Ever since Apple bought Siri and released it as part of the iPhone 4S, folks from the Android and Windows Phone camp have been looking to replicate its never-before-seen ease of use and tight integration with system apps. We’ve seen some nice alternatives like Dragon Go! and Speaktoit, but they just aren’t at the same level as Siri. Dragon Go! integrates with dozens of online services, but forgets system apps. Speaktoit is very flexible and does work with some system apps but has a unpolished look to it and require touch input (so it isn’t good for hands-free use).
Well, a promising new Siri-alternative for Android was discovered today. It’s called Utter! and it’s something that even iPhone 4S-only owners and Siri fans might want to check out. Details after the jump!
Single-handedly developed by brandall from over on XDA-Developers – a popular forum for Android enthusiasts, developers and modders – utter! is a voice-based personal assistant for Android that goes far beyond Siri and its alternatives on Android. Its strongest feature is its exceptionally tight integration with pre-included system apps and as well as popular third-party party apps you can install on your own from the Android Market.
A first look at my android application ‘utter!’ which uses speech recognition to utilise the functionality of the applications already installed on your device.
It’s unlike the voice recognition software / applications Siri on iPhone 4S (IOS 5) or Speaktoit on Android or Ask Ziggy on Windows Phone 7 or the inbuilt voice actions for Android which all use their own functionality to provide search results.
Utter! has all the functionality of Siri does, and then some. Asking about the weather, setting alarms/reminders, firing off emails, texts, searching YouTube/Google etc. are basic queries for the software; it can do advanced tasks like being able to have natural conversations where utter! takes information from your tweets, emails, texts, Google account, rebooting into bootloader, checking for travel details, checking your battery, and a smorgasbord of other tasks that would take far too much time for me to write about and for you to read.
The best way to understand just how much flexible this app is to just watch the video which, mind you, is a whopping 22 minutes long. If anything, you should definitely watch the first and last five minutes.
Despite being so flexible, it does have a couple of shortcomings. Firstly, as with most third party voice assistants, utter! still tends to launch other apps when you give it commands like sending a text message. This is unlike Siri which presents most of its information within the same window. Secondly, utter! isn’t as syntax-independent as Siri which can take in commands like “What’s the weather like today?” instead of “Weather in Cupertino, California”. The developer can’t be blamed for this since his app is just that: a third-party app. Siri is only able to do what it is able to do because it is integrated right into the operating system.
The developer believes that the app isn’t ready for primetime yet. He hasn’t given any release date yet, so we will all just have to wait and see.
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