At the Google I/O keynote from day 1 (watch it here at the 20:00 minute mark), the Android team took the wraps off a new product called Google Now that was powered by a new version of Voice Search (our hands-on). During the demo of it, we were all impressed by the beautiful new UI, answer cards with relevant info, and accuracy. To call this a giant step forward in voice searching, might even be an understatement.
Naturally, people were quick to compare this to Apple’s Siri since it gets all of the play these days in the voice search category. We argued that Siri isn’t even on the same level since Google Now actually predicts your life rather than forcing you to ask things of it all of the time, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in a good battle between the two. So speaking of battles, who wants to see one? (more…)
There is no shortage of Siri wannabes in the Play Store, but it is a change to see one that has great ratings and actually works as intended. With Skyvi, you can handle the main tasks that one would usually use Siri for – such as checking local weather, texting friends, and getting directions. The app was pushed to Play sometime earlier this year and we’re bummed that we are only just now hearing about it. For folks who are still looking for their very own Android personal assistant that talks to you in a sexy computerized voice, give Skyvi a go and let us know how you think it compares to other Siri competitors for Android. (more…)
Once running under the codename “Majel,” Google has reportedly settled on an official name for their Siri-like competitor. That name is Assistant. Most of the dirty details surrounding this service are a mystery, however, TechCrunch believes it to be more of a “Do Engine” that would help you achieve real-life goals rather than something that will simply return search results.
According to their sources, the Android team has taken this project on with search engineer Amit Singhal to attempt to gather the world’s knowledge into a format that a computer can understand. They also want to make the service adhere to your personal life more, potentially using services like Google+ and +1 to help understand how people interact socially.
Unlike Siri though, Google will provide developers with the opportunity to tie in their products to Assistant, a move that could make the service unlike any other. Siri will always be bound to Apple’s vision, while Assistant could grow thanks to outside influences and innovators.
Google big wigs are look at a Q4 2012 unveiling of the product. While that seems so far off in the distance, remember that Google I/O with an additional 3rd day is happening in June. If Assistant is indeed launching this year, you have to imagine that we will see some sort of preview during that week. Also, Q4 is when we will likely see Jelly Bean or Android 5.0.
Google is reportedly working on a big new feature for Google TV. According to a report and leaked images from Patently Apple, the search giant is looking to command the living room. The software, when released, will allow users to speak queries into a specially designed application that will then relay commands to your TV. As seen in the picture above, you can simply ask when your favorite shows are on and receive a full layout of expected airing times of the questioned programs. (more…)
We have put spotlights on a couple apps that try to replicate the usefulness that iPhone users receive with Siri. None of them have really been able to fully grasp the everyday handiness exactly like Siri, but then again, that’s what makes it Siri. Enter a new player called Utter! The app doesn’t just message people and make calendar events, but can control many aspects of your smartphone that we once thought would be not possible.
What if you could ask your phone how much battery it had left? What if you told your device to reboot into the bootloader or even tell it what to have your processor clocked at? Utter! is in an early beta stage and is not available for download yet, but let’s hope we see it make a great debut sometime soon. Watch the full video and see what all the hype on Utter! is.
Via: Reddit, Android Police
Last night, the latest Siri wannabe was introduced to Android under the name Evi. It’s voice-inspired, can answer almost any question you ask it, and even learns on the go after receiving feedback directly from you. This actually is a decent attempt at being Android’s Siri, except for one problem which you will quickly find in the market: they have like 1 or 2 servers trying to power the service for thousands of new users and simply cannot keep up with traffic.
At this point, if you jump into the app and search for something, you will see this: “I’m waiting for a network connection before trying this one.” It’s frustrating, especially after using it last night and finding pretty favorable results for the most part. In fact, it’s built-in map feature works well, however, we would have liked to have seen some way to launch navigation out of it. It returns simple, yet detailed results pages, beautifully laid out business or location pages, and even answered many of our off-the-wall questions. Again, this service actually isn’t bad and is probably the best attempt yet. Now, let’s hope we see a legitimate server infrastructure in the next day or so or it may be a short life for ol’ Evi. (more…)
According to our pals over at Android and Me, Google has spent much of the year putting in work on a newly revamped Voice Actions software, which they have codenamed Majel. You could consider this their answer to Apple’s Siri and will go far beyond what the current crop of Android Voice Actions can accomplish. The limits of specific commands (navigate to, listen to, etc.) will soon be gone and the times of speaking in natural language may be upon us.
Confused by the codename? The word Majel comes from the name of the woman who acted as the voice of the Federation Computer on Star Trek for years. And it just so happens that Matias Duarte (the ICS architect) mentioned Star Trek back in October around the time that Android 4.0 was unveiled. He was quoted as saying that their approach to voice actions “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.” Fitting.
It’s anyone’s guess as to when we might see this new voice activated software, but there is a chance it could be out within the next couple of months. If Google wants to step into the voice actions game in a real way, it would be in their best interest to not wait around while Apple works to take Siri out of beta.
Is everyone ready to start talking to your phone like it’s your best friend?
Via: Android and Me
Cluzee is Android’s next attempt at having a personal assistant service like Apple’s Siri, yet as with all other apps in this line, it falls short in some way or another. It can work through most of the recommended or sample task list that is provided upon first starting up the app, but once you start shouting out your own versions of tasks for Cluzee to complete, it struggles. I was able to pull up the weather here in Portland on Friday, find a nearby coffee shop, and even find out how many days until X-mas. It works, at times.
So, props to Cluzee for making a big PR splash this morning. You are now in the spotlight – let’s hope you can improve on what appears to be a pretty solid base, and create an app that people can use as a daily driver. For now though, please stop making comparisons of this app to Siri.
Oh and by the way, this may or may not work on your phone. According to the market comments and our own tests, it’s pretty hit or miss when it comes to compatibility. (more…)