(The Root) — Anyone who knows me knows how much of an Apple devotee I am. But I have to admit that I was disappointed back when the iPhone4S was released and Apple decided to disable the Siri app for anyone who hadn't upgraded to the newest version of its popular smartphone. Since then, Siri has become an indispensable part of the most recent iPhones, giving advice on anything from tomorrow's weather report to the recipe for Red Lobster's cheddar biscuits. Now Google is bringing voice-assisted search to the masses with the updated version of its search app.
If you already have Google's search app on your phone, then you should have the latest update, which includes the new voice-search features. When the app is launched, there is a microphone at the bottom of the screen that enables voice search. Much like with Siri, you simply speak your question into the phone and an answer is returned, along with a list of Google search results.
If you're an iPhone user who has Siri, the integrated functionality of the app with your contacts and other apps on your smartphone will most likely keep you loyal to Apple's voice assistant. For everyone else, you get a lot of the same features that make Siri so popular, and you get them a lot faster. Google's voice search returns results significantly faster than Apple's offering.
I think the fact that Google's voice search is free and available across multiple platforms (iPhone, Android and Blackberry) will make it a go-to service for many users. I've been using it for a little while now, and I think it's pretty fabulous and very fast. Once Google figures out how to integrate the other apps on your smartphone into the search, Siri had better watch her back!
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