Voice recognition software tested for accuracy

March 29, 2013 8:19:51 PM PDT
The Siri voice recognition technology by Apple ushered in a whole new era and now downloadable apps are trying to get in on the conversation. But how do those apps stack up? Consumer Reports compared them to find out.

Tyler Carfi loves Siri, Apple's much-acclaimed voice-recognition feature.

"I can just ask Siri where's the nearest coffee shop. It's really convenient," Carfi said.

Consumer Reports' Mike Gikas says two top examples of voice-recognition apps are Robin and Speak-To-It. You can download them onto your phone for free.

"Speak-To-It is available on several platforms, including iPhone, whereas Robin is exclusively for the Android platform," Gikas said.

Both apps do well with some requests, like finding directions, but both struggle with other questions, such as simple math problems. Siri, on the other hand, has no problem with similar requests.

Bottom line? Siri remains the voice recognition stand-out.

"Siri is hardwired into your iPhone. It has access to much more of your personal information. And that's an edge that none of the other apps can really compete with yet," Gikas said.

Carfi agrees.

If you don't have an iPhone with Siri, Consumer Reports says downloading a free app gives you at least some voice-recognition capability. Speak-To-It seems to be one of the best so far. It works on both the iPhone and Androids.

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