Houston, we have a new voice assistant in town. Following Samsung’s announcement that Bixby Voice would be rolling out in over 200 countries globally, our Samsung Galaxy S8 received an update that surprise, surprise, gives us access to Bixby Voice.
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BlackBerry’s upcoming 10.3 software update has been leaked for quite a while now and one of its new feature is a voice assistant. BlackBerry today has officially gave it a name and it’s simply called as the BlackBerry Assistant. To give a glimpse of how it works, BlackBerry has given a short preview of it running on a BlackBerry Passport.
Voice Assistant on a phone isn’t new and we’ve seen Apple, Android and Microsoft implementing their own voice features that tries to understand your request in a conversation-like manner. What’s interesting though, is that BlackBerry Assistant gets better over time. The more you use it, the better it recognises your request and eventually it gets more accurate in fulfilling your requests.
So far the functionalities look pretty much the same including reading text messages and performing vital phone actions. The BlackBerry Passport is said to be released sometime in September and it comes with BlackBerry 10.3 out of the box. You can read more about BlackBerry Assistant’s preview over at their official blog.
The new Windows Phone 8.1 introduces a new voice assistant called Cortana. To find out how does it compare in handling day to day voice commands, WPCentral has done a simple shootout against Siri and Google Now. The Siri unit was running on the current iPhone 5S while Google Now was tested using the Moto X.
Overall there’s no clear winner but Cortana seems to be performing quite well despite being an early beta. Not bad considering the other 2 have been established for quite some time now. So far the key advantages of Cortana is the ease of doing a Foursquare check in and toggle settings by voice. Other than that, any unknown commands will generally lead to Search, including request to open specific websites.
Watch the video after the break.
Microsoft has just announced Cortana, its new Voice Assistant which comes with the latest Windows Phone 8.1. It is a rather interesting mobile assistant feature which takes on the likes of Siri and Google Now. To trigger Cortana, just tap on the physical Search Icon from any screen in Windows Phone 8.1.
As you would expect from a Voice Assistant, you can use Cortana to run search, call contacts, write SMS and set Alarms or reminders at specific times. Apart from the usual voice search commands, Cortana also offers contextual content such as traffic info to work, current weather, favourite game scores and preferred news which is similar to Google Now. There’s a new feature called Quiet Hours which is kinda like DND mode that mutes notifications during specific hours. You’ll also get to create a list of family and close friend contacts to bypass the Quiet Hours and there’s also an option to alert you if the same number tried to call you twice within 3 minutes. The usage of Cortana is also expandable with 3rd party app integration. In the hands-on video by WPCentral, you can launch app specific commands such as FourSquare Check-in through Cortana.
Check out the promo and a rather detail hands-on video by WPCentral after the break.
Vlingo has released an interesting video demonstrating how its voice recognition feature is meant for everyone. Not only it is available for various smart phone models, it actually recognise accents pretty well.
For those that didn’t know, Vlingo is also pre-installed with Samsung smart phones as “Voice Talk”. Instead of pressing a button to activate, you can also activate Vlingo with magic word by saying “Hi Galaxy” or “Hi Vlingo”.
In our earlier hands-on with Siri, most location based functionalities are limited to the US. Having said that, Siri understands natural conversations as if you’re talking to a person instead of giving structured commands. This is particularly useful if you want Siri to set an appointment which is much faster than adding it on your calendar manually. You can read more about our Siri experience here.
Vlingo is available for free but with more functions reserved for paid version. It is available for Android, iOS and Blackberry. For more information, head over to Vlingo.
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