Google Now Kicks Siri And Cortana To The Curb In Head To Head Smartphone Assistant Challenge

Scott Falkner

Google Now outdid Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana in a recent test put together to challenge the smartphone assistants.

Once upon a time, the most interesting product competition out there was the Pepsi Challenge, which pitted the "choice of a new generation" against Coca-Cola. Fast forward to the 21st Century where now, instead of soda taste tests, we have head to head smart phone application challenges.

Stone Temple Consulting conducted the smart phone challenge. The consulting group verbally asked the Google Now App, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana over 3,000 questions and documented the responses, according to LifeHacker. Some might complain that the test in itself is not really a comparison of app capabilities, but purely based on knowledge queries. However, considering that knowledge queries are what most of us use our personal assistant applications for, the test is valid for that component of the app's use.

Here's Stone Temple Consulting staff members Caitlin O'Connell and Justin Markuson demonstrating some of the basic queries from the personal app challenge.

In addition to proper/accurate responses, the consulting group also graded the three apps on what they called "enhanced results." By that, the consulting group means that the apps were graded not only on whether or not they gave the correct answer to the knowledge query, but whether the apps were also able to give more information and knowledge snippets alongside those right answers.

When it came to "enhanced results," Google Now won hands down, offering those results 58 percent of the time. Siri came in second, doing so 29 percent of the time, and Cortana offered additional information with the correct answer 20 percent of the time.

As far as the most important result -- whetherthe personal assistant application was able to answer the question asked correctly and completely -- Google Now again took the top spot, more than doubling the percentage of correct answers that Cortana gave.

Google Now answered correctly and completely 88 percent of the time. Apple's Siri answered completely and correctly 53 percent of the time. And Cortana? Unfortunately, only 40 percent of its answers were complete and correct.

Stone Temple Consulting indicated that Google Now presented the complete and correct answer to the given question most often and immediately, whereas Siri and Cortana often required either the app or the user to do more "digging" to find the correct answer according to the Stone Temple website.

The results of the personal assistant app challenge do not necessarily mean that Google Now is the best assistant application overall. However, for right now, Google Now could be considered the most knowledgeable.

Do you use Google Now, Siri, or Cortana on your smartphone? Are you happy with the app? Frustrated? Sound off in the comments below.

image via Lifehacker