Apple buys iPhone voice search app, gunning for Google

Apple has snapped up Siri, the makers of an intelligent iPhone voice search app. The move looks like another step in its battle with Google and an attempt to attack the Google Voice Search smarts of Android head on. Could a super-charged version of the iPhone’s Voice Control tech be headed to iPhone 4.0? It looks promising…

The free Siri iPhone voice search app is currently US-only but the video above shows why it caught Apple’s attention. Using voice recognition, it’s able to convert questions in natural speech like “Where’s the nearest romantic Italian restaurant?” into searches that can be punted to a long list of web services. Integration with booking services in the US means you can even grab a taxi or a table straight from the app.

Building a personal assistant function with iPhone voice search would make a lot a sense for Apple and could easily tie in with Apple’s iAd platform. Powering up the current iPhone Voice Control function would also be a good move. While the iPhone currently only allows you to search your phone, play songs and make calls, Android voice search can also scour the web.

During the iPhone OS 4.0 launch, Steve Jobs talked about his vision for mobile search: “On a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on the desktop. [People are] using apps to get data on the internet not for generalised search.” The iPhone voice search smarts of Siri seem to fit that idea perfectly.

With references to Google seemingly having been wiped from iPhone OS 4.0 and Apple buying up its own alternative to Google Maps last year, Siri could be the next step in creating a Google-free iPhone. Take a look at Siri’s iPhone voice search smarts in the video above and let us know what you think in the comments…

Due TBC | £TBC | Apple (via Scobleizer)

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