updated 01:18 am EDT, Fri September 21, 2012
Both voice control options flawed; need more work overall
According to tests by CNet, Apple's Siri voice recognition technology is still better than Samsung's S Voice, but both offerings "have a long way to go." Tests were performed with 12 commands that are a routine part of both program's capabilities, on either an iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S III in the same location, with time to parse and resolve the question not evaluated for purposes of the test.
Voice dialing was properly executed by both assistants. However, sending a text message with accuracy wasn't so clear cut. Siri's implementation of texting was more conversation-styled, with S Voice requiring an awkward phraseology to properly fill the text box rather than misinterpreting and dialing the contact. S Voice also had difficulty with longer messages, and the analyst recommended "recommend keeping texts short and sweet" as S Voice continually botched longer messages throughout the testing period.
Both companies' phones interfaced with the weather applications on the phones perfectly, with no noticeable hitches. Song playback was problematic on G Voice, but playing a track purchased from iTunes on the iPhone proved to be not a difficulty. The voice interface on the Samsung phone failed to properly locate and play a track purchased through Google Play.
Internet searches were not without peril -- both Siri and S Voice had problems parsing unique or differently-spelled internet search terms into usable terms, distorting the search field's entry.
Generally speaking, voice control interfaces are in their infancy. Samsung's S Voice and Apple's Siri are both leaders in a crowded field, including offerings from Microsoft and Google. CNet's analysis of the technology found that Siri offered a "hands-down better experience, since it better interpreted my commands, and didn't require as much repetition." Contributing to the verdict, Apple's noise reduction technology seemed to trump Samsung's, where the testing showed that the Galaxy S III used for testing seemed to pick up the sounds of doors, other conversations, or even a deep breath. [via CNet]