Since Google unveiled Google Now, I’ve noticed something interesting about the competition. While I, personally, don’t believe that Siri was accepted into the real world with open arms, I know that it was indeed a selling point for the device. It was a bullet point of contention for those with an iPhone 4 who didn’t feel the need to upgrade, too. But, now that Siri has some real competition with Google’s own voice-focused effort, people are ready to let Siri fade away into the dark.
I don’t think Siri is ready for that, though.
Back at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showcased their next version of iOS, and along with it the improvements they had designed for their personal assistant, Siri. It’s no secret that Siri is still considered to be a beta project, while Apple continues to work to improve the feature. It also isn’t a secret that up until her newest version in iOS 6, Siri was relatively limited in her scope. But that’s changing, and I think the changes go far to show that voice is where the focus is going to stay (and evolve) for smartphones and other devices.
I asked you, Dear Reader, if personal assistants/voice options (or other features) were things you could live without on your phone, but now I’m looking at the other side of the spectrum. I’m moving to that end because, unlike Taylor Martin, I believe that voice actions and controls, and the in-depth “personal assistants” that are starting to take center stage, are the future. It is easier to tell my phone to set up an appointment for next Wednesday, rather than start touching the display and finding my way into some application that I can enter it in myself.
I’ve done it so long by actually touching my phone that I can do it pretty quickly, but there’s just something about being able to tell my phone to do it, and it does it, that is just awesome. We’re living in the future sort of thing.
I have absolutely no doubt that voice, along with maybe more advanced gestures, is the future of our devices. That point of view is strengthened by not only the new features coming to Siri, but also by the depth that Google Now brings to the table. Furthermore, using Google Now on the Nexus 7 is just so nice, that it makes sense. Utilizing the Nexus 7 in a nice combination of touchscreen controls and voice input makes using the tablet so much easier.
I believe this is one reason why the Nexus 7 is so good. Why it works. Why, even though I’ve disliked every other single 7-inch tablet to date, I really like the Nexus 7.
I don’t believe any one functionality will win over the other. Well, I take that back. I think “touch” has won that fight, just by default. Even if gestures and motion control and all that other crazy stuff eventually gets into our favorite devices, touch isn’t going anywhere. But I do think that manufacturers are on the right track with their combination of voice and traditional input.
I cannot wait until the next version of Google Now. Or, just until Google provides it with a major update that includes functions like turning on phone options, or just expanding its functionality in general.
I cannot wait.
So, tell me Dear Reader, have you adopted voice controls into your life? I know many of you are Android users, so have you been trying out Google Now? If you have, what are you taking away from the experience? Is it something you’re using on a day-to-day basis, or just a bonus feature that you use to show off your device? Let me know!