By Ian Bush

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Apple and Google see voice-activated search as a big selling point for their smartphones — and as a major part of the mobile future. So which company’s technology works best? A new study put each to the test.

One thing is clear: both Siri and Now need to spend a lot more time hitting the books.

Both are ‘C’ students, according to analysis by the firm Piper Jaffray.

An exam this month asked 800 questions of Apple’s offering and Google’s service and rated the accuracy of the voice recognition and the usefulness of the responses. Both got 79 percent right.

That’s a minor improvement over last year’s test for Siri; Google has made gains — especially in understanding words spoken amid background noise (last year, Now got fewer than two-thirds of an analyst’s questions correct).

This is war, and Piper Jaffray finds Apple has all but eliminated Google results from Siri’s answers — siding instead with Bing, Wikipedia, and WolframAlpha.

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