Google Now vs Siri vs Cortana: showdown

Ah, virtual assistants! Nobody really knows where these are headed, but by now it should be obvious that the big three mobile platforms are intent on pushing the frontier forward in what is shaping up to be yet another battlefield. Quite frankly, however, while the industry as a whole has been checking up with Google Now and Apple's Siri every now and then to see how each is doing and how they compare against each other, it's only now that Microsoft has finally entered the race that we are starting to feel duty-bound to go in-depth with them and see what's what. But before we talk about specifics and discuss where each of three is likely headed, it's important to first understand where each is coming from...
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77 Comments

1. bucky

Posts: 3776; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

After using google now, it's pretty easy to tell Siri needs a solid update to bring it up to speed. Google now voice recognition is absolutely spot on.

12. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Yeah, Google Now is best, Cortana is proving better day by day but still needs to be programmed well and Siri definitely needs a solid update. I wanna see all three competing equally.

58. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Chris P. this is one of the best & most entertaining articles on PhoneArena.com in a while. Thank you for this! VERY, VERY informative! Kudos to you & your great work!

62. needa

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

so you responded to the very top one in order to make sure it stayed up top? cause you know... if they guy that wrote this paid attention to the comments he would never read them all.

17. rantao333

Posts: 345; Member since: May 21, 2013

google now is just a voice search, or to be exact, voice base web search engine. it was back by google's greatest data servers and search capabilities but nothing more. cortana and siri are real voice assistant, companion and feel much more "human"

37. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

google now goes beyond web search and IS voice assistant, specially since it can interact with many apps within the device... But to be honest I dislike using any voice assistant.

41. Fallout09

Posts: 421; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Still doesn't change the fact that Google is providing a better product.

46. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

It seems you have never used Google Now and are not familiar with the product.

55. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

As someone with both an iPhone and an Android phone currently, Google Now is far far better than Siri. It recognizes my voice better, it pulls up more helpful results a lot of the time, it suggests news articles that interest me or suggests new restaurants I might be interested, it remembers where I park my car, it pulls up shipping information from products that I buy. I just wish they would give it the personality and soul that I get with Siri. Likewise, I wish Siri would get updated to get the functionality and smoothness of Google Now, as it is now...I find Siri a chore to use.

57. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

A companion... Really?

61. timepilot84

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

The thing that this comparison completely glosses over is that Google Now is not just a voice search. It's a pre-emptive search. When Google Now finds something that it knows I'm interested in, it throws up a card, and 95 out of a 100 times it is something I'm interested in. It looks at what you're reading in your browser. It sees where you are. It knows your friends. It predicts what you'd be interested in and has that all available for you before you even know you want to read it. Google Now knows when I'm getting off of work and suggests activities in the area that I might be interested in. It tells me if traffic is bad on my primary route driving home, and what the expected travel time for my alternate routes are as well. At lunch, it shows me where nearby restaurants are. It tells me upcoming games for sports teams I've shown interest in. It shows me when bands that I've been listening to are going to have a concert in the area. It tells me where I parked my car on a map without having to do anything. Google Now may be lacking in the stupid tricks department, but those are only useful for showing off to your friends a couple times, then you completely ignore them.

63. Deaconclgi

Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Cortana does pre-emptive search just as you describe plus the "stupid tricks" as you call them. Don't be so negative to the things that Google Now cannot do. I use all 3 assistants and Cortana's personality really makes a difference with the voice interaction element.

26. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I agree. I love Google's approach. I mean talking to phone in public is kinda awkward,for me at least. Google shows me enough information even without asking and it is cool. But an update enabling personality is very welcome indeed. And cortana is cool. It is really funny and has a great character. For having fun cortana is really great.

47. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Ask Google Now, "what does the fox say?"

34. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

it's google dude, you can't complain about it.

64. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I'm shocked at this article because I see many WP fans saying Cortana is the best. Good job Google. And since I take function over form any day....again good job Google.

2. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

Google Now's good results + Cortana's character and jokes would be best.

3. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 547; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

24. noler

Posts: 326; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Google Now can not take joke, like Android fanboys.

50. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

You've obviously never used it then. Ask Google now what did the fox say, do a barrel roll, Beam me up Scotty, What's your favorite color, go go gadget, up up down down left right left right, just to name a few. http://trendblog.net/list-of-google-now-voice-commands-infographic/

31. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

How? Cortana can do everything as well as Google now can. One can argue that Santori will leave everything Google has to offer behind. http://www.slideshare.net/savas1/the-bing-platform-that-powers-cortana In my opinion Cortana is the best of Google now and Siri as well as its own unique feature and the next update to Cortana will allow it to use Cortana Hans free. In my opinion even in Beta state Cortana is better than Google now or Siri certainly the most human like.

33. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Note how you keep having to say "In my opinion?" Also, LOL at the fact that you inevitably came in here to defend WP's honor.

35. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Like android users do in every apple, WP thread, just read them, rank with them. He says imo because that all it is. Imo.

38. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yeah, but he pretends to be better than Android and iOS fans, so I'm going to rip him for it.

40. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I tend to have more respect for people who say "in my opinion", it makes them sound a lot less ignorant. And Sniggly, you know I love my Moto X and I do think that Google now is the best of the three, but I'm not going to lie when I say that there are things that I wish that Google Now could do that the other two can do. Granted those thing are not actually functional features, more for the sake of entertainment, but I am excited about all three programs and am interested in where their development teams take them in the years to come.

42. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

That's all well and good, but I'm more of a mind to keep poking fun at our resident insane WP enthusiast.

43. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, who am I to keep you from what makes you happy. Please proceed.

45. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Thank you very much. :) Conversely, I liked Cortana in the Halo series, so it is fun to imagine having her spunky personality liven up the phone. However, it sounds like they didn't really make much of an effort to replicate her personality on WP, so calling her "Cortana" seems like a waste to me. I think since Google Now was code-named Majel (in an allusion to Gene Roddenberry's wife, who also voiced the Star Trek computers) it might be fitting to rebrand Google Now as Andromeda, another AI with a spunky personality. Or maybe they could go off the wall and name it GLaDOS. That would be a LOT of fun.

49. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Oh God! Name a personal assistant GLaDOS that'll make fat jokes in your expense and threaten to kill you when you ask for directions. That my friend, I would pay real money for! Also, the fact that you know who voiced the computers in Star Trek has just elevated your nerd status. lol

52. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Lol, and it'll include a silent mode that's called "Chell mode." And she could just act begrudging overall to help you, acting like it's not her choice. Better yet, GLaDOS could be just one of several "personality packs" you can switch between if you don't want the stock Google Now experience. And of course I'm a nerd. :D I also know that Majel was Nurse Chapel in the original Star Trek, and Gene Roddenberry cheated on her with Nichelle Nichols after leaving his first wife to be with Majel to begin with.

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