Siri Switches From Bing to Google
Apple today changed its Siri voice assistant to use Google for web searches instead of Microsoft's Bing. The change affects direct requests to search the web, as well as default results when Siri cannot return a more specific, intelligent answer or action. Apple says the switch is intended to make web search more consistent, as Google is already the default within Apple's Safari web browser in phones. Bing will still power Siri's image search function. The change takes effect today.
Bing for Android Can Better Search Through Other Apps
Microsoft today updated its Bing Search app for Android devices and gave it the ability to perform searches from within other applications. The feature, called Bing snapshots, scouts things mentioned on any given page and provides relevant information about them in snapshots.
SoundHound Releases Hound Voice Assistant to Compete with Siri, Cortana, Google Now
SoundHound has made a voice assistant of its own available to Android and iOS devices in the hopes of providing an alternate to Google-, Apple-, and Microsoft-made assistants. Hound works similarly to Google Now, Siri, and Cortana in that it listens to natural language voice requests and performs select actions in response.
Bing for iPhone Let's You Search via Pictures
Microsoft has updated its Bing search application for the iPhone and added the ability to search for images captured by the camera. The tool, similar to Google Goggles, lets users take a picture and then use the picture to perform a search.
Siri Gets Smarter
Apple today announced that iOS 9 will include a new version of its Siri voice assistant that's both smarter and more proactive. The new Siri can respond intelligently to commands such as "show me my photos from Utah" and "remind about this web page when I get home".
What about Map Searches?