I make no bones of the fact that I find 3rd party voice assistants to be increasingly redundant, especially with the arrival of Google Now on Jelly Bean.
But Google Now doesn't do certain things. One of those things has annoyed me since the early days of Google's Voice Actions: you can't make calendar events through voice input. And as a person that absolute despises digital calendars, this is something of a "must have" feature.
The uninformed consumer (read: not you, dear readers) may be forgiven for not realizing Google's voice search/voice assistant/Google Now thing is attempting to compete head-on with Siri, what with lacking a name and not being nearly as anthropomorphized. However, Google's voice powers are, indeed, aimed squarely at making the act of finding and using information far easier than Apple's automaton. In this video, the two go voice-to-voice and...okay, let's not beat around the bush.
You guys remember Voice Search right? That app that every Android user ever has installed on their phone or tablet? Well, the Wall Street Journal, best known for being right about a good number of things, is reporting that Google has "accelerated plans" to launch a "Siri competitor." Our super secret sources tell us that Google will "launch" this competitor in August, 2010.
The WSJ doesn't have much more information beyond that:
Google, meanwhile, has accelerated plans to launch its own Siri competitor that would work on Android-powered devices, people familiar with the matter have said.
Google I/O is coming and it's time to get excited! It's like Christmas in June! It will be here in just a few short agonizing weeks - and we need to prepare. There is background information you need to know, rumors you should have in mind, and past announcements and acquisitions that need to be remembered. Google always leaves little news breadcrumbs for those that pay attention, and I pay attention.
Though voice control apps have been around for quite some time, it took Apple's release of Siri to bring the functionality to the mainstream. Now, competing manufacturers are trying to push out similar services. Samsung's first to the punch with a Vlingo-based "S Voice" service, though it remains to be seen how well it works.
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.
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.
Siri competitors for Android are a dime a dozen, but the latest alternative Evi may have the winning combination of a voice recognition engine that actually understands what you say and what (we hope) appears to be a natural language processor that can figure out what you want.
Unlike a standard search engine which performs keyword searches, Evi aims to answer your query with a specific response. So, for example, if want to know what the capital of France is, you would ask Evi "what is the capital of France?" and Evi would respond "Paris".
When I read the comments of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in an interview with The Daily Beast, my first thought was "this sounds like an eminently reasonable man making some well-reasoned points." Of course, being an Android site, we took interest in Wozniak's comments on Android's superior (in some respects) voice commands, as well as his praise of its workable built-in navigation solution (something iOS currently lacks outright).
Earlier today, popular voice recognition software corporation Nuance launched Dragon Go! by Nuance on the Android Market, bringing voice recognition that "just works" to the Android platform. Dragon Go! answers the users' queries by pulling data from a variety of sources, including Spotify, Wolfram|Alpha, Yelp, YouTube, AccuWeather, Ask.com, Dictionary.com, ESPN, Facebook, Fandango, Last.fm, LiveNation, Milo.com, OpenTable, Pandora, Rotten Tomatoes, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo!, Bing, and hundreds of others.