Siri needs to start worrying. After a long wait, the Google Search app for iOS has been updated with some interesting and improved voice search capabilities.
Much like the built-in personal assistant on many iOS devices, the updated app now allows users to ask questions and receive answers spoken directly back to them with Web results tailored to the query.
And in just a few minutes of getting to use the app, I’m actually pretty impressed. To search by voice, simply start the app and hit the microphone button. The voice recognition was very accurate, and queries are streamed on the fly, which is a big improvement compared to Siri.
Every question I asked was recognized quickly, and I got the results almost instantaneously. The app will answer numerous types of questions with a spoken response. It even answered the infamous “What’s the best smartphone?” question with an answer I can live with – no one phone is right for everyone.
The updated app is also optimized for the larger 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 and the fifth-generation iPod touch.
Google first unveiled the updated app almost three months ago and said at the time that the new version would be in the App Store in just a few days. But that wasn’t the case. Later that month, our own Bryan M. Wolfe asked whether Apple has stopped approving updates from its competitor.
Google Search is a universal app designed for both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. It can be downloaded for free in the App Store now. If you’re fed up with Apple’s assistant, or own an iPhone 4 without Siri support, I would definitely recommend grabbing it.