Apple 2.0

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Apple's Siri went to a C+ from C, Google Now to a C+ from D-

December 10, 2013: 11:39 AM ET

In Piper Jaffray's test of 800 voice queries, Google Now gets the award for most improved.

Source: Piper Jaffray. Click to enlarge.

Source: Piper Jaffray. Click to enlarge.

FORTUNE -- Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster issued a matched pair of report cards Tuesday on the performance of the two leading smartphone intelligent assistants, Google's (GOOG) Google Now and Apple's (AAPL) Siri.

Three takeaways:

  • Google Now has overcome its initial deficit and is now roughly the equivalent of Siri in its ability to interpret spoken queries and answer them correctly.
  • Siri has weaned itself almost entirely from its dependence of Google search, reducing its reliance from 27% of answers in December 2012 to 4% now.
  • Neither service is that great. Siri got C+ from Munster (up from C last December and a D in the summer of 2012). Google Now also got a C+ (up from a D- last December).

Passing grades, but not much more than that.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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