14
Feb
voice-search_thumb

We know, we know - you're tired of hearing about Siri and its respective knockoffs. But, we assure you, this one is different. Very different. In fact, it's beyond anything we've ever seen before.

The app is called Utter! and while it isn't yet available for download, it's already doing things that we could previously only imagine. Instead of just giving you a generic answer such as Siri and the like, it actually utilizes the apps that you already have installed. Want a add a calendar appointment? Tell Utter, and it'll take care of it. Get travel details, find out the weather, and launch applications - all child's play for Utter, and all done using native applications instead of just simple searches.

Actually, that's just scratching the surface for Utter - if you watch the entire 22 minute video, you'll see the developer, brandall of XDA, use Utter to set his CPU governor (yes, it asks for superuser permissions), reboot into the bootloader, and even have a conversation. One of the highlights of the video (for us, anyway) is when he asks Utter what it thinks of Siri for iOS. Its response? "The bitch has a very limited vocabulary." It even has a sense of humor! On another impressive note, he tells Utter to create an email, verifies the subject, and tells it what to populate the body with. It executes the commands quickly and efficiently, leaving only the sending of the message to be done manually. Totally sick.

The app displays potential for quite an advanced intelligence and understanding, as well. During a conversation with Utter, the dev tells it he's watching a film. Utter responds by asking what film he's watching. When he tells it "The Lion King," it responds with "you're 35 years old, why are you watching a children's film?" He then attempts to argue with the app, telling it that he's actually 21 years old. The app uses information pulled from his Google and Facebook profiles to tell him otherwise!

According to a comment on the YouTube page, Utter! is still in early beta so it won't be available for "a while yet." When it finally becomes available, though, we'll make sure to let you know.

[via Reddit]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Deltaechoe

    I have two words for this app "I WANT!"

  • Rafael

    Wow this is amazing... can't wait til it's released!

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    My favorite part was when he dictated an email that opened up in the Gmail app and pre-filled all the fields with what he said (subject, body). So freaking awesome.

    • todd

      you are aware this is already available with google's built in commands. I do this often.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    The video is long, but really, watch the whole thing - it's well worth it. Incredible work for something that doesn't even have an xda thread yet.

    • hugobosslives

      definitely agree. watch the whole thing guys. this is one of the best app previews to hit any OS

  • Cole

    FLIPPIN!!! SWEET!!!!! This guy is a genius!

  • Viper

    A problem with this app is same as all other android apps, which is, voice commands are not so humanly. For example "search ebay galaxy nexus" should be like "search galaxy nexus on ebay". We are not machines and we don't talk this way.

    • Deltaechoe

      I would throw the guy a bone right now, this is still the early beta stage and the recognition engine could easily be improved. Basically, this software isn't finished yet so give him a chance to finish before you start criticizing the implementation.

    • Mimsyborogove923

      For me at least, I've gotten pretty used to using a different syntax for voice searches. To be honest, it would take me a little while to get used to using regular syntax.

    • Icefreez

      We don't talk to people this way because people like to be polite. The reason we talk this way to a computer is because it is a computer and it only needs certain terms. This makes our life simpler by just telling the computer what it needs to know and omitting the rest.

  • http://www.reviewedbyandy.com Andy

    Take my money!!!

  • Chris Welton

    Can we have a female front-end with an English-Canadian voice?

  • GergS

    Looks pretty cool.

    If it's reasonably priced I'll think about it.

    If he open-sources it I will Love Him Long Time. And I'd certainly donate in that case, even if I don't really need it.

  • Eric

    The problem with this is, it doesn't solve the use case for the most obvious for voice actions (in my opinion). Use in the car. The only way to fix this is for the app to read things back.

    For example, have it read back the contents of the text you want to send, or the number you want to dial, then be able to send or call without looking and pressing a send/dial button.

    Is there any app that does this on android? I could hardly care less for natural language or the ability to ask things like "the meaning of life".

    • Nick

      VLINGO will read your message back to you and then ask if you want to send or change the message. Although i find that my phone struggles to hear me in the car with the background noises.

  • David Ruddock

    The issue here is the app linking - it can only be so smart, because there are so many apps out there. For basic Google apps, no worries, but how many weather apps are there? How many public transport apps? How many restaurant or business search apps?

    This will only ever be as good as the apps it is specifically designed to work with, because it has to be written specifically to work with the calls for those apps.

    90% of what this can do is probably stuff Google has in the pipeline, and the rest of it is less about it being amazing and more about it being written and scripted in a way that makes it seem intelligent. Just like Siri.

    I'm not getting down on this guy, but I don't think this is revolutionary, it's just a very clever use of Google's STT engine.

    What I want is this (and I'm not saying this is remotely practical as the technology exists):

    -Real time, passive voice commands. Press speech input. Say "Launch Gmail." say "Compose". New message appears. "Discard". Returns to inbox. "Show all messages from yesterday, include trash." Brings up filtered search for yesterday. Tap an email. "Add this person to my contacts under the name 'John Doe,' and archive this message." Contact for John Doe added, messaged archived. "Inbox." Returns to inbox. "Close." Gmail closes, goes to homescreen. Listening stops.

    The issue is this: I don't want to say every single command I want to make in a single, prolonged, awkward sentence. That isn't remotely natural. I want the system to be listening passively at all times for command words until I tell it to stop listening, and I want the latency at near zero. Until then, voice commands make almost everything except searches / driving directions take longer. They just aren't that useful in their current state.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      What you want is great, but not technically possible by app developers. Google will have to introduce a whole host of APIs for that. They had a good start with the dictation mode in ICS. We'll undoubtedly see more of what you're looking for in the future. I have no doubt.

      As for app support, it's not as hard as you think and maybe even work for a lot of apps by default due to the way Intents work on Android. Certainly, some apps would need extra configs, but it's a great start. And even on its own, without app command, it's already impressive in its UI.

      • David Ruddock

        As I also said, it's not technically possible as far as I know. But my point is this: I have little desire to use it until it gets there.

        By the time this guy has said his whole command for the Gmail message and checked it, I've already typed mine, spellchecked, and sent it. It's just not that fast. Sure, his is more practical in a car, but I rarely find myself needing to send emails so quickly that I can't wait for a red light or to get to my destination.

        I'd liken the current voice command technology vs what it needs to be as being like resistive vs capactive touchscreens. Both can achieve the same end goal (touch input), but there's only one that looks good enough and works well enough that you'd actually want it.

        • Deltaechoe

          Sure it might come off as little more than a novelty, but I would still want it just for the fact that you are able to tell your phone what to do.

    • Nick Coad

      Artem is right about the app support, the system for interacting with apps is pretty generic so it doesn't really have to be custom-scripted to work with each app.

      That said, I agree with you in that this is an amazing job, but still falls short of being truly useful. The world just isn't ready for voice search yet, our current technology only allows for mediocre options. Even though this app is doing the best with what is available, 'the best' is still far from ideal.

      One day...

    • Enoch

      Uh... The closest to that you'll be able to get would be a Windows 8 Tablet.

  • Dmitry Pashkevich

    This is all pretty amazing but I wish there was a single Text-to-Speech app that would work offline!!!

  • Zack

    Wowwwwww take my money!! That was awesome. Your are a gentleman and a scholar!!

  • Kevin

    Anyone know when this will be available?

  • http://sneakily1.com sneakily1

    Must have! Just wish someone would PLEASE work in a hand-free voice activation function into one of these apps to where you just set a catch word or phrase to activate the listening mode? Example, device listens for the user defined term "Hey Stupid" and then follows the command given after the catch phrase. This looks like it will be a killer app though, definitely going to keep an eye on the development.

  • Simon Belmont

    Still waiting on Project Majel to come to fruition. That will be some cool stuff when it does and hopefully soon.

    This, indeed, seems very interesting though. Thanks for the write up.

  • NRHTX

    I came across this today and it looks totally AWESOME, can't wait to see the beta come out.

    P.S I spend 10 minutes looking online to see if there was a beta. LOL

    Thanks
    NRHTX

  • Freak4Dell

    Very impressive. In fact, I think I'm even more impressed by the fact that he's not releasing it yet. That shows dedication to a quality product. There's a lot of stuff that gets released on XDA that's not even close to the level of completeness that this is, so for him to say, "no, I won't even release a beta until I'm satisfied with it" is awesome, in my opinion.

    He should spend the $20 it takes to start a business (could be more expensive in the UK, though). Who knows...maybe Google will send him an offer.

    • GraveUypo

      "Very impressive. In fact, I think I'm even more impressed by the fact that he's not releasing it yet. "

      not sure about that. it could be because the app doesn't work at all yet and the video was staged. i don't believe that's the case, but i wouldn't doubt it either.

      • Freak4Dell

        Yeah, that's certainly possible, but I don't think that's the case here.

  • SlimDan22

    I will be cool if it lets us set up custom commands like with the siri proxys.

  • Karthik Kumar

    Holy Sweet GOD!! This is sheer MAGIC!! I Want I Want!!

  • http://www.jonathanharford.com/ Jonathan Harford

    "Bitch"? Seriously?

    Yeah, I guess misogyny non sequiturs are kind of funny... but not as funny as they are dickish.

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