Apple’s new all-singing, all-dancing, voice activated, personal assistant feature Siri is arguably the best thing about the new iPhone 4S. And it’s not just Apple that wants us to think that, even though we haven’t had any hands-on time with Siri just yet, early reviews suggest it DOES live up to the hype and all of the problems you’d expect from a voice activated tool hardly crop up at all.
However, for one reason or another, whether you can’t afford an iPhone 4S right now or you’d rather stick with your Android handset, we’re not all going to be able to live our lives with the help of the trusty little Siri assistant.
So here are five of our top alternatives. Granted most of them aren’t going to be as comprehensive or advanced as Siri, but if you’re looking for something similar they’re your best bet.
What does it do? We wrote up a few articles about Vlingo as soon as Apple announced Siri because it just seemed SO similar. The application, which is available for most devices, aims to make your life more streamlined by allowing you to do things with your voice, like set reminders, send emails and much more. The concept is pretty much the same as Siri and the app already has a big dedicated base of users, but the voice recognition isn’t always as accurate as we’d like it to be.
Best for Anyone who wants the next best thing to Siri.
Available from Vlingo for Free.
What does it do? It’s considered one of the best alternatives for Android devices and just like Siri it aims to give you a personal assistant in your pocket that you can control with your voice. You can do all kinds of things, like send emails, tweet, find news, look up traffic information, take notes, add things to your calendar, translate foreign languages, find nearby bars… You get the idea. The thing that sets Speaktoit apart is its creators are always adding new features based on the suggestions of its users. Oh and you can also give your personal assistant a face too, we’re not sure how we feel about that one.
Best for Android devices.
Available from the Android Market for Free.
3. Dragon Go!
What does it do? Dragon Go acts like another assistant, so expect a lot of the features you’d find with the other alternatives above. However, it’s particularly focused on the search functionality, so ask it for local cinemas, restaurants, recommendations and news.
Best for Those who want to search for things but don’t necessarily want a personal assistant app 24/7.
Available from iTunes for Free.
4. Google Voice Actions
What does it do? Voice Actions from Google is like a parred down version of Siri but offers all of the basic voice commands, like sending text messages, playing music, getting directions, writing a note and searching Google. It’s pretty good quality considering it’s made by Google but many are expecting the brand to make this app even better now Siri has arrived on the scene. Definitely one to watch out for.
Best for Android users who want to be able to use their voice to do the basics but don’t want to rely on an app for everything.
Available from Voice Actions for Free.
5. iPhone Voice Control
What does it do? Now this may seem like a bit of a lame alternative, but don’t forget if you’re an iPhone user your device does already have built-in Voice Control. No it’s not as advanced as what Siri has to offer, but it does make calling contacts and listening to music hands-free possible. Just hold down the home button on your phone to begin.
Best for iPhone users who want a no-frills option so they can mess around with one or two voice activated commands.