Siri is Apple’s new intelligent assistant for the iPhone 4S. It is a very promising tool recieving a lot of buzz. But it has some tough competition already. As we’ve mentioned recently, voice recognition is available on Android and on iPhone in several apps. With Siri Apple is promising more of an artificial intelligence than just a simple voice recognition though. So, what can the competition do?
First let’s take a look at what Google has to offer. Google Voice Search with Voice Actions is available on your Andorid phone if you have Android 2.2 (Froyo) or newer version. It is completely free. You can give simple commands to search google. And you can get directions, call a business, send messages, send email, view map, write a note, go to website and listen to music.
The list of things you can do with Siri is a lot longer. And you don’t have to use specific commands, it will understand more complex sentences. Like for instance: “Remind me to call my mom when I get home”. This uses your location to determine when to remind you. It has learned who your mom is and where your home is.
Vlingo is maybe the most talked about app similar to Siri and it’s also free. It is available on both Android and iPhone. It even comes pre-installed on many phones, for instance Samsung smart phones. The features it offers is more advanced than Google Voice Actions, but not as advanced as Siri. With Vlingo you can send messages, call someone, find businesses, search google, update social networks, get answers, open apps, get directions, get a cab, buy movie tickets and listen to incoming text messages. It works really well and learns your voice over time so it will work even better. It also has a nice interface with simple instructions to get you started.
We’ve tried a couple of more apps with similar features. One such app we’ve tried on Android is Voice Actions, not to be confused with Google’s own product. It is not working as good as Vlingo or Google Voice Actions. It has problems understanding simple commands and we don’t recommend this current version. Another app we tried is named Voice Command. To use it you must install Google Search by voice app. And then the Voice Command app doesn’t add much to the features so we don’t see the point in installing it.
One very interesting artificial intellegence with voice action though is named Trulyhandsfree Voice Control 2.0. It’s made by a company named Sensory. We’ve not been able to try it yet since it’s not available on the Android or iPhone. What it promises though is where other solutions have run into problems – in noisy situations. This is how Sensory describe their product:
“With TrulyHandsfree Voice Control, users are not required to hold the device to their mouth to deliver commands. The technology can respond to commands delivered as far as 20 feet away or in high noise conditions making it a perfect solution for controlling devices in the home while multitasking or in the car where users need to focus on driving.”
You can watch this short video to see how it works:
There’s also a number of more limited voice control apps to wake you up in the morning like WakeVoice. Voice Control by Studio 23 Games will let you change the volume while playing songs, stop and play etc.
I’m sure the competition will have to do some catching up since Siri is going to be the most advanced of all of these options for a long time.