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IVR: Is S Voice a Legitimate Siri Contender, or Just a Pretender?
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IVR: Is S Voice a Legitimate Siri Contender, or Just a Pretender?

June 04, 2012

  By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

With Samsung's (News - Alert) Galaxy S III set to make its North American debut later this month, the inevitable comparisons to Apple's (News - Alert) iPhone are already well underway. While some think that Apple's popular mobile device may be losing its edge in the face of high-end Android (News - Alert) devices like the S III or HTC's One X, Apple still has Siri as its flagship unique feature, a voice recognition app with no real comparable Android equivalent — at least until the Galaxy S III hits North America.

One of the Galaxy S III's most touted featured on the software side is the inclusion of S Voice, a voice recognition app that acts as a virtual assistant. If that sounds remarkably similar to Siri, well, it is. But which is better? A recent article from the Washington Post by Vlad Savov pit these two apps side by side in a comparison test to determine just that.

First off, Savov points out that neither Siri nor S Voice is all that good at understanding the user; one must enunciate clearly in order to get results from either program. Even then, Savov found that misinterpretations tend to be frequent, greatly hindering the usability of both apps.

Secondly, both Siri and S Voice tend to rely on external searches which just as easily — and more quickly — could have been performed by bringing up a Google (News - Alert) page. S Voice is more likely to provide the user with a Google search page than Siri, however.

When it comes to speed, Siri is almost always faster than S Voice. However, S Voice is capable of performing geographical searches while Siri will only produce local results and seems incapable of performing location-related queries.

Lastly, Siri tends to offer aural confirmation when presented with a query while S Voice typically provides results quietly — and even comes with the option to turn off sounds altogether. Which you prefer in this case is entirely up to personal preference.

Savov concludes in saying that S Voice is a "very good approximation" of what Siri offers to iPhone (News - Alert) users, but notes that neither of these programs is yet useful enough nor polished enough to be a real selling point.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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