Since the debut of Siri with iOS 5, the personal assistant has become something of a phenomenon, with many users on both sides of the spectrum, praising and criticizing the service. Now, with Google adding their own voice assistant to their search app, Siri has been forced to become even more competitive.
Judging by the numbers, that competition is taking the form of cutting Google out of the Siri process. Some figures put together by investment firm Piper Jaffray show that Apple has actually reduced Google’s involvement with Siri by half in iOS 6, down to 30% from 60% in iOS 5.
According to the official statement from the firm:
“The biggest change in query resolution to Google was the removal of Google Maps in iOS 6, as 23% of queries resolved to Apple Maps,” analyst Gene Munster wrote on Thursday. “Yelp and Yahoo! also benefited slightly. Net-net we view this as a slight negative for consumers on Apple products as we view Apple Maps as an inferior product to Google Maps.”
Most of the change comes from the fact that Apple Maps is now fielding all of what Google Maps used to handle, but there is still a 7% gap that is accounted for in the other companies. The more queries that aren’t responded to with “Would you like me to search the web?” the better.
This is obviously the direction that Apple needs to head in if they want to contend against Google’s own voice assistant in the future. Right now, it looks like they’re doing just fine. According to another report from the same source, Siri successfully beat out Google Now in an accuracy battle, correctly handling 91% of queries versus Google’s 88%. A small gap, but a noticeable one nonetheless.
In the end, this competition can only benefit the consumer, so hopefully we will see Apple continue to improve Siri (and Apple Maps!).