Last week, I still kept on talking and babbling about how amazing Siri (iPhone 4S humble assistant) is and one of my colleagues told me that there’s one virtual assistant that works the same way as Siri – meet Jane of SpeakToIt Virtual Assistant for Android smartphones. I immediately asked my colleague for us to test it on our Android gadgets – one Samsung Galaxy Tab and LG Optimus One.
And to make everything easier for us to install the application, we made use of the QR code so that we don’t have to type the whole download link. You can try and beam the QR code on the left to be redirected to the Android Market download page of SpeakToIt Assistant. At first, we had problems downloading and installing the application on Samsung Galaxy Tab because of compatibility issues but have sorted it afterwards.
On LG Optimus One, we had never encountered any problems installing the application; It was as easy as counting 1-2-3.
So we’re done, the next thing we have to do is test it and the first virtual assistant we’ve met was Jane and she was polite enough to offer us what she can do for us.
I was so amazed (‘just because I haven’t seen Siri yet for real, maybe soon) with Jane on how she interacts with our questions and even with our simple statements. Whenever she does not know the answer or how to answer, she’ll just say something like “I think I have to learn that next” or “I don’t think I understand what you just said”.
One basic thing you have to know about Siri and Jane of SpeakToIt Assistant, whenever you use them it is a MUST that your Android smartphone or gadget is connected and hooked into the Internet. The main reason is application such as SpeakToIt and Siri gets its answer from the Internet, Google for SpeakToIt. Like when you ask, “…can you tell how’s the weather in Manila right now?” SpeakToIt will respond by showing you the weather it gets from Google. Or if you ask the application, “…where is the nearest Starbucks coffee shop here in Ayala Makati?” then in turn the application responds with a location from Google Map. And when you say “…can you remind me to call my wife in an hour?” then it will ask you to choose where Jane should save it. Your options are EverNote, Notebook, or Google Calendar. Evernote is another application, while Google Calendar is from of course Google, and Notebook simply means SpeakToIt notebook (a part of the application where it saves your reminder). And if you opted to use the “noteboook”, every time you wanted to check your reminders you just need to say “Notebook” then all the notes and reminders will just pop-out on your screen. We even tried to ask Jane to “…send a text message to sweetie..” then asks for the message and then looks for the name from my phonebook and viola! It sends out the message.
You can also change and update your preferred personal virtual assistant, just go to Settings -> Appearance. SpeakToIt learns more and more everyday the more you speak to it. Every time you speak to it and if wasn’t able to answer your question, it seems to send and save your statement or question into a centralized repository and either the developers look for the closest answer and feeds it back into the application’s database so that whenever something “sounds-like” question it will provide you the most relevant answer. Also, you can’t really blame SpeakToIt if it does not able to understand your speech although it’s pure English. It could be your smartphone’s microphone is not working properly or it’s your speech/accent and the application’s understanding does not match at all. If this happens, do not you worry about it because you have an option to manually tap your question and press the Say button. The respond is relatively fast as if your smartphone is really thinking and looking for an answer for your question.
Although the application is still on it’s BETA version, it is fully functional already. The application is completely FREE and it only requires Android 2.1 and up. Also, SpeakToIt enables you to connect into the most and popular web services in the Internet such as updating your Facebook status, Twitter, Google, Foursquare and many more.
Here’s a sneak preview from SpeakToIt on how it works.
To download this wonderful Android application – SpeakToIt Assitant, you can beam the QR code above of click this link to be redirected to Android Market.