comet? Responded, “You have no meetings matching Haley’s.”
- I want to go to Lake Superior? Responded with directions to the company Lake Superior X-Ray.