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Microsoft Cortana vs Google Now: Which Does What Best?


Microsoft Cortana vs Google Now: Which Does What Best?

Vs Michael Grothaus sixteen:36, 29 Apr 2014

Battle of the private assistants. We pit Microsoft's Cortana up towards Google Now.

The world of the private digital assistant is heating up. At first Apple set the stage with Siri, however then Google shortly took the lead with Google Now. Now, which works on iOS and Android, arguably has the higher <a href="" title="Voice recognition is when verbal commands can be used to make a mobile device carry out certain functions.

" class="lexicon-term">voice recognition qualities and in addition ties into Google’s different wonderful search providers, which suggests it might typically ship higher, extra related, outcomes. However earlier this month the world of the private digital assistants modified when Microsoft jumped into the ring with Cortana, the corporate’s reply to Siri and Google Now that ships with Windows Phone 8.1

I needed to seek out out which is greatest, so right here goes.


The interface is the perfect place to start out when evaluating private digital assistants as that’s the place we’ll enter our queries by way of voice or textual content enter.

Cortana, which is known as after the AI assemble within the Halo online game collection, lives as a stay tile on the Home windows Telephone residence display. She’s represented by a tile with pulsating blue rings, or halos (see the connection there?). Tapping on the tile will deliver you to Cortana’s display, which by default exhibits you some issues which may curiosity you – issues just like the climate or native information.

What seems right here depends on what you inform Cortana is related to your tastes in her “Cortana's Pocket book” display (extra on that later). To start a voice search, merely faucet the microphone button on the backside of the display and even start typing in your question within the search subject.

However all that's truly the great distance round to make use of Cortana. What’s intelligent about Microsoft’s implementation of Cortana is now the search button on any Home windows Telephone might be held and pressed and to launch Cortana regardless of the place you're within the OS – even the lock display. Activating Cortana this manner will instantly immediate her to be listening to you for spoken instructions.

Relying on which telephone you will have (iPhone or Android) you entry Google Now in numerous methods. The simplest method to do it's by way of the Google Search app. Faucet the pink microphone button and start dictating your question. The outcomes are confirmed as playing cards otherwise you’re taken to a Google search web page with the outcomes listed.

A pleasant function about Google Now's it has the power to “pay attention” in your instructions with out you ever occurring to faucet or press a button. Merely say “OK Google” to routinely activate At times converse your question (though this does solely work on choose handsets). 

Google Now Contextualizes Your Life

The primary causes Google Now beats Siri is as a result of the corporate’s private digital assistant contextualizes your life – offered you’re a heavy Google providers consumer. And in case you are, Google Now's stellar at looking your emails and previous search queries to know what you are like, need to do subsequent, or have arising subsequent. For instance, when you've got an e-mail from an airline about an upcoming flight, Google Now can routinely pull up the struggle info when the time comes – all with out you having to carry a finger. Likewise it could remind you of birthdays or different essential occasions as a result of it is aware of who you already know by way of your Google contacts.

This was recreation altering when Google first launched Now in response to Siri. Whereas Siri might be the perfect private digital assistant for iPhone customers, it lacks the contextual consciousness of Google Now and is pretty restricted to being an excellent voice search engine or taking dictation within the type of notes and reminders. Google Now modified what we thought private digital assistants have been able to by contextualizing our info and returning leads to context of that info.

Cortana Places The “Private” in Private Digital Assistant

However whereas Google Now provides context to the knowledge Google already is aware of about you, it does so with out your consent and in addition with out checking whether or not what it thinks it is aware of about you is definitely right.

For instance, Google Now “learns” about you relatively creepily: it goes by means of your e mail, location knowledge, and search historical past. These actions of yours paints an image of your life for Google Now. Additional, it gleans this info and assumes it’s right with out checking with you. So if in case you have a contact listed as your spouse, however then get divorced, Google Now will simply hold assuming it’s your spouse till the day you keep in mind to manually go into your Google contacts and alter that info. Till you do that it'll hold reminding you of the lady who ran off with the gardener’s birthday.

Microsoft solved this personalization drawback by constructing a function referred to as “Cortana’s Pocket book”. Cortana’s Pocket book is a settings space of the private digital assistant the place she’ll ask you your tastes in eating places and films, ask you who’s a part of your “inside circle” (ie: the necessary individuals in your life – not the ex) and ask you your favourite locations. This all helps Cortana to return extra related, private, outcomes.

Cortana’s Pocket book makes it really easy so that you can handle the knowledge Cortana is aware of about you and now it’s shortly turn into obvious how necessary a function like that is. Each Google Now and Siri supply no such settings. Certainly, these settings makes Cortana probably the most “private” or the private digital assistants.


It’s onerous to say one private digital assistant is the perfect for you as a result of principally your private digital assistant selection might be dictated by whether or not you purchase an Android telephone or a Home windows Telephone – neither private digital assistant is obtainable on the opposite’s hardware. 

Nevertheless, function-for-function, Microsoft’s Cortana is available in forward of Google’s Now. The extent of management and personalization Cortana provides is way superior to something Now has. Microsoft clearly is aware of that whereas private digital assistants are nonetheless considerably of a novelty for now, they're definitely the way forward for pc interplay as our units get smaller and extra wearable. Voice will ultimately be the one enter technique of lots of our wearables and the corporate is clearly positioning itself to be the chief in the place human/pc interfaces are going.


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