Ever since Samsung announced S-Voice, an exclusive voice-activated virtual assistant for the Galaxy S III, people have been scrambling to try to install it on other devices. S-Voice is actually powered by Vlingo, which has its own voice app in the Play Store that has been around for quite some time.
Now, Vlingo has released Vlingo Labs, a beta version of their latest virtual assistant that provides much of the same functionality as S-Voice minus the device restrictions. Labs is where Vlingo will test new features, such as being able to wake up Vlingo with a spoken word, SMS/search/voice calling dictation, and truly hands-free operation. These features, when fully fleshed out and tested in the Labs app, will then graduate to the full Vlingo app.
Vlingo Labs looks and acts a bit more like Apple’s Siri, bringing Android closer to parity with iOS’s much heralded voice assistant.
Labs only supports U.S. or Canadian devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Download it from the Play Store link or QR code below.
Play Store Download Link
Motorola has released a series of videos using several of its devices to take on iPhone’s Siri application. And though Siri might be amusing to talk to at times, Moto is touting that the voice actions on several of their devices takes the title. Check out the video demos below of the Atrix 2, Photon 4G and Moto Electrify as they go toe to toe with Siri. Voice actions included sending text messages, asking for driving directions and loading up specific web pages. The Motorola devices beat the iPhone out every time. But hey, if you want to know if there is life on other planets, we’re sure Siri will offer up something entertaining.
Ever since Apple released Siri for iOS, Android developers have been coming out with their “Siri-killers”. We’ve seen Speaktoit Assistant, Cluzee, Iris, and even Google’s upcoming Project Majel, which promises to improve the current Voice Actions for Android. The latest is called utter! by XDA member brandall, and promises something a little different.
Through a video the developer posted on YouTube, we find out that utter! knows about and can use the apps already installed on your device. For example, when asked “search eBay Galaxy Nexus,” the app responds by displaying the results through the installed eBay app rather than opening a browser. Of course, if the eBay app was not installed, utter! would indeed use eBay’s web site to return the results.
Siri may be the most familiar personal assistant around, but there are a growing number of personal assistant apps for Android too. Enter Evi– the “Ask Me Anything” app. Developed by True Knowledge Ltd., the app understands what you want to know and gives back exactly what you’re after. If you need to know where the nearest bank is, Evi can tell you. If you’re going out for dinner but can’t decide where to go? Evi can help with that too. Evi is a personal assistant who looks to evolve with the individuals it is assisting. In addition to answering your common questions, the app features the following:
- Voice or text input – Chat to Evi in plain English and she will understand
- Local information for UK and USA – Shopping, news, dining and more. Evi knows where you are and gives answers based on your location
- Built in browser – No need to swap to a different browser, view web links within Evi’s app
- A learning and adapting intelligence – Rate Evi’s answers to help her learn more about the world
Evi is available for free today for any Froyo 2.2+ user. You can hit up the Android Market or scan it to your device using the nifty QR code found below.
Android users have been clamoring for a premium Siri-type program to grace Android devices. Sure we’ve seen an alternative here and another one there, but it seems as though users have wished for the minds behind Siri to come out and develop something for Android officially, not just any developer. Users’ wishes and prayers have been answered as Nuance Communications— the same developers behind Siri— have created a personal assistant app exclusively for Android users called Dragon Go! Nuance Communications outlined it best when it comes to the purpose of Dragon Go!:
“With Dragon Go! you can do more in less time like buy movie tickets as you walk into the theater, go shopping at local boutiques while you wait for your nails to dry, settle a bet at the breakfast table on the square root of Pi, or plan and invite guests to that night’s happy hour – all with just one ask of Dragon Go!”
It’s pretty straightforward too. Just ask it a question and the app will use its servers to provide a solution. Heck Dragon Go! will direct you to services that provide streaming media, social networking, shopping and other online content such as Spotify, Wolfram|Alpha, Yelp, YouTube, AccuWeather, Ask.com, Dictionary.com, ESPN, Facebook, Fandango, Last.fm, Pandora and Twitter.
The app is available for free for owners of any Android 2.1+ device. If you want to see the app in action before you download it, checkout the video below and then scoot over to the Android Market link or use the QR code to be on your way to having more productivity after the break.
While we are still waiting for Google’s answer to Siri to arrive, that didn’t stop developers from releasing an “official” version of the personal assistant with personality known as Siri for Android this past Wednesday. The developer, Official App, has released an “official” Pinterest app as well, however if you installed these apps you would have seen that they were just redirects to other things; the Siri app redirected you towards the Google Voice Actions and the Pinterest app redirects you to the mobile site. Well it didn’t take long before Google took a look at these apps and decided that they should be pulled. Although the developer didn’t actually try to dupe anyone with the apps. They were quoted to say:
Siri is the most well-known virtual personal assistant out there, but there’s some competition lurking on the the horizon. Enter: Cluzee– your intelligent personal assistant. Created by Tronton, Cluzee is similar to Siri in that the personal assistant helps you to be a more organized person. But helping you becoming organized is just the tip of the iceberg of the assistant’s capabilities. The service pulls more than just data from the web to answer a basic question. It can help you find alternate routes to a destination in case there’s a major delay on a major route, it can read emails and texts aloud to users, find a restaurant based on your tastes and even convert voice to text for emails or text messages as some examples. Here’s the philosophy of Tronton and its Cluzee product said best by CEO Ashish Patwa: “We don’t need all of the information available, all of the time. We just need the right information at the right time, which Cluzee intelligently provides, making us more productive. Technology created the problem, but we’re using smarter technology to solve it”.
Well said Patwa, well said. Looks like we have a new dawn of innovation for personal assistance on our Android devices as well. Score one for Android. Hit the break for the full presser, QR code and Android Market Links.
After much investigation it appears as though Amazon is looking to go head to head with Apple’s new Siri technology found on the iPhone 4S. How do we know this? Elementary my dear Watson. According to the folks over at All Things D, Amazon has yet to return calls for comment, but it looks as though Amazon has recently purchased Charlotte based Yap, a popular voice recognition software. Earlier today reports of the acquisition came to light on a Charlotte-based blog, CLT. They added up all the pieces after an SEC filing revealing that as of Sept 8th, Yap was now owned by Yarmuth Dion. Who? In any event, it was later discovered that the company’s address was none other than Amazon’s Seattle based headquarters.
Google’s chairman looks to be proclaiming Google’s humility by asserting Apple’s “competitive threat”. Apple Insider reports Eric Schmidt responded to questions from the senators after a hearing in September. Schmidt writes “even in the few weeks since the hearing, Apple has launched an entirely new approach to search technology with Siri, its voice-activated search and task-completion service built into the iPhone 4S”. When addressing his previous statement in September 2010 where he denies Apple and Facebook were a “competitive threat”, Schmidt goes on to say “my statement was clearly wrong… Apple’s Siri is a significant development– a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search”.
There’s been a lot of talk lately on voice commands since Apple introduced Siri a couple of weeks ago. Apple’s concept is to make Siri a personal assistant, but Google Senior Vice President of Mobile, Andy Rubin said, “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.”
He went on to say, “To some degree it is natural for you to talk to your phone,” but it has always been about talking to another person.
Finally he said, “This isn’t a new notion,” and “In projecting the future, I think Apple did a good job of figuring out when the technology was ready to be consumer-grade.”
Are you feeling like you need a personal assistant on your phone? Of course, Google already has Voice Actions already built into Android, but if you feel slighted and want something similar, give Iris a try.