Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Battle of the personal assistants: Apple vs Samsung vs Google vs LG

Tony Ibrahim | March 5, 2014
Google, Samsung and LG have followed in Apple's footsteps by launching voice-enabled personal assistants. We spent time with each personal assistant to identify which company has developed the strongest offering so far.

The personal assistants of Samsung, Apple and Google can all generate a Web page with restaurant listings, but LG's assistant is the only one that will go one further by taking you right to Google's Maps application.

And it has the same kind of fun personality you would find from an interning university student. When we asked Voice Mate the existential question "what is the meaning of life?", it quickly responded "I'm hoping dessert is involved".

Voice Mate isn't perfect, but we're confident LG is making strides with its personal assistant.

S Voice by Samsung

Wake up command Hi Galaxy

S-Voice has come a long way since its original launch on the Galaxy S3 a couple of years ago, but the personal assistant still has some way to go. When we tested S-Voice on a Galaxy NotePro (12.2) and a Galaxy S4, we found it struggled with some of the fundamental basics.

"S-Voice does not currently support this feature" is the reply we received when we asked it to draft an email. S-Voice also struggled when we asked it to retrieve information on stock prices, identify the closest Dick Smith retail store and translate prompts from one language to another.

There are other drawbacks, too. S-Voice is one of the slower personal assistants as it often repeats your instructions in its robotic voice. Compared to Google's Voice Search, which just serves up a response quickly, S-Voice lags behind.

On the plus side, S-Voice does score some points for its personality. You can ask it to tell you jokes and it will recite the kind of cringing quip your father might make at a Christmas dinner. Nor does it play coy; it believes Samsung makes the best smartphone in the world.

Verdict
Apple's and Google's personal assistants were head-to-head as they returned 80 per cent of queries correctly. Samsung's and LG's personal assistants followed closely with 76 and 73 per cent respectively. The numbers reveal the competition was tight; however, we found one clear winner.

Apple's Siri proved to be the stand-out personal assistant. It consistently delivers accurate information, presents the findings in easy-to-digest language and tables, and, unlike Google's Voice Search, it taps into the functionality of your smartphone — and not that of a search engine. The other personal assistants excel in a few areas, but Apple's Siri performs well across the board.

 

Previous Page  1  2  3 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.