THE LAUNCH of the Samsung Galaxy S3 sees the company bring out its long-awaited Siri rival S Voice. Unlike Apple's friendlier-named voice assistant, Samsung's comes with local information for the UK, enabling the app to give you directions and recommend restaurants.
We got our hands on the hot ticket Samsung Galaxy S3 at last night's launch event in London, and thought the first thing we'd put through its paces was Samsung's talked-up Siri competitor.
First of all, we asked S Voice for an on-the-spot weather forecast. The app instantly recognised our command of "what is the weather like outside", and after a few seconds of thinking, indeed told us what the weather was like. Unfortunately though, S Voice told us what the weather was like in Leicester Square, although we're actually in Soho, and said that it was raining outside when it was in fact scorching hot. Fail.
Next, we gave the phone a simpler command - "call Mike". Thankfully, S Voice seemed to recognise our request almost instantly, and even managed to call the correct person.
Asking these questions made us hungry, and we asked S Voice to recommend a local eating establishment. "Recommend a local restaurant," we asked - multiple times before the app picked up what we were saying. However all of our work was wasted, as although it recognised what we were saying, S Voice said it was unable to help.
Thankfully, things fared better when we asked for directions. "Directions to Leicester Square theatre", we asked, and S Voice promptly fired up Google Navigation and gave us accurate directions. So, we can get to the show - just on an empty stomach.
While it managed to answer the majority of our questions, S Voice is lacking the humour of Apple's Siri app. When we asked it, "what is your name?" we weren't met with a sarcastic response like from Siri - we were met with the response, "I'm not sure what you mean by what is your name". It's not a difficult question, S Voice.
Saying that, when we asked the S3 "what is the best phone in the world?", hoping for an Apple like "Nokia Lumia 900" answer, we were told that if Best Buy ratings are anything to go by, the Windows Phone powered HTC 7 Trophy is in fact the best phone out there.
S Voice undoubtedly needs a lot of work. It's by no means as intelligent as Siri, although its ability to give directions is above and beyond what Apple's app can do. Still, much like Siri, we can't really see why anyone would actually use the app in everyday life. µ