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.
With an abundance of Android developers creating Siri clones, replicas, replacements, competition, etc. you may have had your fill of personal assistants. Three that we have written about include Cluzee, Iris and Speaktoit. Well Google has been working on a secret project in response to Apple’s Siri. Codenamed Majel, this project looks to bring an evolved version of Google’s Voice Actions, as seen on most Android phones. For those that don’t get the reference, Majel is named after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry aka the Federation Computer voice from Star Trek.
Voice actions required you to use specific commands such as “send text to…” or “navigate to…” where, like Siri, Majel will allow actions to be performed in your natural language. Google search queries will also be included with the initial release, which could come this year. It is suggested that the release is slated for this year because the folks over at Android and Me heard that Google X engineers are working around the clock to finish the first release. The also heard that the folks at the New York Times previously had reported that a product would be released by Google X this year. As you know, December is about half way over so that may not happen but controlling phone actions and applications with natural language commands is expected to come later.
In an interview with Google’s Matias Duarte by Slashgear hints were dropped about the future of Android’s Voice actions. Matias was quoted to say:
“Our approach is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer.”
Even with the “it’s just Computer” approach you can expect greatly enhanced voices that sound more fluid and human. This is thanks in part to Google’s Phonetic Arts acquistion at the end of 2010.
There aren’t any details yet but they will eventually surface. I am pretty excited about this and look forward to using it. What do you guys think? Is this pretty cool or no?
[via Android and Me]
For those of you in Europe with an Android 2.2 or higher device, your device might now support Google’s famous voice actions. If they’re not on your device natively, make sure you get them on your device via the Market. As someone who uses them for almost everything I do, I can’t imagine how you guys have been able to use your phone! The countries/languages now supported are:
- United Kingdom (British English)
- France (French)
- Italy (Italian)
- Germany (German)
- Spain (Spanish)
Any of you guys big on voice actions?
Reports are coming in that the HTC Incredible will be getting its long awaited serving of Froyo next Wednesday, August 18. Rumors have been floating around the Web for some time speculating an August date, and it turns out those rumors are correct.
This coincides with HTC’s recent release of the Incredible Froyo code, and will allow users access to a few Android 2.2-only applications such as Flash 10.1, Chrome to Phone, and the just announced Voice Actions.
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we want to hear what you are looking forward to the most out of Android 2.2 on the Incredible, so leave your comments below!