Android 4.1 Jelly Bean contains a response to Apple's popular Siri artificial intelligence feature for the iPhone and iPad, but it's not what many expected. Rather than simply creating their own AI assistant to compete with Siri, Google smartly incorporated AI elements into the software's pre-existing voice search.
In Jelly Bean, you'll be able to ask for things like sports scores, word definitions and trivia from within voice search while using natural language. In a demo on stage at Google I/O yesterday, a Googler asked voice search to show him pictures of pygmy marmosets and the software complied.
Though it responds in a calm feminine voice, the new voice search isn't actually a personal assistant. Unlike Siri, it won't schedule calendar appointments or set alarms for you. Still, since most people are used to turning to Google search for finding answers anyway, the new voice features are a smart way to leverage one of the company's core competencies in a way users should find useful.