/// For Hire: Good Virtual Assistant for Android

May 24, 2012  |  All Things Digital

When the iPhone 4S first came out, one of its most talked-about features was Siri, the smartphone’s voice-controlled virtual assistant. The concept wasn’t new, but what made Siri special was that it understood everyday language and responded with contextual answers. Android phone users might have felt envious of Siri. But there’s no need to be jealous. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III will come with its own Siri-like feature called S Voice, but for other Android phone owners, there are a number of virtual assistant apps available from the Google Play Store . I spent this past week testing two of them, Vlingo and Speaktoit Assistant , on the HTC One X from AT&T. The apps aren’t exclusive to Android. Vlingo first launched on BlackBerry in 2008, and also works with Symbian and Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. Meanwhile, Speaktoit began on Android in 2011, and now supports iOS, with a Windows Phone app arriving in June. [ See post to watch video ] Both of the Android apps are free and let you perform multiple tasks using voice commands. Speaktoit is more conversational, capable of using context to answer questions like Siri does, but it needs a bit of training to work with casual phrases, which Siri does without training. Vlingo, on the other hand, performs better, but lacks the ability to create calendar appointments, which is an important feature for a virtual assistant, thus tipping the scale in Speaktoit’s favor.

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For Hire: Good Virtual Assistant for Android

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