No more fair fight

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

When Microsoft announced it was introducing a new chat mode within Bing, I joined the waiting list almost immediately. But despite being one of the privileged few to get early access, I quickly lost interest in the feature. From a practical point of view, ChatGPT provided longer creative responses and I had no interest in jailbreaking Bing to evoke an emotional response. As far as everyday searching goes, I still prefer a list of traditional web results to a 200-word reading exercise.

All that changed a few days ago when Microsoft brought Bing’s chat mode to mobile and gave it a voice. To my surprise, this small change was enough to recapture me. While interacting back and forth with a chatbot via a keyboard can feel tedious, speaking out loud in plain English is a given. What’s more, many of us have already got used to it with Alexa and Google Assistant. But unlike those services, speaking to the new Bing actually feels like I’m actually interacting with a knowledgeable virtual assistant.

The obvious benefit of using Bing Chat over existing options like Google Assistant is that you don’t have to phrase your question in a specific way. I lost count of the number of times Alexa and Assistant misunderstood me when I didn’t word a command correctly. But even if these services fully understand what I said, there is a stark gap in the quality of responses compared to Bing. Here are a few examples of Bing vs. Google Assistant that I’ve come across in just the past few days.

How do I access the new Bing Chat feature?

Bing’s Chat isn’t available to the general public yet, but you can wait-list it for eventual access. You can also improve your chances by downloading the Bing app and signing in to your Microsoft account.

Bing vs. Google Assistant: Misspellings? No problem

Calvin Wankhede/Android Authority

When I was typing by voice, I came across countless words that virtual assistants just can’t interpret. If it’s not in the English dictionary, good luck getting a response from Google Assistant or Siri. Now, I’m not saying Microsoft has done anything magical with speech-to-text, but Bing can definitely interpret the meaning behind a poorly-formed prompt.

Bing can overlook misspellings, even if it’s a proper noun.

Take for example a recent interaction where I asked if I could store my luggage at Bangkok airport. Google Assistant simply provided a list of web links and said something like “Yes, you can store your luggage at the airport”. Bing agreed with this answer and also gave the names of four competing services.

So far, so good. But then I followed up with a voice prompt that didn’t seem to translate well to text — Bing heard “airport else” instead of “Airportels.” Still, I watched Bing not only search for the right company, but also do a second search to include the location I wanted.

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Google AssistantBingBing follow-up question

If this had happened with Google Assistant, I have no doubt that I would have to rephrase the question or retype the correct name, defeating the point of using a chatbot in the first place. Bing’s ability to auto-correct isn’t an isolated case either, as I highlight another example in the following section.

Is X compatible with Y?

Calvin Wankhede/Android Authority

If you ask Google Assistant a simple question, chances are it will find and forward the right answer. However, it quickly unravels when your queries get a bit more complicated.

The other day I wanted to know if the new Hogwarts Legacy game would perform well on my gaming PC. I asked Bing and Google Assistant back to back and both provided answers that sounded plausible. However, the answers were actually completely different. What went wrong? It turns out that Google searched for the wrong Nvidia graphics card even though I explicitly stated the correct one in my command prompt. A small omission on the part of the assistant meant the answer was almost entirely useless.

Google Assistant often misunderstands my intent, even when it hears the right words.

Bing, on the other hand, didn’t misinterpret my hardware even though I gave it a more open prompt. The answer also included the in-game settings I would need to use to get the specified performance. Finally, it asked if I had a higher resolution display at the bottom of the answer – something I specified in the Google Assistant prompt, only to ignore entirely. Google announced that you can continue conversations, but I couldn’t get the assistant to correct or refine its answer.

Google AssistantBing ChatBing’s autocorrect

I also tried asking Bing about a non-existent graphics card and managed to auto-correct RTX 3720 to RTX 3070. Strangely enough, even when I Google “RTX 3720” the best results are Taco Bell restaurants in Texas (TX). ) with a 3720 unit number. I’m not sure why Google’s autocorrect didn’t step in there.

Moving on, Google Assistant relies heavily on individual sources when looking at web results. When I needed advice on buying a TV to fit a specific IKEA stand, the product description was simply choked out. Accurate information but not very helpful or actionable.

On the other hand, Bing asked me to provide a TV screen size after I searched for the stand’s dimensions. It then told me that with a 65 inch TV I had very little headroom which would result in a tight fit. Needless to say, that’s the kind of response you’d expect from a personal assistant, even if they both do reasonably well.

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Google AssistantBing chat

Bing vs Google Assistant in the kitchen

Ever since the first smart speakers and displays came out, Google and Amazon have marketed them as ideal cooking companions and sometimes as kitchen utensils. In theory, the idea makes sense — you usually don’t have time to type and scroll when you’re cooking. Nevertheless, I have never found helpers in the kitchen to be very useful. Sure, they can easily convert between units like grams, ounces, and cups, but their usefulness stops short when you can’t follow a recipe and need advice. And in real life, this very situation happens very often.

Just the other day, I was preparing a dish that required a small amount of mirin, a Japanese rice wine. Well, I didn’t have any on hand, but I do have a fairly well-stocked pantry of Chinese ingredients, including Shaoxing wine. Could I get away with replacing one with the other? When I asked this question to my Google Home Mini, all I got was a disappointing “Unfortunately I can’t help with that yet!” Answer.

Smart speakers aren’t very helpful in the kitchen, despite being marketed as such.

In the meantime, Bing not only gave me an answer, but also offered a way to improve the substitution with some added sugar. It also asked what dish I was preparing but unfortunately didn’t offer any further help based on my answer. Still, it’s a clear win for Bing in an area where you’d expect Google Assistant to shine.

Google AssistantBing chat

In Google’s defense, I pulled up Assistant on my phone and asked the same question. It pulled out a single website excerpt that completely advised against the replacement and suggested using something I didn’t have on hand. While this is a somewhat divisive question that depends on the exact recipe, Google’s single-source approach definitely diminishes its usefulness.

An AI in your chats

In addition to enabling voice access, Microsoft also added Bing’s new chat feature to Skype last week. This is an idea Google first tried with Allo in 2017 (pictured above). It worked well while it lasted, offering contextual replies, search results, and local recommendations from Google Maps in your chat. But the results never really line up well — the card-style interface always served as a reminder that you’re interacting with a search engine first, and then an assistant.

Skype’s new Bing integration offers a much more seamless experience, eliminating the disconnect when viewing web results in the middle of a chat. It compiles multiple results in plain English and presents them in a speech bubble that doesn’t look out of place. It really feels like the helpful in-chat assistant that Google envisioned all those years ago.

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How can I use Bing Chat in Skype?

To use Bing’s new chat feature in Skype, you’ll need to add them to a group chat just like any other contact. Your account must also have access to Bing Chat Preview.

Bing vs. Google Assistant: An unfair comparison?

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

Now I know what you’re probably thinking: comparing Bing and Google Assistant isn’t exactly fair. Finally, Google doesn’t use a big language model like ChatGPT as a base. And while I agree with that sentiment, interacting with Bing via voice was still a revelation.

For years we have believed in the idea of ​​virtual assistants who can provide answers and helpful suggestions. However, most of them just didn’t live up to the hype. Microsoft had to scrap Cortana with the release of Windows 11 after it underperformed. The new Bing finally keeps those promises and isn’t even tied to an expensive hardware purchase. The only downside is that you can’t ask Bing to control your smart home devices (yet, anyway).

Google has a competing chat feature in the works, but will it help Assistant?

We know that Google is working on its own competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Bing called Bard. But will it improve on the existing assistant? Or will this new chat mode be limited to Google Search? Knowing the company’s track record and the sheer processing costs involved, I expect the latter. This will no doubt result in a fragmented experience where you have to open a web browser to access Google’s full-fledged chatbot. So while I’m excited at the prospect of a competition, I’m preparing to be a bit disappointed already.

Would you drop Google Assistant for Bing?

121 votes

Yes immediately


Yes, when it comes to smart speakers


No, I still prefer Google Assistant


For now, however, Bing has almost completely replaced Google Assistant in my life. I’ve even made it so that a long press on the power button on my phone brings up the Bing app. It’s admittedly not a perfect replacement – responses can sometimes take a few seconds and I prefer Google’s text-to-speech engine, but the benefits certainly outweigh these minor issues. And it doesn’t hurt that Microsoft Rewards still pays you to use Bing.