1/11/16
9:00 am

Siri Alternatives For Your iPhone

Both Google and Microsoft offer voice assistant apps that you can download for your iPhone or iPad for free. Google's app offers some advantages over Siri, but neither app can match Siri because of Siri's connection to your built-in iPhone apps.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today's episode let's take a look at two alternatives for Siri on your iPhone.

So first let's take a look at, what used to be called, Goggle Now. People still call it that but it is actually just part of the Goggle app on the iPhone. In the App Store search for Goggle. You come up with the official Goggle app there. If you hit the Get button, I already have it so I'll just hit Open, it will download the Goggle app. You can go in and use the Search box there to search for things in Goggle. Of course you can do that in Safari as well but the app adds some extra things.

You can see that microphone there and that's what gives you access to being able to talk to Goggle. So I can tap the microphone and then I can talk. What's the weather going to be like today? Today's forecast for Denver is 38 degrees and sunny. Here is something that Siri doesn't really do; give you good translation. So, for instance, you can say things like How do you say in French where is the closest ATM? ou est le plus proche ATM?

So where Goggle really excels over Siri is in giving you any result that is some sort of special Goggle search result. For more than a decade Goggle has had these special results when you search for things and you can tap into that here using your voice and the Goggle app. For instance comparing two things; broccoli vs asparagus. Here is a comparison of broccoli and garden asparagus. So this is the same result I'd get if I were to type the search on my computer but now I can do it through the Goggle app. So any kind of weird special result that you are used to getting from Goggle you can now get using Goggle inside this app and using your voice.

That is something Siri doesn't quite do yet because Siri doesn't have a full-fledged search engine behind it. As a matter of fact very often it will simply just search Goggle for something.

So next we have Cortana which is Microsoft's app. It is newer than both Goggle and Siri, of course. You can search for it in the app store. I already have it there so I'll just hit Open but it is also free just like Goggle is. Then it brings up this display here. Shows you some current information. Then you can hit the microphone button at the bottom right and ask Cortana something. What's the weather going to be like today? The forecast shows sun with a high of 34 and a low of 16.

So neither of these are going to replace Siri for you on your iPhone primarily for the reason that Siri is built in so you just have to tap and hold the Home button to activate it and it ties in with all of your default apps. But if you use the Goggle ecosystem a lot, you use gmail and your Goggle calendar and all that stuff, then using the Goggle app may actually give you better tie in to your stuff.

Cortona is a nice alternative and, I guess, if you use the Microsoft ecosystem then maybe that will be better for you. But it is also the newest so look for improvements for that in the future.

In the meantime they are all free so why not download Goggle and download Cortana for your iPhone and play around with them.

Comments: One Response to “Siri Alternatives For Your iPhone”

    Rob Mayer
    1/16/16 @ 1:35 pm

    One thing you might want to mention is that you can use Siri to “Launch Google” and then if you say “Ok Google”, the Google search will respond to your next command. It’s a way to get to Google search without having to find the app and then find the microphone icon…..

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