Everyone’s heard of Siri, right? For those who haven’t, Siri is a kind of intelligent personal assistant that is available to help users of iPhones. It can be used to send messages, call friends, open apps, look up information online or set reminders by simple voice commands. It can also be used to dictate emails and test to which it will then send for you. It truly is a marvellous piece of technology, but it’s only available on Apple products.
If you’re an Android user, don’t worry. There are alternative to Siri you can use too. Here are the best ones currently available:
Google have long been harvesting information from their users for various purposes, mostly seeming to involve marketing and advertising. Now they are using that information in an attempt to provide the best electronic assistant you can get on your phone. Because Google already knows all of your preferences, the idea is that Google Now knows what questions you’re going to ask before you ask it. Impressive. Google Now will also keep you updated on travel and weather news as you wish. The voice recognition element is intelligent and learns from you as it progresses. Like predictive text or autocorrect it will fill in the blanks for you or correct mis-speech to understand what your questions are.
Cortana was developed by Microsoft for Windows Phone, but was then later expanded toAndroid and iOS versions. The main thing with Cortana is that it crosses platforms including Google, Facebook and Yahoo. It can be linked to your computer too so you can perform tasks such as sending an SMS from your laptop which you dictate to it. The app works the same on a PC or tablet as it does on a smartphone.
Most of the apps by major developers require a certain amount of information harvesting and sharing and you might not be too crazy about this. Fortunately there are alternatives to Siri by lesser known developers. Robin is one of these. It is in fact very similar to Siri, so similar that you might at first think it is an absolute copy of Siri, but it’s not. It works in a similar way but is much more friendly. It looks stuff up for you, but waits to be asked. It doesn’t try and predict what you’re thinking or second guess you. It’s an assistant without being intrusive.
It’s pretty cool to have your phone talk to you as if it actually understands you – and it often actually does really understand you – but what’s even cooler? A version that you might have seen in the movies, that’s what. If you’ve ever seen Iron Man, then you’ll know Jarvis is what Tony Stark uses and it doesn’t get much cooler than that. It can do more than just the basics too, such as turning on the flash on your camera when needed or helping you locate a misplaced device. It is compatible with other Android items than just smartphones as well, for example it can be used on a smartwatch. Jarvis will also control music playback and has arguably the coolest voice of all of these apps.
Smart Voice Assistant
This app takes a little bit of setting up. At first you must assign voice commands and choose keywords on an easy to use menu. This is a bit of work compared to other apps, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve finished this step you’re good to go and Smart Voice Assistant. It performs all the basic functions that the other apps perform and true, it might not seem as sleek as the others, but it does the job more than adequately. Smart Voice Assistant will also allow you to dictate text and it will read it back for you which is great if you’re in the car on your way to a meeting.
Using any of these apps as an alternative to Siri will undoubtedly make your life so much easier. There are many features which are highly practical and if nothing else they will make you look cool in front of your friends, which is always a bonus.