“Google Now” Moving Well Beyond Search, Becoming Mobile Assistant

Google Now cards list Almost exactly three years ago then Google employee Marissa Mayer described "the perfect search engine" in an interview with IDG News. She said it would be one "that could understand speech, questions, phrases, what entities you're talking about, concepts. It would be able to search all of the world's information, [find] different ideas and concepts, and bring them back to you in a presentation that was really informative and coherent." Mayer went on to add: There are a lot of different aspects of research that need to go into building that search engine. You need to understand speech. You [...]


What’s The Best Smartphone? Google’s New iOS Search App Says Decide For Yourself

best smart phone Got the new Google Search app on your iPhone or iPad? Here's a trick. Ask it, "What's the best smartphone?" The app will politely decline to say. The app will reply in one of two ways that I've found: "No one phone is right for everyone." "You'll have to decide for yourself." Don't have the app? Here's a video I made with both answers: [youtube width="560" height="420"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYH18JUFy04[/youtube] I'm guessing that Google decided to avoid an embarrassment Apple had earlier this year, when Siri was found to be suggesting phones other than the iPhone as the [...]


Infographic: SEO For Siri & The Mobile Search World

Searching with Siri It's been just over a year since Apple's Siri was unveiled with the iPhone 4S. The latest version works with the iPhone 5 and newer versions of the iPad. Siri didn't cause an overnight revolution of how most search on their phones. Many iPhone users still type keywords into Safari and get back answers from Google. But Siri, along with mobile apps and mobile searching in general, are changing searcher habits and posing new challenges and opportunities for search marketers. The people at Alchemy Viral have created an infographic that covers a variety of things to keep in mind about how to bette [...]


Apple Hires A Search Geek (From Amazon) To Improve Siri

Siri logo It would appear that Siri will be getting a little more searchy. As AllThingsD reported this afternoon Apple has hired William Stasior, the guy who took over at Amazon's search engine A9 after Udi Manber left for Google. While Siri isn't a search engine it can operate like one from a user perspective. With Stasior's hire Apple may be signaling it wants to go further in that direction. Stasior has an impressive search resume. He has worked at A9 since 2006; before that he was at Alta Vista as the "director of advanced development." There he "led the engineering team responsible for develo [...]


Still Stuck Behind Apple’s Doors: The New Google Search App

Google Search for iOS Two months ago, Google previewed a new Google Search app that it said would be coming to iOS, bringing with it what seemed a blend of Siri and Google Now-like features. Despite being submitted to the Apple App Store back then, Apple's still not approved the app. Why not? Apple didn't have any comment, when I asked last week. When I checked with Google, it simply reiterated what it said in August, that the app has been submitted. That leaves us with guesswork about why the app remains in limbo. Too Close To Core Functionality? One guess is that Apple doesn't like that you can both talk [...]


After Apple’s Apology, What’s Next For iOS 6 Maps?

apple-maps-square It's official. Apple's new Maps in iOS 6 have problems so serious that even Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued a public apology about them. What does Apple do next? Going back to Google-powered Maps is unlikely but not out-of-the-question. More likely, Apple will push through the pain. However, it could reconsider whether maps really should be a a home-built product. Ripping Out Google Previously, Maps in iOS were largely powered by Google's mapping data (and remain that way in iOS 5). Google has been building its mapping product for years, something that makes sense for a search engine. Many s [...]


Did Motorola Use A False Address To Slam Apple Maps?

Screen Shot 2012-09-27 at 5.07.41 PM Right as all the negative Apple Maps stories were coming out, Google's Motorola division created an ad and Twitter campaign to argue that, unlike Apple Maps, Google Maps won't get you lost. The campaign #iLost, also promoted on Google+, used a specific address as an example of one that Apple wouldn't get right: 315 E 15th Street in Manhattan. As the Siri screenshot indicates, Apple Maps can't find this address. However Apple Insider says the address is a park and not a real street address at all. The blog argues that Google created a false example to make Apple look bad: The problem, [...]


Local Search Cage Match: Google Vs. Apple Maps (And Siri)

apple-google-featured Apple's iPhone 5 sales appear to be rolling along as the handset receives high praise in most reviews -- except for Maps. And as the drumbeat of criticism over Maps continues, some tech journalists wonder if this "fiasco" would have happened if Steve Jobs were still alive. The NY Times Joe Nocera calls Maps an "unmitigated disaster" and implies that Jobs would not have allowed the current Maps product to get out the door. However we'll never know the answer to that question. Jobs was a perfectionist but wasn't perfect. He made his share of miscalculations and mistakes. The iPhone 4's "anten [...]


Apple Demos Local Search (Maps) And Siri Enhancements For iPhone 5

apple-maps-square Today at the iPhone 5 launch event Apple announced a thinner, taller and faster iPhone. (See Danny's hands-on first impressions.) Apple also reminded people of some of the software announcements made in June at its WWDC conference when it discussed the new iOS 6 extensively. Among the earlier software-related announcements that were showcased again today were Siri, Apple Maps and Passbook, Apple's mobile wallet. Apple said it will launch Maps/local search with "100 million POIs." It also showed off GPS turn-by-turn navigation and 3D imagery on its new 16:9 aspect ratio 4-inch display [...]


Report: Apple Loses Adam Cheyer, Co-Founder Of Siri

siri Bloomberg reports Siri's co-founder Adam Cheyer, has left Apple. Cheyer was one of the primary developers of Siri and is known as a "co-creator" of the popular Apple Voice Search product. Adam Cheyer's LinkedIn profile still has him currently working at Apple. He was the Engineering Director in Apple's iOS group. Apple nor Adam Cheyer have not confirmed the exit. Siri's Chief Executive Officer, Dag Kittlaus, left Apple shortly after the acquisition last year. What this means for Apple's Voice Search capabilities in the future? We know at the D10 conference in May, Apple's CEO, [...]


Nuance’s Nina Is Siri For Enterprise Customer Service

Nuance Nina logo Although there were so-called "virtual assistants" before Siri, consumers had only limited experience with them and may not have even realized what they were dealing with at the time. United Airlines' "virtual agent" Alex is one such automated assistant, though it doesn't use speech and currently doesn't work on mobile devices. At least a dozen companies have created enterprise-focused assistants, based on "artificial intelligence," which today are mainly used for customer service online. However increasingly they extend into mobile and seek to offer Siri-like capabilities. Siri has become [...]


Piper Jaffray “Street Test” Of Google vs. Siri Misses The Point

No sooner did I hit "publish" on my earlier post, Google’s "Voice Assistant" Not Quite Siri-Smart But Most People Won’t Notice, than people on Twitter started responding that I was out of my mind. A couple of people cited a Piper Jaffray study, published yesterday, comparing the accuracy and breadth of Siri "search results" vs. Google in a "street test" in Minneapolis. Google Gets a "B+" Siri Gets a "D" In short Google was graded with a "B+" in terms of accuracy, while Siri got a "D." It's really an "apples to oranges" comparison, however. Let's take a look at the methodology. Piper J [...]


Google’s “Voice Assistant” Not Quite Siri-Smart But Most People Won’t Notice

google-voice-search At Google I/O this week Google introduced spoken search results, which mimic Siri's functionality on the iPhone. Siri had been a major point of differentiation between Android handsets and the iPhone, despite Google's preexisting voice search. The new Google female voice actually sounds less like a machine and more natural than Siri. And there are already a number of video demos favorably comparing Google's "Voice Assistant" to Siri (see below). Since Google didn't give her a name (or not one that we've heard yet), I'll call her "JB" for Jelly Bean. The following side-by-side video belo [...]


Google Introduces Redesigned Mobile Search Experience, “Google Now” And Siri-Like Assistant

Screen shot 2012-06-27 at 1.14.06 PM Buried among the sexy hardware announcements and hair-raising Google Glass demo this morning were some fairly radical changes to the Google search experience for mobile devices. To date Google has been compensating for the awkwardness of the PC SERP on smartphones with voice search and other marginal "fixes." Today it took a potentially major step toward offering a distinct search experience designed specifically for mobile that may bury the "old" mobile SERP. The familiar smartphone mobile SERP is still there and probably will continue to be shown in a majority of cases. But these new e [...]


Baidu Agrees To Ad Revenue Sharing Deal With Apple In China

Chinese search leader Baidu is going to share paid search ad revenue with Apple according to a report published by Bloomberg. Baidu was recently added as a search option for iPhone users in China. Apple said on Monday that it's adding Chinese language support (Mandarin) to Siri for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Financial analysts in China speculated that the revenue share with Apple would be up to 10 percent of overall mobile ad revenues generated by searches on the iPhone. Baidu is already on most Android devices sold in China. [...]


Why Apple Is Going “Containment” Not “Thermonuclear” Against Google In iOS 6

apple-google-featured I keep hearing people talking about Apple finally going "thermonuclear" on Google with the forthcoming iOS 6 mobile operating system. No, it hasn't. In fact, there are good reasons why it can't, though Apple is certainly exercising a much more subtle and smart containment strategy. Themonuclearly Renewing With Google The thermonuclear reference comes from the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson, where Jobs was so upset about Google's Android operating system -- and the theft from Apple that he viewed it to be -- that he said to Issacson in early 2010: I’m going to destroy Andr [...]


Apple Siri To Add Sports, Restaurants, Reservations, Movies & App Search

siri Apple at their World Wide Developer Conference today announced iOS6 with some really nice features to Siri, their voice search engine. You can see a preview of some of these features at Apple.com but here is a snapshot showing enhancements including: Sports Search Restaurants with Reservation Booking Movie Search & Ticketing Search For Apps On Device Support for iPad2 Maps by Apple (see Apple Gets Into Local Search With New Maps App) Language Support For 15 Countries and more... Siri uses apps already on iOS to provide answers such as Yahoo Weather, Maps, Yelp and o [...]


Apple Gets Into Local Search With New Maps App

apple-local-search-featured The rumors were true. Among a boatload of announcements today Apple is introducing its own mapping product as part of the iOS 6 update, which is available to developers today and will be available to the rest of the iOS-using public "this Fall." Here's the short version of what Apple announced: Maps with local search Crowd-sourced real-time traffic Navigation and turn-by-turn directions 3D mapping with "flyover" animation Siri integration (both on the search front-end and as the voice for turn-by-turn) The basic maps UI looks similar to the old Google Maps UI but it's not ide [...]


Report: Siri Coming To iPad With iOS 6

siri-ipad-featured With its latest iPad -- "the new iPad" -- Apple introduced voice dictation capability (via Nuance) but not its virtual assistant Siri. Now comes a report that Siri will soon come to the iPad with the iOS 6 update, which is also supposed to mark the debut of Apple Maps/iMaps. Next week is Apple's WWDC event, which should see the introduction of iOS 6. The blog 9to5Mac says it's not clear whether Siri will be available exclusively for the third-generation iPad or whether it will also come to the iPad2. If it's baked into the OS update that would probably include iPad 2 at a minimum. Howeve [...]


With Fix In Place, Wolfram Alpha Explains How Siri “Recommended” The Lumia By Mistake

wolfram-alpha-logo It wasn't Siri that was recommending the Lumia as the best smartphone to some last week; it was Wolfram Alpha. That won't happen again, now that Wolfram Alpha has made changes to to fix problems it had dealing with customer reviews. Reviews Weren't Weighted To Account For Number When I looked into the Siri-Lumia issue last week, I speculated that Wolfram Alpha wasn't doing any type of weighting of its results: The bottom line is that Wolfram has ratings from Best Buy, and it’s not trying to weight those in any particular fashion such as number of reviews or number of purchases. The Lu [...]


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