Apple made a big deal of Siri when it launched with the iPhone 4S, and though it was something people would love to have their hands on but it was nothing new for Android users who have had access to a range of voice control tools for some time before Siri was released to public.
As well as its built-in functions the Android platform enjoys a good selection of alternatives to Apple’s digital assistant, but there’s still some which are advancing themselves so as to compete with the Apple Siri’s intelligent answering system, and providing the best experience to the users. Here are some of the best Android voice control apps to be found on Google Play.
6 Great Alternatives to Siri
Vlingo Virtual Assistant
Vlingo was doing its voice thing years before Siri and it’s currently one of the most popular and highly regarded Android voice control tools. Accuracy and speed are excellent and Vlingo offers an extensive suite of controls. As well as the usual features for sending texts or calling contacts it provides natural language responses just like Siri so you can ask it random questions, as well as do stuff like booking movie tickets and opening apps. It has a really useful in-car mode for hands-free operation too. Another big plus point is the price: Vlingo is totally free.
Get Vlingo Virtual Assistant
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Any Android smartphone running version 2.2 (Froyo) or later already includes some voice control capabilities in the form of Google’s own Voice Search feature, so you don’t even have to download a third party app. Using the built-in voice controls you can send texts, get directions, and run a Google search, among other things. Voice Actions can be activated by long pressing the search button if you have one on your handset, or through the microphone icon on the keyboard.
Assistant aims to emulate Siri by giving the voice control function a personality. Like Siri, Speaktoit Assistant can give some sarcastic and jokey responses, though it also features a custom avatar option so you can give your virtual secretary a unique look. Unfortunately Speaktoit Assistant won’t read out texts and emails like any other voice tools but its flexibility and effectiveness when performing other tasks makes up for this shortcoming.
Skyvi provides a typical selection of voice control functionality – searches, sending texts and the like – but also offers some great location features that are slightly different from the norm. You can set custom notifications based on particular locations so your smartphone will speak up when you’re near the local store, for example, and remind you to get milk. It’s being regularly updated so the feature set is growing all the time, and is currently free (ad-supported) for a limited time only.
The ability to control a phone through voice commands isn’t new, but what’s different about Siri on the iPhone is the way it understands natural language and offers surprising responses to questions. Iris has been designed to provide a similar experience, replying to queries accurately and with some personality. The interface displays results from your voice control like a text message conversation, which is a nice touch. While natural language responses are impressive though Iris’ other functionality is somewhat limited compared to Vlingo or Speaktoit Assistant, but this one is still in development so worth keeping an eye on.
Eva has an extensive list of capabilities which includes reading and replying to emails and texts, home automation integration and location awareness. The latter is particularly useful as it can, like Skyvi, give you reminders based on your present coordinates. It’ll also handle time-sensitive commands and read calendar entries. Unfortunately the app is lumbered with a rather ugly interface, though you can choose the ‘EVAN’ app if you’d prefer to have an image of a man instead of a woman. In contrast to many other tools EVA will set you back a few dollars.
Written by Matt Powell. Edited by Rahul Chowdhury.
Matt Powell writes about Android alternatives to iPhone Siri on behalf of iPad Genie. Follow the link to find more information on the best iPad deals.
Apps Image Sources: Google Play Store
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