Ever since Siri, Apple’s personal voice assistant tool came bundled with iPhone 4S, people have been talking about it. Siri-like programs have been around for a while, though Siri has been programmed to be a little whacky and fun. Android owners don’t despair – you have many free alternatives to Siri, some that were around even before iPhone 4S came to be! Here are 10 free ones for you to download.
1. Google Voice Action
Google Voice Actions has been around much before Siri. You can use this assistant to send texts, get directions, and search the web and so on. You can launch other apps using this assistant, plus play with your browser favorites, set alarms and reminders, control Wi-Fi and search eBay, etc. Google Voice Action is built into Android so it’s right there for you to use. You can also control your phone’s volume, turn Bluetooth on and off as well. This app uses Google’s phenomenal Speech Recognition software, which responds to questions, commands and even just chatter with relevant info.
2. Speaktoit Assistant
This assistant allows you to customize a male or female cartoon to resemble you and assign it as its physical avatar. The avatar is just for the aesthetics – Speakitout accepts commands to email or call a contact, search the web, and do a few basic things on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.
3. Dragon Go!
You can use this assistant to send flowers, book movie tickets and get a taxi and so on. However, you cannot use it for your emailing, reminding and other communication needs, as this app does not integrate with other system apps. You can also ask it all sorts of questions. The questions are forwarded to 200+ services including YouTube, Last.fm, IMDB, Pandora, Wikipedia and so on to bring you the most relevant answer.
You can use this personal assistant to do a bunch of things for you. You can get it to set reminders, give you your horoscope, read a poem to you, set wake up alarms and translate spoken English to Spanish. Whether you’ll find all the features useful or not is anyone’s guess. And yes, it can tell you the correct temperature outside – unlike some others.
If you want a personal voice assistant more for amusement than for sheer usefulness, get this one. It can handle your questions on various trivia. One good thing is that it can read your tweets out loud, helps you voice-access your Facebook and Twitter accounts, give you the weather update and so on.
6. Vlingo Virtual Assistant
This is one for serious use, no playing around. Give instructions to this app to text, email or text someone, update your social networking status and search the web. There are some additional features, to use if you’re really lazy; you can ask Vlingo to book hotel rooms and buy movie tickets for you. This one is available free if you’re running Android 2.2 or higher.
7. EVA / EVAN
Eva is a female and Evan is a male – that’s as far as the voice assistant identity goes! But the voice is that of a male – unless you install a third party voice pack to change the voice. You choose between the image of a man or a woman to represent your voice assistant. The free version comes with Ad banners. You can tell your EVA / EVAN to manage your tweets, FaceBook status, calendar and contacts, send emails, make calls and search the web and maps. You can even him / her to convert your camera’s flash function into a flashlight.
This assistant can perform all your regular tasks such as emailing, texting, searching the web and so on. In addition, it can keep track of your exercise routine, calorie intake and be your personal health assistant as well. Plus there are extras like the ordering flowers and sending a cab to pick someone up. A really nice one, overall.
You can use Edwin to email, text, tweet, get updates, and translate text and so on. You need to install other free apps such as SpeechSynthesis and TTS Extended apps to use Edwin. Edwin pulls info from various servers just like Siri does. Edwin also helps you manipulate your phone’s hardware such as switching to airplane mode and so on.
You can give direct-voice commands to Iris to make a call to a contact on your phone, or look up a contact or search the web for something. Iris knows that it’s the personal voice assistant, but cannot do things like text, or tell you the current temperature outside. Oh, by the way, IRIS spelled backwards is SIRI – someone got jealous of the real deal and pulled this in 8 hours or less!