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Video: Cortana vs Google Now
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Old 08/06/2014, 09:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The players:
  • Cortana by Microsoft on a Nokia Lumia 925 (T-Mobile branded) running Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 1 Preview for Developers
  • Google Now by Google on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 running Android 4.4.2 w/ Touchwiz

The camera: I used the wife's Galaxy Note 2 to film this. Sorry about any lack in quality, I'm not practiced with the device and it doesn't seem to autofocus as well/quickly as my Lumia 925.

The same twenty questions were asked of each Virtual Assistant in turn and the results were scored (by me). The questions were what I felt was a good mix and the sorts of common uses people would ask of their device. For the constraints of this video everything was done on a desktop and there was no actual field use for navigating and geofencing; although those abilities do come up in the demo - I just wasn't driving around town while I filmed. Both devices had been "primed" before hand by filling in the interests and settings.

The video itself is about 45 minutes. Hey, that was 20 questions each (40 total) plus responses by the devices, my reactions and scoring the results... I feel this is a fairly thorough test, even if it is off the cuff, and better than a quick 5 - 10 minute shoot.

Hope you enjoy this presentation.... And let the comment war begin.

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Last edited by HelloNNNewman; 08/06/2014 at 01:40 PM. Reason: blog feed address removed per MN rules
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Old 08/06/2014, 09:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd have to agree with Cortana having the better user experience.

I've been watching my girlfriend use it on her Lumia 521 with Developer Preview since they launched it, and it seems to improve with every update Microsoft pushes out.

It started actually very functional, so that was also a pleasant surprise.

WP8.1 gets my vote for the mobile OS with the best user experience out of all the current mobile OSs, as it really took inspiration from a lot of core webOS principles and expanded upon them brilliantly.
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Old 08/06/2014, 01:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Nice post!

I've always disliked how GoogleNow just comes back with websites when you ask a specific question like "when to the Rams play?". Still some advancement to go for Google. I do like that Cortana goes right to the schedule.

Android comes out with 'cutting edge' features before others, but then they move on without really refining them. GoogleNow could be so much better, but another disjointed system for them.

I was wondering how well these two stack up together... nicely done!

BTW.. if you haven't, I'd share this one over on the WPC site too. I think my next phone to play with will be a Win device. Always wanted to play with one as a daily driver.

Side note.. focus! LOL My eye hurt now
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Old 08/06/2014, 02:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloNNNewman View Post
I think my next phone to play with will be a Win device. Always wanted to play with one as a daily driver.
WP8.1 is in my opinion, the best user experience out of all the current mobile OS. It adopts a lot of webOS principles (service-centric approach), and in some cases, executes them better than we saw on webOS (Photo, People, Me hubs).

If you take the time, the tile interface is brilliant as you choose exactly what you want to see and where you want to see it.

The last things WP8.1 needs to get my final seal of approval is a Just Type / Universal Search functionality and gestures. The Lumia line already have inductive charging in the higher end handsets already.
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Old 08/06/2014, 03:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Does it have anything like Swype for the keyboard?
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Old 08/06/2014, 03:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloNNNewman View Post
Does it have anything like Swype for the keyboard?
Added as of WP8.1 Developer Preview, yes. It feels similar to the Kindle Fire keyboard (Swipe + Word Flow). For a touchscreen keyboard, it works brilliantly.

Try the Translate app. It blows my mind how superior it is to anything else I've tried, especially when you use it on the live feed from the phone's camera. It'll overlay the translated text on anything it can find in the stream... Freaking awesome. Would have made my life far, far easier when I was in China haha.

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Old 08/07/2014, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Guys...

@HelloNNNewman... WP Central was the first place I posted, also on Android Central.

Yeah, that focus... The wife's Note 2 did a horrible job with that and I was too busy trying to keep things moving to do a lot of manual focus. Guess I'm sp[oiled my Nokia's camera and just took it for granted that auto would do a serviceable job. Another reason to go Windows Phone is the Nokia brand and what they bring to hardware/software in the imaging department: cameras, photo and editing software, screen clarity/color/readability..

The new "Wordflow" style keyboard is very usable and predictive text is top shelf (as nice as anything else I've used, anyway). Remember, a year ago I was a guy saying, "Give me a physical QWERTY or give me death!!!"

@ Saijin_Naib... Has the GF stepped up to 8.1 GDR 1? Even more advancements in there. Windows Phone is pouring it on trying to capture users. It's a great time to be on a growing OS.

I'd like more specifics just which Translate App you are talking about. A screen cap of the tile would be great... I have a trip coming up in October to Italy and could use that. In preparation for the trip I got the Voice Translator App. It has over 80 languages, an easy to use GUI and any language pairings you want can be pinned to the Start Screen. Inside the App you can rotate between the two languages selected with a quick tap to facilitate quick "listen" then "talk" in another language.
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Old 08/07/2014, 11:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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@RumoredNow

Yes, I put her in the Developer Preview program haha. She's using the latest and greatest on Windows Phone 8.1, and I'm compiling FirefoxOS daily for myself :P

She has the much better platform currently, quite frankly.

The Bing Translate App by Microsoft is what I'm talking about. Absolutely stunning. Text to Speech translate, Speech to Text Translate, and the Camera stream translate. Awesome, awesome stuff. You can download a few different language packs for offline/quicker translate, but not every language supported by Bing Translate currently has an offline pack.
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Old 08/07/2014, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome Sauce!

Checking it out now...

BTW, I tried that Firefox OS on a Nexus 4... Didn't care for it all that much.

What device are you using for a Developer phone?
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Old 08/07/2014, 01:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm an *****, so I'm using a ZTE Open. It is the ******* phone of the FFXOS program. ZTE refuses to support it, and Mozilla doesn't even make builds for it anymore like they do for the other devices.

If I compile my own versions, I don't have fully working hardware (GPS for instance).

Grumble.

Let me expand:

Why ZTE Open:
Reasonable hardware
$27 cost (got a deal)
Better battery life than my dumbphone

Why FFXOS:
Actually Free/Open Source (looking at you Google Mobile Services)
Incredibly Important for future of web/devices (Open Web API is cross OS / cross device extensions to HTML5 to enable "native" apps)
Feels like a successor to the vision of webOS

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Old 08/07/2014, 02:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well that explains things quite a bit... Guess you are on the only path you can take with your phone...

Now if you are in the market for a good replacement at a great price the new crop of Windows phones are decent for the money as you already know from the wife's device.

Galaxy Nexus should be a steal right now and they are making great progress on a Sailfish OS port... Or multiROM would let you try Android, Ubuntu Touch and Firefox OS all out simultaniously. The Ubuntu Touch images are deprecated, but still fairly stable/workable. Galaxy Nexus remains the phone target of webOS Ports as well.
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