Who’s your virtual assistant of choice? Are you a die-hard Siri user, running the app since even before Apple bought it up? Or have you been won over by Google Now and its tight integration with your phone’s launcher? Maybe you’re a new Cortana fan, eager to spend more time seeing what Microsoft can bring to this race. That last one’s still a little too new to be included in this study, but a recent analyst report took a look at the performance of Google Now and Siri, evaluating a number of factors, and while both exhibit improvements, Google Now looks like it’s just barely starting to overshadow its iOS competition.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster ran 800 questions by both Google Now and Siri, looking at what answers the services returned, how accurate those were, and where that data came from. Of the questions each were able to recognize, Google Now gave what were deemed accurate answers in 86 percent of cases, compared to 84 percent for Siri. That’s just a small difference, sure, but compared to the 81 percent success rate from the same test run in late 2013, Google Now shows marked improvements; Siri scored 83 percent back then.
Siri’s ability to accurately answer questions may not be getting much better, but it’s not without its own progress. For instance, the study noticed Siri relying far less these days on Google for its answers, helping to distance Apple from its competitor’s services.
Ultimately, the tests awarded Google Now a B, while Siri walked away with a B-. Both services shared a C+ grade in last year’s evaluation.