Recently, Kelly Hodgkins wrote a piece in TUAW about why Google’s Android Chief, Andy Rubin is not a fan of Siri on the new iPhone 4S. In it Rubin states…
“I don’t believe that your phone should be an assistant. Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.”
And this is why I feel Google is still a step behind Apple when it comes to mobile innovation. How many futuristic films and TV shows have people interacting with inanimate objects like a home, a phone, or a car? What does that show us? Why do these futuristic visions of voice technology look so cool? Because they’re all about being efficient.
Like many iPhone apps, Siri is all about efficiency. Whether you’re looking for information, adding a reminder, dictating an email, setting a meeting or event, managing contacts, or getting directions, isn’t it easier to speak those tasks rather than type them in? Wouldn’t that open up more time for things like having an actual phone conversation with someone?
Rubin’s statement shows a narrow minded vision and the inability to see the potential of applications like Siri. The fact of the matter is that smart phones have evolved beyond tools for just communicating with other people, and I’m dumbfounded as to how someone in Andy Rubin’s position doesn’t see that. Isn’t it easier to be able to talk to a device verses clicking through options in multiple apps, or searching through various websites?
I would think that someone who works for a company in the search business, one that also pushes cloud innovation and efficiency, would understand this simple concept. But then again, maybe this is where Google often misses that “one more thing” that would make them true innovators like Steve Jobs, rather than a company consistently playing catch up.