Apple Siri’s Recommending Nokia? Then Nokia’s Recommending Android & iPhone, I Guess

460xNxSiri-smartphone.jpg.pagespeed.ic.kzhj_c37Oz Apple's Siri search feature for the iPhone 4S thinks the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best phone ever? Actually, it's Wolfram Alpha that thinks this, based on all of four user reviews. While it's a chuckle that Siri seemed to be recommending the Nokia, it's a better reminder that Siri itself doesn't answer questions but provides answers from others. Indeed, that's why the Nokia Lumia itself arguably recommends the iPhone and Android. We've been here before, such last December, when Apple was accused of preventing Siri from finding abortion clinics. Actually, that was largely down to abortion clin [...]

Survey: 87 Percent Of iPhone 4S Owners Use Siri Monthly

apple-logo Siri is popular but its usage is limited, according new survey research from Parks Associates. The firm surveyed 482 iPhone 4S owners and asked about their usage of the virtual assistant. High level findings from the survey were published today by the Wall Street Journal. Parks Associates found the following: 87 percent iPhone 4S owners use Siri at least monthly Roughly one third of iPhone 4S owners use Siri "almost daily" Initiating calls and texts were the most common Siri-related activities 26 percent use Siri to send email daily More "advanced" functions such as calendaring [...]

Is Apple Is About To Launch A New Global Search Engine?

Did the headline catch your eye? I really wanted a teaser headline for this post which would entice people to read and discover the details of a new global search engine -- but for that message, a teaser alone just wasn't credible. But when I added the word "Apple" to the headline, it completely changed its dynamics -- just like Apple does every time it enters a new business area. So, I must be talking about Siri right? Wrong. I agree actually that Siri is a really important development, but Apple has much more up its sleeve than just Siri. What Does Apple Have Up Its Sleeve? On the 23 [...]

Google Faces “Innovator’s Dilemma” As It Prepares Response To Siri

Screen shot 2012-03-05 at 7.09.53 AM We've heard the search-related mantra "answers not links" so many times over the past few years that it sounds like a cliche. However in a mobile context the phrase has more meaning: a page of Google search results is ill-suited to the mobile use case. While Google has done many things to make it easier to get data and queries into smartphones with voice search, visual search, specialized apps and Google Instant the company still doesn't deliver "answers." It delivers a mobile-optimized version of its PC experience. Google now faces an "innovator's dilemma" of sorts as it seeks to adapt [...]

Apple’s Siri Drives 25 Percent Of Wolfram|Alpha Queries

Screen shot 2012-02-08 at 7.54.39 AM Yesterday knowledge engine Wolfram|Alpha announced an intriguing new paid service Wolfram|Alpha Pro. Gary Price wrote an overview of the new service, which will likely appeal to academics, data geeks and a range of other specialized users. Wolfram|Alpha is by no means a mainstream search engine, yet it has managed to establish something of a beachhead and has a growing fan base. It owes some of that to Apple's Siri, which chose Wolfram|Alpha as one of two structured data providers that tie directly into the personal assistant. The other is Yelp. Wolfram|Alpha gets about 3.7 million dail [...]

Google Buys Clever Sense: An Answer To Siri?

Screen shot 2011-12-13 at 11.31.39 AM As is being widely reported Google has bought startup Clever Sense, which earlier this year launched the local-mobile recommendations app Alfred. Alfred is like "Pandora for the real world" and was dedicated to creating a comprehensive "interest graph." Clever Sense assigns or maps physical places to one another based on styles, characteristics and attributes in the same way that Pandora does for music. However this process is all done by "artificial intelligence." Here's how Clever Sense itself described the functionality behind Alfred: The Extraction Engine built into the Clever S [...]

Why Siri Can’t Find Abortion Clinics & How It’s Not An Apple Conspiracy

siri-abortion-featured "I'm standing in front of a Planned Parenthood," the CNN reporter says, "And Siri can't find it when I search for abortion clinic." No, it can't. It's not because Apple is pro-life. It's because Planned Parenthood doesn't call itself an abortion clinic. Welcome To Search Scandals, Apple It's been interesting to watch the Siri Abortiongate scandal blow up in Apple's face over the past few days. Apple is learning for the first time what it's like to run a search engine. People hold you accountable for everything, even if you the information isn't even from your own database. Google is a bat [...]

Siri, Search & The Abortion Controversy

siri-abortion-featured Yesterday there were several articles about how, if you asked Siri for help in finding a place to have an abortion, it wouldn't show you abortion clinics. This is something of a false controversy. It's really about understanding Siri's modus operandi and its limitations rather than an expression of any political or social agenda. If you search for a specific place name, such as "Planned Parenthood" you'll get a local answer. However if you simply say something like "I need an abortion" it stumps Siri and there are no results. Even the appeal "Help me find a places where I can have an aborti [...]

Trapit Aims To Be Your Search “Personal Assistant”

Somewhere between the "precision of search and the serendipity of social media" lies Trapit. Trapit is a "personal discovery engine" based on the same underlying technology that forms the core of Apple's Siri virtual assistant. From the outside, however, it looks something like a cross between StumbleUpon and Flipboard or Zite. Co-founders Gary Griffiths and Hank Nothhaft are quick to rebut each of those comparisons by pointing to Trapit's underlying technology as the differentiator. Users input keywords or entire URLs and create "traps," which are content modules drawing upon approxima [...]

Siri, Are You Taking Over Mobile Search?

iphone-siri-featured The new iPhone 4s comes with a feature that is bound to impact how search marketers try to reach iPhone users. Siri, the voice recognition app that comes standard with the new iPhone, can be used to control text messaging and reminders inside the device. But it can also be used as a search tool, to call up specific information from the outside world. With the mobile search space already in flux, Siri adds a game-changing angle, particularly for marketers that want to reach the lucrative (presumably affluent) iPhone audience. Here are some factors for businesses to consider as Siri gro [...]

Not Just Google: Siri Searches Bing And Yahoo Too

Earlier tonight Danny Sullivan discovered that Siri will also search Bing and Yahoo, though it searches Google by default. If you say, "Search the web for . . ." or you ask Siri a question it can't answer it will search Google (the iPhone's default search engine). But if you say, "Search Bing for Steve Ballmer News" or "Search Bing for weather" or "Search Bing for Search Engine Land" you get the following: The same is true for Yahoo. If you say, "Search Yahoo for Wilson Phillips" or "Search Yahoo for Google Earnings" you see these results: Who knew? Well, if you launch Siri, clic [...]

Stephen Colbert Gets His Siri On

colbert siri It was pretty funny - Stephen Colbert started The Colbert Report last night talking to Siri on his iPhone 4S and not feeling particularly happy about the responses, all of which were real. Colbert began by asking Siri to "write the show" since, as he later explained, he'd been playing with it all day and hadn't gotten anything done. In response, Siri offered to search the web. Colbert's iPhone screen wasn't shown, but the response from Siri was read back. Doing the same thing myself, the response was real: After that, Colbert snaps back at Siri, "I don't want to search for anythin [...]

Head To Head: Siri Vs. Google Voice Actions

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 8.04.48 AM When you first begin using Siri it’s not entirely clear what you can do with it. (It's also not clear how to access it.) Yesterday Danny wrote up some initial thoughts/criticisms of the Siri local search experience. In this piece I'm going to offer some general thoughts comparing Siri (on an iPhone 4S) with Google Voice Actions on my current phone (Android EVO) as well as some head to head examples of queries on both. Siri Leans on Google If you say to Siri, "What can I ask you?" it returns a list of the categories of things it can do. However when I rephrased the question slightly and ask [...]

Why Siri + Yelp = Useless Google Maps On The iPhone 4S

siri 1 It sounds great. Speak into Siri about some local need, get nice results from Yelp's reviews. In reality, it's pretty easy instead to end up stuck with only a phone number and directions from Google Maps. From Siri To Yelp To Google Maps Consider this example, which illustrates the situation I've repeatedly found to be true with Siri: I asked Siri for "Places to eat." It pretty awesomely interpreted that to mean nearby restaurants, a natural language query that Google Voice Actions, as I've tested them, disappoints on. Selecting a restaurant from the nice list, which comes from Yelp and [...]

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