Voice search and voice commands on mobile devices are on the rise. However, there’s still an apparent note of embarrassment or hesitancy from those who might use it, according to the latest survey of more than 900 smartphone owners.
The survey discovered that smartphone users are much more likely to use voice when they were home alone or at the workplace. They were much less likely to use voice in public.
Male, younger (and older) users and higher income groups were more into the idea of using voice search; however, the categorical differences were not significant overall. The exemptions were that men and higher earners appeared to be slightly less reluctant to use voice in a public environment.
Ironically, those same high earners “are more likely to get annoyed by people using voice commands with their phone in public,” despite the contradictory face that they themselves are more likely to do exactly the same.
Phoning somebody, searching, texting and maps usage were the top use cases. Driving, “hands full” and “hands dirty” were the top contextual uses for voice, with around 60% citing these as the main scenarios. However, the vast majority (80%) still prefer to text by manual typing.
The top three rationales behind voice usage were:
1. Speed. It is fast.
2. The answer is read back to the user.
3. No typing is required.
About 40% of men and women said voice made smartphone usage simpler. Men were more likely to agree than women. This answer and other in-survey data reflects an overall positive experience with voice search.
Perhaps the most interesting findings pointed to the change of the search experience with virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri etc.) and voice on smartphones. Users wanted more direct answers and fewer arbitrary search results.
Respondents also stated a desire for “more integration with other applications.” That’s a slightly odd response, as on both the iPhone and Android smartphones, voice is integrated with third-party apps.
We should view said responses as further indication of a general feeling of satisfaction with virtual AI assistants and voice. This data could have the most dramatic implications for the user experience with search, for digital online marketers and, of course, for Google.