Google's enhanced voice search, the Knowledge Graph and Aro's Saga are all putting pressure on Siri. Will, and can, Apple respond?
After the launch of Android Jellybean I said that Google was leading the pack with search and contextual data thanks to Google Now. Both great features but possibly not enough to tempt dedicated iPhone users away.
I've been saying throughout the iOS6 beta process that Siri has been improving and getting more accurate. It is also being tied into the central mapping engine for enhance functionality, especially during navigation, and partnerships with other providers are supplying a wider scope of data such as sports information. By hooking into the knowledge graph, however, Google is striding ahead so Apple needs to respond.
This just got more important than ever now that Google is bringing enhanced voice search and the knowledge graph to the iPhone so that iOS users will be able to witness its power for themselves.
Straying from the path
I already know iPhone users who are buying Samsung Galaxy devices (both the S2 and S3) even without the benefits of JellyBean and Google so imagine how things will be once users have sampled all this and then realise this can be had hooked in to the OS with the added advantage of Google Now. I can envisage many more people moving to Android.
Siri will still have a degree of advantage on the iPhone because it is implemented at the OS level but it needs to go much further or Apple will be left further behind in both search and context.
The recent release of Aro Inc's Saga application for iOS which aims to provide Google Now style information after learning where we go, what we do and who we are with, is applying extra pressure and iPhone users could be left with a definite case of information envy.
Perhaps Apple sees the refreshed hardware, new Maps application and Facebook integration as a sufficient advancement from the iPhone 4S but I doubt many users will feel the same. More than ever the iPhone 5 needs "one more thing".