Videos: Comparing Cortana & Siri & Google Now

cortana-600px Today, Microsoft released the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 and with that, the ability to play with a preview of Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple Siri and Google Now. Both Gizmodo and CNet have released video demos comparing Cortana & Siri & Google Now. I like the Gizmodo comparison a little more, so we will post that first followed by the CNet review. Gizmodo has not made their video embeddable, so you need to view it on Gizmodo.com. Here is the CNet video: [...]


Apple Broadening App-Store Search With Related Keywords

mobile-apps-search-featured Mobile app discovery continues to be a challenge for most developers. Quixey (across platforms) and Google (on Android) are trying to address that challenge by indexing deep links within apps. For its part, Apple appears to be trying to broaden App Store search with related keywords. When entering search queries within the App Store, Apple already suggests related search terms. For example, when I enter the query "news" I also see the following search suggestions: news apps news channel 5 news 12 mobile ness radio news 12 newsday newsstand news channel 3 newspaper [...]


Better Data, Public Transit Coming To Apple Maps In iOS 8

apple-maps-featured According to unnamed sources cited by 9to5mac, Apple's forthcoming iOS 8 will see a number of improvements to its mapping product across platforms. The site says the next Apple mobile OS will offer: Better and more complete points of interest and business data Public transit information and directions (rolling out first to major US cities) Much of the discussion in the article is about subtle changes to the Apple Maps UI or functionality improvements coming with the new OS. Further out, says the report, are indoor maps and augmented reality:  "Apple has also begun work on augmented [...]


Apple Buys Ads On Google & Bing To Celebrate The Mac’s 30th Birthday

Leaving nothing to chance, Apple's ensured that anyone searching for "Mac" on Google or Bing today, the 30th birthday of the Mac, will know about the anniversary. The company has purchased ads that lead to a special Mac birthday area of the Apple site. Above is an example of what shows on Google, for a search on "Mac," an ad saying "Happy Birthday, Mac" and inviting people to "Explore 30 years of innovation on the Mac." The ad links over to the page at Apple about Macs, which has a pitch for the birthday area: The birthday area itself has a special video for the Mac's 30th anniversary [...]


Analyst Gives Both Google Now And Siri A “C+”

Siri logo Piper Jaffray financial analyst Gene Munster performed his now annual comparison of Google Voice Search/Google Now and Siri to determine which one performed better. Using 800 queries under a variety of "controlled" and "uncontrolled" conditions, Munster and his team tested and compared the two "assistants." Munster gave Google Voice Search/Now a C+, an improvement from the D- it received a year ago. Siri received the identical C+ grade, up slightly from a C last year. It may well be that Google Voice Search/Now and Siri have achieved some level of parity in their ability to understand a [...]


WSJ Report: Apple Buys Topsy, A Leading Twitter Search & Analytics Company

Topsy-Plain-Logo The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has purchased Topsy, one of the leading Twitter search and analytics companies, for more than $200 million. The WSJ report says that Apple has confirmed the deal but wouldn't comment more beyond this statement: Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans. Topsy is about the only decent third-party Twitter search service to have survived, in recent years. Google had a wonderful service for finding Twitter content called Google Realtime Search that died in 2011, when Google [...]


Apple’s App Store Search Engine Now Considers Misspellings & Typos

app-store-icon Sarah Perez at TechCrunch reports Apple has updated their App Store search engine to help with misspellings, typos and other "fat-fingered" searching mistakes. Sarah said she has "sources" that have confirmed these "App Store search engine changes went into effect a few weeks ago." One example I can personally attest to is when someone searches for [rusty brick] in the app store, normally it did not return apps from my company. Now it does. Here is a picture of the search results for [rusty brick] in the app store returning one of our apps with the name "RustyBrick" as one word. S [...]


Google iOS Search App Now Has “OK Google” Voice Activation, New Notifications, Reminders & Cards

Google iOS Search App Google released a new version of its iOS Search App today, with an extensive list of updates, including new notifications, reminder alerts, cards and a handsfree search activation feature. With the 3.1.0 version of the iOS Search App, those with the iPhone 4s or higher can say, "OK Google" or touch the mic to start a search. Along with the handsfree activation, the app can create reminders around a number of events. According to the app's iTunes page, users can ask Google to remember daily activities or upcoming events: Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say, "Remind me to buy [...]


Searching For The Voice Of Siri: Voiceover Actor Susan Bennett Says, “It’s Obviously Me”

apple-siri A story on CNN.com claims that Atlanta voiceover professional Susan Bennett is the original voice of Siri, Apple's iPhone voice application. According to the story, Bennett did voice work for the software company ScanSoft in 2005. CNN says ScanSoft was then purchased by Nuance Communications, a company that is credited with providing Apple the technology behind Siri. Bennett told CNN.com reporter Jessica Ravitz that she remained quiet about being the voice of Siri until now because she was unsure if she wanted the attention. "I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. [...]


The Local Marketer’s Guide To Apple Maps for iOS7

No Results Found Apple Maps [caption id="attachment_173073" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo courtesy of the Robert Mapplethorpe Shotland Estate[/caption] While the launch of iOS7 has received a ton of press and blogger nitpicking about every last detail, little has been said about how the new version of Apple Maps affects local marketers. I feel like most marketers are still ignoring Apple Maps because it got a lot of Apple Maps Sucks-type press a year ago. Well, I like to say that even if you think Apple Maps suck, you know what doesn't suck? The fact that iOS is well on its way to one billion installations. [...]


Local Voice Search Wars And The Opportunity For Businesses

siri-google-voice Since the official inception of mobile voice search with Apple's launch of Siri in 2011, consumers, search professionals and businesses have watched for the rise of voice search in local. Despite Siri's initial inadequacies and obvious voice recognition challenges, savvy multitasking mobile consumers are finally adopting the technology to find the best nearby restaurant, an urgent care center or a plumber in a pinch. Why? It's fairly intuitive, really. Many folks search on the go and can speak faster than they can type and need both hands free in this 24/7 world. As voice search becomes mor [...]


Apple Maps Sends Two Users Driving Across An Airport Runway

apple-maps-featured Despite some observers saying that Apple Maps on iOS 7 is better than Google Maps, that's definitely not the case for anyone trying to drive to the Fairbanks (Alaska) airport recently. As the Alaska Dispatch newspaper reported on Tuesday, Apple Maps has sent out-of-towners driving dangerously across an airport runway at least two times in the past three weeks. The turn-by-turn directions were specific, using the access route that general aviation pilots use to the East Ramp, which is on the other side of the runway from the main airport terminal. The map directions concluded by tell [...]


With iOS 7, Siri Drops Google For Bing, Also Gains Twitter Search

Apple's new iOS 7 mobile operating system officially rolled out today, and with it, the Siri assistant is finally out of beta. The most significant change to Siri is arguably that it no longer taps into Google for searches. As expected, a deal with Microsoft now makes Bing the default in Siri. Twitter also gets a new place within the tool. Supporting Role, Not Starring Role, For Bing After last year's disaster of iOS 6 switching from Google Maps to Apple's own maps, Apple might perhaps be downplaying this latest Google swap-out. If you visit the Siri page at Apple, there's no mention of Bin [...]


Apple Takes Siri Out Of Beta

9to5mac.com reports Apple has quietly taken the beta label off of their voice search feature, Siri. If you look at the iOS 7 Siri, the page makes no mention of beta anymore. The old iOS 6 version had the beta label on it, but iOS 7 Siri has removed that label. Here is the iOS 7 Siri page: Here is the old iOS 6 Siri page: About two years ago, we reported on some controversial issues with Siri related to Siri not being able to find abortion clinics. Back then, Apple gave the New York Times a statement reading: “Our customers want to use Siri to find out all types of in [...]


Apple Siri On Google Glass: “That Glass Is Half Empty”

ok-glass-on-apple-siri2 The Verge noticed that if you ask Apple Siri about Google Glass, Siri will respond with some humorous responses. In short, if you activate Siri on your iOS device and say, "okay glass," Apple Siri will respond in a witty way. Above are some of the responses in an animated GIF, but here they are in text format. "Stop trying to strap me to your forehead. It won't work." "I think that Glass is half empty." "I'm not Glass. And I'm just fine with that." "Glass? I think you've got the wrong assistant." "Very funny, (name). I mean, not funny 'ha-ha,' but funny." "Just so you k [...]


Apple “Embarks” On Another Mapping Acquisition

Embark Last month Apple bought Locationary and Hop Stop. The point of the first was to improve the overall quality of local data for Apple Maps and the second was for mass transit information. Apparently, according to former WSJ reporter Jessica Lessin, Apple has made another buy for transit purposes. The company has acquired app developer Embark. The company offers free public transit apps for 10 US cities -- though its ambitions are global. Interestingly BMW was one of its investors. Key features of Embark apps are: Step-by-step trip planning Offline functionality Notifications (e.g. [...]


Apple Beefing Up Maps With Crowdsourcing, “Ground Truth” Hires

apple-maps-featured Apple Insider points out that Apple is hiring for dozens of positions in its mapping group. There are more than 80 positions that respond to the keywords "Apple Maps" on the company's jobs site. Among a range of other positions, Apple has been seeking "ground truth local experts" for various cities. Here's one such job description: In addition, as the blog explains, iOS 7 invites users to "help improve maps" by enabling a new feature called "frequent locations." Frequent locations will give Apple another (anonymous) method to verify business locations and other destinations by tracki [...]


Rejoice! Safari Is Once Again Providing Google Referral Information In iOS

apple-safari-featured Since last September, people using Safari on iOS devices and searching on Google have appeared to publishers as if they came directly to their sites, not via Google. Now, the problem has ended, with iOS now apparently having been upgraded to support the "meta referrer" tag. No, this doesn't solve the "not provided" issue, where Google itself may strip search terms used to find a site from the referrer passed to publishers. However, at least people should now appear as if they came from Google Search generally, rather than as if they were "direct" visitors. With iOS 7, Apple's new iOS upd [...]


HopStop Bought By Apple For Public Transit Data

apple-maps-square Hot on the heels of its acquisition of Locationary, Apple has bought transit site and cityguide HopStop for an undisclosed amount. It's an ugly site that has very useful public transit schedules, maps and related information. The value of the data to Apple Maps is obvious. HopStop launched in 2005 and evolved over the years into a local search site or cityguide to broaden its appeal. The core data and use case surround transit information, however. Like Waze (recently acquired by Google), HopStop also offers crowdsourced and real-time information on traffic, transit and delays. [...]


New Google Maps App Gives Users More Search Functionality & Navigation Features

Google Maps icon Google announced today the release of a new Google Maps app for Android devices, with iPhone and iPad versions soon to follow. According to the announcement, the new Google Maps app will include more search functionality and updated navigation features, as well as Zagat reviews and discount offers for specific destinations. Google has also created a tablet-specific design of the app for Android tablets and iPads. With the new app, users can find locations without typing by tapping the search box to see cards showing eat, drink and shopping options. Google claims this new search functionalit [...]


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