Siri Needs an Upgrade for the Google vs Apple Mobile Battle

October 14, 2016 - 2 minutes read

Google has been making serious advances into the premium-class smartphone market that Apple’s iPhone has dominated since the invention of smartphones. The Pixel phone could be a major chink in Apple’s armor, although reports that it levels the playing field are somewhat exaggerated considering Apple’s lead in upscale brand identity. Ultimately, the Apple vs Google mobile war comes down to two factors: messaging and AI.

While Apple’s iMessage system is by far the winner in integrated SMS/chat app messaging, NYC app developers have been flummoxed by the way Apple fell behind on AI, particularly considering Apple’s multi-year lead. Siri launched in 2009, and integrated with the iPhone 4S two years later. Google Now, meanwhile, didn’t come on the scene until 2012. That’s a multi-year lead on tech development, which usually would give an app developer an unbeatable advantage in market growth. Instead, Google Now quickly outstripped Siri on long-tail assistance functions and overall “user delight.” Can you remember the last time Siri surprised you with something useful? Google, meanwhile, seems to be throwing all the weight they can behind their AI assistant app, which certainly is taking advantage of the company’s huge lead on search and browsing data. The question iOS app developers are asking is: will that lead translate into a major advantage in fighting for the high-end US smartphone user market?

One reason app developers believe this might not come to be such a big deal is the question of exclusivity. While Apple has been able to keep their market-leading iMessage platform exclusive to Apple, undeniably driving hardware sales, Google has taken the opposite approach and made its entire suite of unique productivity and search apps available on any platform, iOS included. This feeds them data, but it doesn’t convince Apple users to switch. Why switch, after all, when you can have the best of both worlds?

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