Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Apple Siri not in your phone? SIx Siri-ous alternatives for your Android.

"Call Allison Miller!"
Siri, the voice command app on the Apple iPhone4S, has become one of the most talked about tech subjects for 2011. And for good reason- it seems that Siri can understand simple, casual conversation and doesn't require awkward, precise language to work properly. For those people who actually own an iPhone4S, Siri seems to be an ideal program that can make their life much easier.

But for the other half of the phone buying public, there is no Siri. But, all is not lost as the free market has many competitors for Siri's absence from the Android marketplace (sorry Windows Phone!) . To be honest, at this point, most of the "same-as-Siri" apps for the Android world aren't. They can do most of what Siri can, but may not do it a elegantly or cleanly. But, you can be sure that the developers are working hard to bring their products up to snuff.

One of the stories the press seems to have missed in this Siri love-fest is the fact that Android has had a voice-command system in their phones long before Siri became the media darling of the tech world. Voice Actions does much of what Siri can do, but not all. It's standard in all Android 2.2+ versions of Android and can, simply because you asked it to, look up websites, call phone numbers or send e-mails and more.

There are other apps from 3rd party developers that, to a greater or lesser degree, emulates Siri. Most are free (with ads) or cost just a couple of dollars in your favorite Android app store. The website has a list of five Android based Siri alternatives you might consider along with an explanation of each. It' surprising how different each offering can be and what each can and can't do. Go to the site here to see the article.

There is another newcomer on the scene called "Iris" (that's Siri spelled backwards). It was created in eight hours after Siri hit the streets and is being constantly improved with new, better versions every few days. It has real potential, but is still in its infancy, tech-wise. To learn more, read the article at, a slightly geek-centered website. I know I'll be keeping tabs on Iris.  

If you really want something as powerful and sophisticated as Siri. You have two choices: One, buy an iPhone4S or simply wait about 90 more days. As I said, developers are putting in some late nights to make sure their voice-control offering perform so much better than Siri and three months will produce far better versions than exist today. But, if they're free anyway, why not get one and play with it until then?

From the looks (sounds?) of it, 2012 appears to be an interesting and fun year for apps like this.

Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment