Google Now, as well as Siri and Cortana were a part of a case study which was conducted by Stone Temple, in an attempt to find out which of the smartphone virtual assistants, was most effective.

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You want to quickly ask your smartphone a question, and all of a sudden, you get a default answer which really means, “I have no answer.” It’s not very excitable, and it’s not the most enjoyable thing to have occur when you’re using your smartphone that boasts and claims to have an incredibly accurate virtual assistant. But, it unfortunately happens.

Apple, Microsoft and Google all claim to have the most accurate virtual assistant inside their devices, and they even employ varying levels of marketing and advertisements – in form of competing commercials – to show customers just how great theirs is compared to the competition.

Stone Temple asked each service a series of questions. 3,000 of them to be exact, and then cross-referenced answers with physical search results on Google and Bing.

Two very interesting things came from this study while it was happening. First, it was noted that Google Now was the best by a significant margin. Google Now answered 88% of questions asked of it, completely, while Siri was the next in line and could answer just 53% of questions completely.

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Perhaps that’s not entirely surprising since Google is obviously the search leader across the globe. Microsoft’s Cortana finished last, and answered just 40% of the questions it was asked completely. Keep the smaller gap in mind between Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana and think about this.

When Stone Temple cross-referenced the answers to the web searches on Google and Bing, it was actually found that Bing returned more complete answers than Cortana. Which suggests that Microsoft really could benefit from further integrating the search engine within Cortana to better compile results.

While those looking at the results of this study urged that it was executed by a private company that while had no connection to any of the aforementioned companies previously, that doesn’t mean they weren’t biased in any way. It wasn’t an academic study. However, looking forward this could provide some insight as to where future studies could be conducted to execute future research, and determine how these services could be improved.

The world of virtual assistants inside of a smartphone is a world that is going to continue to expand as phones become more physically capable of handling more information through these mediums.


  1. hmmm.. i would rather ask a question and get a list of possible links on the web (siri) than have google answer with what it thinks is correct, and generally incorrect. even in the tv adds they have google answering false or possibly false more 50% of the time.

    • Meh, I have never had any incorrect answer from Google Now, how do you substantiate “generally incorrect” exactly? Your nickname says it all however: another weird Apple fanboi with far too much idle times on his hands.

    • Google will return search results if it doesn’t give a full answer…I’m sure you enjoy your apple device and that’s all that matters though!

  2. I have no experience with Cortana. But my personal experience, the answers we get from google now are more often what we are looking for answers about. Siri is less often what we are looking for. Having a family with different brands of devices, allows for these side by side tests on a weekly basis.

  3. Now that they have posted the list of queries, I can understand the results a bit better. A GREAT many of them weren’t even questions. There were two pages of “Make “, pages of “how to something” (instead of how do you), nearly three pages of “becoming a xxxx”.
    In short, a lot of these “queries” read like commands, like “Clean silver” instead of “how do you clean silver”. I suspect that Google being primarily a search engine MIGHT handle these better, but the formatting of the so-called “questions” seems very unusual and not the way people would use a voice assistant.
    Some other weird examples from the list:
    knit a blanket
    make a website
    my sql
    Screen Capture Window
    You guys really need to look at this list. These are very much NOT real world examples of things people would ask their phones.


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