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Google Unveils New Search Features, Including iOS Voice Search

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the new-ways-to-find-stuff dept.

Android 96

First time accepted submitter sohmc writes "Some time ago, Google admitted that the biggest threat was not other search engines but services like Siri. However, Google just bridged that gap with Google Voice Search, already available in Jelly Bean, but also available via downloadable app. Google also submitted this app to the iOS App Store and is currently waiting approval. However, Slashdotters are no doubt recalling to mind the 'Google Voice' fiasco, in which Apple refused to allow it to appear, saying that it replaces a native function. It wasn't until Apple was brought before Congress to answer questions on how it approves or rejects apps that Google Voice was brought in."

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gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40924563)

Apple is the gayest company since gay came to gay town.

Re:gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40924643)

Apple Computer is the creator of the Macintosh, popularly known as the "gay computer". 87% of GNAA members are Mac users. Founded in 1974 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple was nearly out of business in the mid 90s, when Jobs was rehired. He then started the now infamous iGay marketing scheme which involved both the Step 2 ???? Profit model, and a 100% effort towards marketing to homosexuals.

Re:gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40927567)

I find this incredibly informative! Thank you sir!

Re:gay (4, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924711)

Coincidentally (perhaps), "Siri" was the name of a gay starship captain in "The forever War".

Re:gay (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925025)

Troll? No, the word you're looking for is 'informative'. It's a classic work of science fiction, and I could definitely see naming a product after a character in it, especially if it's an 'in joke'.

Re:gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925593)

Nooooo, it's a troll. Go back to your bridge.

Re:gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40926031)

Shut up, faggot.

Re:gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40926443)

Wrong kind of troll. It should be "go back to your lake".

Re:gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40927333)

Not just gay, nigger gay.

google now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40924639)

Other search engines are not as big a threat as Siri?

Re:google now (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925605)

Siri is basically Wolfram Alpha, so yes.

Re:google now (5, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925939)

Not always. This one surprised me...

A few months back, I biked in to work. I was bit a concerned about riding home in the dark and wanted to see the sunset time. On a lark, I asked Siri, "Siri, what time is sunset?" Siri thought for a moment and came back and said, "Sunset is at 7:34PM."

Wow! I was impressed. Siri also showed me the weather for the rest of the week!

So I figured I'd try something else. "Siri, what time was sunrise?" Siri thought for a moment and came back and said, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you the weather from the past."

Huh? I'm asking about sunrise and sunset. Not weather.

I noticed that this has since been fixed--Siri will tell me sunrise and sunset times for anywhere in the country. But I can't say, "Siri, what time will the sun rise in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 23rd, 2012?" because Siri is getting sunrise and sunset information from the same place it gets weather information (which seems to be why it shows a weather forecast along side). But if I pose the same question to Wolfram-Alpha, it replies correctly.

Re:google now (2, Informative)

Black LED (1957016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926585)

It seems Google Voice Search in Jelly Bean works a little better. Asking for sunset gives me the correct answer. Asking for sunrise this morning gives me sunrise for tomorrow. Asking for sunrise or sunset in Cleveland, Ohio works fine, but asking about a specific date brings up a Google search result which does have links to accurate information.

Re:google now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40929561)

wtf why would this be modded down? are the istuff fanboys truly *that* insecure?

Re:google now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40932157)

Tribalist fanboys are tribalist. Must squash dissent.

Re:google now (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 2 years ago | (#40927363)

well, i think you can just tell siri to go to WA for that too..

try this:
"ask wolfram alpha what flights are currently overhead"

Re:google now (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40927671)

Sure. I can tell Siri to search the web as well and it will use Google/Bing/Yahoo/whatever.

The argument you hear is that Siri is so great because it goes to the appropriate engine for this information. So if you say, "Is Norm's a good place to eat?" Siri will check Yelp and say, "No." I don't have to tell Siri what I'm looking for--Siri is so smart it can figure it out for itself and give me back the answer.

If I have to tell Siri where to look, it's kind of a fail.

Citation needed (2)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924659)

What is this made-up crap about Congress in the summary? Do the editors bother reviewing submissions? (Of course not, this is Slashdot!)

Re:Citation needed (2)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924879)

I don't remember if Congress got involved, but the FCC certainly did: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124908121794098073.html [wsj.com]

Re:Citation needed (3, Informative)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40927195)

The FCC asked some questions, yes. And then did nothing at all about it. It wasn't until a year and a half later when Apple revised their App Store Review Guidelines [apple.com] that Google Voice was approved (along with many other apps that had been rejected previously). There's no evidence whatsoever that the FCC had any more to do with that than Congress did (read: none). The submitter is either woefully misinformed or intentionally trolling; either way the editors should have caught it.

Re:Citation needed (1)

noh8rz6 (2689737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40927883)

The editors are he worst trolls on slashdot.

Re:Citation needed (1)

mimicoctopus (2701643) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924949)

Darn. I was happy when I saw that. You mean it's not true?

Nothing new here (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924673)

Voice search has been on Android for about three years now.
Just because IOS users are finally getting it does not make it news.

Re:Nothing new here (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40924807)

Voice search has been on Android for about three years now.
Just because IOS users are finally getting it does not make it news.

Finally getting it? I've had an iPhone 4 since release, and I'm pretty damn sure the Google App has both Voice and Picture search.

How is this different?

Re:Nothing new here (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925055)

Correct, voice search has been there for a while. According to the video in the article, this is more like a direct port of the new google voice search (as it debuted in Jellybean), with enhanced results on voice queries, like movie showtimes, wikipedia entries, etc.

Re:Nothing new here (1, Informative)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925531)

Helll, the 3GS had voice controls and access to voice search apps. I guess "finally getting it" means "has had it as long as the other players".

Re:Nothing new here (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925533)

Voice search has been on Android for about three years now.
Just because IOS users are finally getting it does not make it news.

Voice search without a working a internet connection is really the main Voice Search functionality that Android has introduced in the Jellybeans .1 release. I think many iPhone users, including the guy that submitted this story, missed that part during the Google I/O demo.

And no, iOS Siri can not work offline, at least as far as I know.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925695)

Question: what the heck are you going to be "searching" for when offline?

Re:Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925893)

an app or document on my phone?

Re:Nothing new here (1)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40927573)

Ok, I can see maybe searching for docs, but searching for an app? Am I the only one who keeps apps organized in nice folders and remembers where I put them? :-P

Re:Nothing new here (1)

mpricop (2604347) | more than 2 years ago | (#40928301)

Yes, pretty much.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

Rui Lopes (599077) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926175)

Question: what the heck are you going to be "searching" for when offline?

Try imagine what it might be to interact with technology if you're tetraplegic... Voice search will help you a lot.

Re:Nothing new here (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40928641)

Question: what the heck are you going to be "searching" for when offline?

Apps, Contacts, phone numbers, addresses, geolocations (yes, even geolocations on a map through offline google maps, or some other offline map third party application).

Word definitions, word translations, documents, employee directory, list of free wifi hotspots, static bus schedules, etc. (yes, basically any content from third party developers that want to set the flag includeInGlobalSearch to "true")

Re:Nothing new here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925933)

And no, iOS Siri can not work offline, at least as far as I know.

No shit? You mean a service that requires Apple's servers to run the voice recognition doesn't work when you don't have an Internet connection? CAPTAIN OBVIOUS TO THE RESCUE!!!

Re:Nothing new here (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40928387)

This is a major privacy enhancement. No need to send every word you say some remote server where it gets decoded and saved in some log file.

Re:Nothing new here (3, Informative)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40929185)

Voice search has been on Android for about three years now. Just because IOS users are finally getting it does not make it news.

Wrong on so many counts, it isn't even close.

The "voice search" that is talked about in the article is new in Jellybean, so only a few weeks old.

Searching by voice as part of "Voice Actions for Android" has been available since Froyo, a little over 2 years.

The same searching by voice has been in the Google Search [apple.com] App for iOS for an unknown time, but at least since before the last update in June 2012.

The fact that iOS had "Voice Control" for a year before Android had Voice Actions is just the icing on your cake of wrongness.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#40929831)

As an owner of an i4(not s) I can say I became excited of this news.

Re:Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40930605)

Voice search has been on Android for about three years now.
Just because IOS users are finally getting it does not make it news.

might make it copyright infringement though.

not equivalent (1, Interesting)

Moblaster (521614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924675)

Google voice search is just an alternative entry method for the standard search. It is hardly a strategic counter to the more AI-driven approach (ok, quasi-AI) that Siri represents. And it does little to address either the vertical search gap presented by Yelp, or the "diagonal" functionality gap that Siri addresses by smoothly integrating with your other iOS apps like text message, alarm or calendar.

Re:not equivalent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40924773)

Clearly you haven't used Google Voice Search and Google Now in Jelly bean.

Re:not equivalent (4, Informative)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924909)

Not true. It's done much more than simple text entry for a long time, and it got a major upgrade in Jelly Bean. Reviews are now generally calling it superior to Siri.

Re:not equivalent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925255)

Just another fanboy who doesn't know what he's talking about.

Re:not equivalent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40928101)

Agreed. Moblaster certainly doesn't know what he's talking about.

Re:not equivalent (5, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925401)

Google voice search is just an alternative entry method for the standard search. It is hardly a strategic counter to the more AI-driven approach (ok, quasi-AI) that Siri represents.

Are you kidding me? It's not even a contest. Comparing Google Voice Search to Siri is just like comparing Google Search to Yahoo Search (the Yahoo Search of 10 years ago). Even Steve Wozniak says that Google voice search is [mashable.com] vastly superior [businessinsider.com] to Siri (even long before Gingerbread came out, he was saying stuff like that, now Google voice search can be used offline in addition to what it can already do online, and in that time, Siri has only been getting worse with even more commercial answers to non-commercially based queries).

Also, the idea of launching specific intents/actions on a phone instead of launching just a web page is an idea that Google pioneered long ago, that Apple just recently imitated.

And it does little to address either the vertical search gap presented by Yelp, or the "diagonal" functionality gap that Siri addresses by smoothly integrating with your other iOS apps like text message, alarm or calendar.

But Google Voice Search does also search through the internal content/actions of your phone at the same time as the Internet. It did that for a while now (that's why I can't comprehend how Apple even got a patent on a similar idea).

Re:not equivalent (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40929231)

Even Steve Wozniak says that Google voice search is [mashable.com] vastly superior [businessinsider.com] to Siri

Gosh, wouldn't it be nice if your sources actually supported your claim? Did Voice Search tell you they did?

1.Article: "The Apple co-founder,[said] that he was an early fan of Siri, but the app has gotten worse since Apple bought it." And why? Because it now also searches Google. No mention of Google Voice Search. The second article is basically just the video from the first.

Re:not equivalent (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40938813)

And why? Because it now also searches Google. No mention of Google Voice Search.

Now, who's making stuff up? Siri doesn't use Google results according to this SEO [inc.com] .

The second article is basically just the video from the first.

My bad. I lost the original article I wanted to link to. That article contained about a dozen questions where Woz compared the iPhone Siri against Google Voice Search.

Here is a completely different article with the same kind of test. This one is not performed by Woz but Gizmodo, but it's actually much more comprehensive with 1600 questions! [gizmodo.com] Enjoy.

1600-Question Test Shows How Bad Siri Really Is
Jesus Diaz

Pitting Google search against Siri using a monster 1600-question test shows how useful Siri really is: not at all. Google answered correctly 86 percent of the time. Siri achieved just 68 percent accuracy. At that point, it's not much better than a crystal ball.

We knew that Siri isn't very good. But this intense test shows just how ridiculous the gimmicky voice assistant could be.
The fact is that even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has been saying this since the day Apple introduced the iPhone 4S with Siri. It just sucks. Siri as an independent product, before Apple acquired it, the Woz told us at the Gizmodo Gallery:

It was really accurate, but now it's full of marketing-driven answers that are not correct.

How bad is it now? Here are some good examples from the test, which was conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, a character who is well-known for his pro-Apple view of the tech world:

When did the movie Cinderella come out? Responded with a movie theater search on Yelp.

What spices are in Lasagna? Responded with a Yelp search with lasagna on the menu.

I want to go to Lake Superior? Responded with directions to the company Lake Superior X-Ray.

Clearly, Woz is right: Apple's version of Siri is tainted because it's marketing driven, giving preference to commercial sites like Yelp or companies over actual, useful results.

Of course, you can argue that Siri is labeled as beta by Apple. But, to Woz's point, how did it end up being worse than it was as a standalone app available at the App Store? The one Apple bought when Steve Jobs was still running the company?

Which brings me back to a earlier point. Jobs' authorized biography says that he was at diminished capacity when Siri was being tested, too weak to come into the office. He only tried the current form of Siri at his last board meeting. He briefly played with it and, understandably given the moment, didn't show much interest. That was it. It's hard to believe that he would have let software with 68% accuracy to ever be installed in a shipping product.

A new version of Siri is coming in the new iOS 6. It looks a lot more useful, but I just hope that Apple ditches the commercialism in favor of giving the answers you actually need. [Fortune]

Re:not equivalent (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40942739)

And why? Because it now also searches Google. No mention of Google Voice Search.

Now, who's making stuff up? Siri doesn't use Google results according to this SEO [inc.com] .

Who cares if it doesn't, unlike you I was quoting Woz from the article. If you want to slam your own witness ...

Re:not equivalent (3, Informative)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926009)

And it does little to address either the vertical search gap presented by Yelp, or the "diagonal" functionality gap that Siri addresses by smoothly integrating with your other iOS apps like text message, alarm or calendar.

Can't speak for Google Voice Search on Android, but...

Awhile ago, we were making a McDonald's run and I asked Jennifer what she wanted. She told me to pick her up a 6-piece McNuggets with Barbecue sauce. I pulled out my iPhone and wrote myself a note in the notepad: Jennifer's order is a 6-piece McNuggets with Barbecue sauce. I then brought up Siri and said, "Siri, what is Jennifer's order?" Siri thought for a moment and said, "I don't know. Would you like me to search the web for Jennifer's order?"

What's funny is that when I went to the iOS Search Screen, turned on the microphone, and said, "Jennifer's order," the first thing to pop up was the note that I had written.

So, no, Siri only integrates with some of Apple's apps.

Anti-competitve practices (5, Interesting)

mimicoctopus (2701643) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924703)

Apple ought to have been prosecuted for its anti-competitive practices a long time ago. I have no idea why this hasn't happened.

For God's sake, Microsoft is forced to include a nag screen advertising other browsers (including the ones virtually nobody uses) while Apple gets a free pass to prevent others browsers from even functioning properly on iOS, censors its competitors and dissidents in its app store, and makes use of vendor lock-in wherever it can.

Why the double standard?

Not a monopoly... (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924763)

Apple ought to have been prosecuted for its anti-competitive practices a long time ago. I have no idea why this hasn't happened.

Because they are not a monopoly.

I'm not sure why you can't understand that.

You also seem to be unable to distinguish between things blocked for competitive reasons, and things blocked for reasons of security.

Re:Not a monopoly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40924857)

Microsoft tried that "security" line too. The courts didn't buy it. Maybe the government can break any law it wants in the name of "security", but corporations can't.

Re:Not a monopoly... (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924921)

You don't have to be a monopoly to be prosecuted. Microsoft certainly wasn't a monopoly on the desktop when it was prosecuted. Or Standard Oil when it was prosecuted. You only have to have a large enough share of a certain market that your presence is "anti-competitive" and blocks other companies from succeeding. Apple certainly fits that description in the cellphone & tablet markets.

Re:Not a monopoly... (2)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925237)

The court declared MS to be a monopoly so who should've believe? You or the court?

Re:Not a monopoly... (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925351)

A monopoly doesn't need to control 100% of the market. It just needs to have monopoly power by controlling a large chunk of the market and being able to direct the market at will.

Re:Not a monopoly... (3, Informative)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925561)

microsoft controlled 90% of the operating system market when the antitrust suit was filed in 1998
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ofnote/9-16mrktshare.mspx [microsoft.com]

Countries define what percentage qualifies as a monopoly. In the UK, a company is defined as having monopoly power when it passes 25% market share.
http://economicsonline.co.uk/Market_failures/Monopoly_power.html [economicsonline.co.uk]

In the US, 100% has never been required to qualify as a monopoly. Standard Oil controlled 91% of production, and 85% of US sales four years before the antitrust suit was filed.

Section 2 of the sherman antitrust act:

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony

And to be prosecuted under that section, two things have to be proven:

(1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and
        (2) the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident.

#2 is called the rule of reason - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_reason [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not a monopoly... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925801)

You don't have to be a monopoly to be prosecuted. Microsoft certainly wasn't a monopoly on the desktop when it was prosecuted. Or Standard Oil when it was prosecuted.

The court found otherwise in both cases. Please learn history from a source other than your imagination.

Re:Not a monopoly... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40927835)

Especially given that they apparently own exclusive rights to have devices with rounded corners.

Re:Not a monopoly... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40932045)

You don't have to be a monopoly to be prosecuted. Microsoft certainly wasn't a monopoly on the desktop when it was prosecuted. Or Standard Oil when it was prosecuted. You only have to have a large enough share of a certain market that your presence is "anti-competitive" and blocks other companies from succeeding. Apple certainly fits that description in the cellphone & tablet markets.

Having a monopoly is perfectly legal. In some cases, it's a very practical move (natural monopolies, when properly regulated), in others, it just falls out because of the nature of the market (some software sold is so specialized, only one company really makes it because the market consists of 10-odd entities, say).

That's perfectly allowable by all the laws.

What's not allowable is when you use that monopoly to basically barge your way into another market (e.g. Microsoft Windows barging into the browser world by including IE).

Apple nearly fell into anti-trust with the iPod and iTunes Store - because they practically used the iPod and iTunes to lock people in. It would be a very fine line (because iPod+iTunes complemented each other, and iPod grew in dominance due to timing alongside iTunes first-mover advantage). The iPhone? Not so much - Android is a bigger seller and has more marketshrae. The iPad? Perhaps, though it's marketshare is dropping (it's down to sub-70%), and was really first-mover advantage compounded by well, crappy competitors with rushed products. Though, it's unclear where Apple is muscling in.

Heck, Google has to be careful - they own practically all the advertising networks out there (making them both the supplier of "good ads" like AdSense, and the purveyor of annoying ones like popunders courtesy DoubleClick, a Google-owned subsidiary).

Re:Not a monopoly... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40924939)

The monopoly "requirement" only applies to Section 2 violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Section 1 "anti-competitive" violations have no such requirement.

Re:Not a monopoly... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925503)

> Because they are not a monopoly.

Standard +5 insightful Apple defense which needs to be smacked down once and forever.

REMEMBER THIS MORON: You don't have to be a monopoly to be prosecuted for anti-competitive practice.

Re:Not a monopoly... (1, Informative)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925555)

And Apple hasn't been nailed for it, nor is anyone but the Android fan boys even bringing it up. So who's the moron?

Re:Not a monopoly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925619)

You?

Re:Not a monopoly... (0)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925727)

So, since you're the one accusing Apple of violating competition laws, and the US Government says they aren't, I'm the moron when my arguments are based in reality? Oh...k.

Re:Not a monopoly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40927413)

I'm not him and I understand that Apple is not a monopoly. Although I think that the laws regarding monopolies are a joke. It's those rules that make capitalism fail as a system.

Re:Anti-competitve practices (0)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926091)

I have no idea why this hasn't happened.

Really? Seriously? You honestly don't know why Apple hasn't been charged with anti-competitive practices? Really?

Um, the answer is simple - they don't have a monopoly in _ANY_ industry in which they operate. At their best, in the MP3 market, they had something in the range of 85%-ish, which is still short of a monopoly. If you don't like their practices, YOU can CHOOSE to pick a different vendor.

Microsoft is forced to provide nag screens for other browsers because they had 95%-ish of the desktop market (giving them a de facto monopoly in the desktop market) and they abused that position to force Internet Explorer upon users. The nag screen is punishment for abusing their monopoly in one market to create success in another market. Apple has not done the same thing because they can't. They do not have anything close to a monopoly position in any market and thus cannot abuse that monopoly. There is competition. There is choice.

I thought all readers of Slashdot already understood that basic concept.

Re:Anti-competitve practices (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40926877)

You don't have to have an absolute monopoly to be sued for anti-competitive practices. I'm guessing you already knew that though...

Re:Anti-competitve practices (2)

itamblyn (867415) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926929)

I'm sorry, but no. That argument doesn't make any sense. Microsoft was forced into providing that nag screen simply because courts move slower than technology. Fighting against Internet Explorer was the tech world's bizarre attempt to show Redmond they couldn't push everyone (read Netscape) around. Somewhere along the way, someone got mad that they couldn't uninstall a piece of software which _they_ personally deemed to be unrelated to the underlying OS. Flash forward, and now companies have their entire business based solely around the browser. MS built Internet Explorer into the core of the operating system because they knew it was a big deal. Did you really have that much trouble downloading and installing another browser next to IE? Really?

Now, related to your arbitrary and questionable definition of a monopoly, are you actually telling us that in the old days there was no alternative to Windows (*cough* *cough* Macintosh)? There was "no choice"?? And you would also like us to believe that Apple doesn't own the tablet market today? Apple prides itself on having a completely closed ecosystem. If we follow their model of "don't allow applications which duplicate functionality", then IE should still be the only browser allowed on Windows machines...

The only reason they haven't been hit for anti-competitive practices is because their marketing department, including Jobs, have always made the company seem like the scrappy outsider. Google looked that way at one point as well. Apple's time will come. It's inevitable.

Re:Anti-competitve practices (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40926999)

That is not correct. 85% is indeed a monopoly (or rather, actions by an 85% company will attract antitrust attention). In fact, if your market share is over 50%, then you need to be careful.

The standard measure used to check if actions of a company (or a group of companies) requires antitrust screening or not is the Herfindahl index. This is defined as the sum of the squares of the market shares of all the firms in question. If this number exceeds 2500 (assuming market shares are in percentages), then these firms together can abuse the market, and hence any action by them will be screened by various governing bodies.

Re:Anti-competitve practices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40933331)

Woah. Looks like he struck a never with this apple fanboy.

Still, those services are closely tied to search (2)

QilessQi (2044624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40924971)

Regardless of what Google may have said about its "biggest threat", search engines are the backbone of many other interesting services anyway. Nowadays it's how we get everywhere. Most of the time I barely bother with bookmarks: if I want to find a locksmith in West Fooville, I might google "locksmith in west fooville kentucky" or I might speak it into a phone, but it's the search engine that's doing the heavy lifting. I suspect that the targeted ads in gmail are built on top of their search engine in some fashion, and not just a natural language understanding engine (anybody out there know for certain?).

By the way, if you want a Google [and Amazon] insider's perspective on services and platforms, you must check out Steve Yegge's classic rant on the topic: http://steverant.pen.io/ [steverant.pen.io]

You guys don't understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925135)

Now you can search by saying it instead of typing it. This will be a new paradigm like web appliances.

Re:You guys don't understand. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926503)

I've tried Voice Search on Android. The results usually don't even vaguely resemble what I asked for.

Apparently I'm in the minority (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925359)

I really don't like these new voice features. Having to hear the incessant blathering from some cell phone users is bad enough - now I have to hear them talking at their phones when they're not on a call?

Re:Apparently I'm in the minority (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925995)

Try to see the humor in the scene, get a good chuckle and move on. That's what I do.

Re:Apparently I'm in the minority (2)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926083)

Virtual boy/girl friends. It'll happen. blabbing to somebody who is actually interested. Eliza is probably enough for many teens already. We've had the SIMs and virtual pets -- some progression and integration is going to happen with this stuff.

Re:Apparently I'm in the minority (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926301)

Virtual boy/girl friends. It'll happen.

We're already in the future [apple.com] .

Re:Apparently I'm in the minority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40926433)

>I really don't like these new voice features.
You don't have to use them...

I respect people's right to have the choice, even if I don't intend to use it myself.

Re:Apparently I'm in the minority (0, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926531)

I really don't like these new voice features. Having to hear the incessant blathering from some cell phone users is bad enough - now I have to hear them talking at their phones when they're not on a call?

"Even though I've badly wanted voice control since the first day I saw Star Trek, I've decided to start hating it even before it becomes mainstream.

Nerd hipsterism.

Re:Apparently I'm in the minority (1)

dwpro (520418) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930587)

I agreed that it's somewhat obnoxious in public, but a good voice command is vastly superior way to interface with my phone for some tasks in private environments and especially while driving. I can say "navigate to Foo Bar " or even something like "text John Smith I'm running 10 minutes behind" and google has been quite impressive at resolving these commands.

When you have to use underhanded tactics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40925465)

When you have to use underhanded tactics, you know you are already losing.

And while Apple fanbois wet their pants over Siri gimmick, Google is going for a kill here with a real function that actually works.

Re:When you have to use underhanded tactics... (1)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925643)

This function seems to be working just fine and dandy. You can make an argument about features, but in reality as Google and Apple release updates each is getting more and more sophisticated. In this iOS 6 beta on my iPad Apple has added a ton of useful Siri functions, and it's never had any real problems understanding me. But to each their own.

Accurate dictation:

http://imgur.com/RH3tD [imgur.com]

New Siri features in iOS 6:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-I69vumnG0 [youtube.com]

Personal Assistant Features Via Gmail/GCalendar? (1)

bostonidealist (2009964) | more than 2 years ago | (#40925865)

While it seems like the early versions of the iOS App may limit voice input to search, it makes sense that Google's angling to compete with Siri's personal assistant functionality by integrating with Google Calendar, Gmail, etc. Using the Google's iOS Voice App to "book an appointment" on an iPhone configured with Google's ActiveSync/Exchange Gmail and Calendar connector could appear to behave identically to Siri.

Siri would presumably trigger a calendar event creation directly on the phone after receiving data from Apple's server, while Google's Voice App could transmit the appointment creation command to Google's server and add the appointment to the user's Google Calendar. The appointment would immediately be fetched by the iPhone's Calendar App, so the two actions would appear the same to the user.

Yes, Yes (0)

mchappee (22897) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926077)

Apple evil. Google angelic. Discuss. Google should make a commercial where hordes of drab, chain-laden shills are listening to Steve on a huge video display spout off about conformity. Then that one guy, the CEO that stole phone secrets while on Apple's board, forgot his name, anyway he breaks his chains and hurls a giant penguin into the video screen. And, and, it shatters. And then all the sheeple break out of their bonds and...well, you know.

Bow to your god, slashdot. Bow to google.
MC

Re:Yes, Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40932971)

How's that overblown emotional investment in Apple working out for ya?

What about a text search feature? (1)

tomp (4013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40926087)

Can Google invent a text search feature? You know, where you type words into a text box and Google returns a list of pages that contain those words? That would be cool. Can Google work on that next?

WWOT... fp! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40926267)

Profits 3ithout 1committerbase and Cycle; take a Since we made the

Next iteration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40926269)

One step closer to the internet breathalyzer. Blocking drunk people from searching the internet when it detects wavering pitch and slurred speech.

Not available pre-Jelly Bean (0)

trawg (308495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40927959)

I find it weird that these advanced voice services aren't available pre-Jelly Bean. I wouldn't have thought it was a technical limitation - aren't all the voice commands just fired off into some cloudy thing anyway?

I can imagine they want to give people incentive to upgrade to a new phone, but Apple tried that with Siri and seemed to get routinely bashed for it. I haven't seen too many people (other than me :) bitching about it for Android though...

Re:Not available pre-Jelly Bean (2)

harmic (856749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40928743)

So you didnt read the part in the summary where it said "already available in Jelly Bean, but also available via downloadable app" Anyway why would google want to provide an incentive to upgrade to a new phone? They don't even make phones and they give the OS away for free. It is actually in their best interest to have this new function available as widely as possible since they make their money through advertising.

Re:Not available pre-Jelly Bean (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40939827)

I have the "downloadable app" (assuming it is just called "Google Voice Search"). It is a basic front end that gives you the ability to do some voice commands - IF your device is set to US English (I'm in Australia but I have my phone set to US English so I have access to these extra commands).

Some of the commands you can do are:

"set alarm for 8.30pm"
"note to self"
"send email to"
"navigate to" ...but it doesn't - as far as I can see - equal the advanced functionality that has been made available in Jelly Bean, in which you can do more Siri-like actions like say "what is the weather in San Francisco?" and have it read you back an answer.

I agree re: the point about upgrading, but I can't think of any other justification for why this application isn't available on pre-4.1 phones. I am conscious that Google are struggling from more of an image problem - especially amongst developers - because of the Android fragmentation issue and moving people onto more advanced phones (especially their own hardware, like the Nexus series) will help drag that sub-1% install base on the latest version or whatever it is into a more reasonable figure that is competitive with Apple.

Act of Congress (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40929525)

Google: What will it take to get this app in the app store?
Apple: It would take an act of Congress.
... some time later ...
Apple: It was a figure of speech!

Willl Google Voice Search work on iPhone 4? (1)

WolfgangPG (827468) | more than 2 years ago | (#40929737)

I wonder if Google Voice Search will work on the iPhone 4 or the iPad 1/2? They aren't powerful enough to run the Siri web service /sarcasm :P

What Google Really Needs (1)

Lord Balto (973273) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930417)

I'd be satisfied with a Google "improvement" that allowed it to search on what you typed in without having to use quotation marks. It would also be nice if it didn't ask whether you meant Hancock when you typed in Hanock.

Re:What Google Really Needs (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931481)

I'd be satisfied with a Google "improvement" that allowed it to search on what you typed in without having to use quotation marks. It would also be nice if it didn't ask whether you meant Hancock when you typed in Hanock.

Oooh, how about not also searching for "similar" terms - including abbreviations which can completely derail a search. Eg. Pennsylvania == PA == Public Address - now guess what happens when you search for "loudness Pennsylvania". It doesn't get better when Google starts mixing languages.

Re:What Google Really Needs (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 2 years ago | (#40932415)

What world do you live in? Quotation marks barely help any more. :(

Re:What Google Really Needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40942441)

Click on "More Search Terms" on the left-hand side, then click "Verbatim [google.com] ".

You're welcome.

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