The competition between voice enabled assistants is heating up. Samsung's S Voice, which is featured in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3, brings a voice activated assistant to the Android ecosystem that doesn't only run web searches, check the weather and schedule memos, it can also send messages and turn phone features on or off. I tested S Voice on the Galaxy S 3 as well as on the Galaxy Nexus.
Samsung S Voice is likely based on Vlingo, which has pioneered voice control and artificial intelligence in mobile devices. Just like Apple's Siri, S Voice will only work when there's an available Internet connection. It is also like Siri in the sense that the default search engine it goes to is Wolfram Alpha computational engine.
While Siri's responses are more conversational and have some personality and have a layer of humour, S Voice is quite straightforward and doesn't seem to have a personality. I also noticed that it isn't as quick to respond to queries and questions but this is expected since the Galaxy S 3 isn't officially released yet.
What the S Voice has over Siri is that it seems to be more integrated with the social aspect of the Android OS. You can use it to send Tweets or even update your Facebook status. It can also be used to alter settings on the phone so you can ask it to turn WiFi on or off as well as open apps, start voice recordings and Samsung confirmed that they would allow third party developers to integrate S Voice functionality into their apps.
Neither Siri nor Samsung's S Voice are where they're supposed to be in terms of polish and usability. Siri is snappier, more responsive and feels smarter although it still lacks localized search functionality for Canada or most countries outside the US. Apple still considers it a beta product so substantial updates are expected sometime soon.
Samsung's S Voice sounds and feels even less developed than Siri. The quality of the voice is a little garbled and unclear and it is quite monotonous. It is still a good starting point and can manage scheduling, basic tasks and handle messaging quite well so it is will certainly appeal to some users.
It sure looks like voice assistants are here to stay and will continue to be part of the always connected mobile experience.
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