Remember Iris? It’s one of the very first Siri-inspired apps to land on the Android Market. Although not as feature-rich as other similar Android apps, Iris has been doing pretty well on the Market so far, and for good reason. The app’s capability to indulge in friendly chitchats with users, launch apps and call/text your contacts via voice commands inspired a few Android fans so much that they judged it to be even better than the iOS voice-recognition assistant itself. If, for some reason, Iris hasn’t been able to impress you thus far, the latest additions to the app just might. The latest update not only brings a bunch of new query types, but also lets you ask Iris to play you videos (which are played within the app) and fetch the lyrics to a song of choice. In addition, the app can now supports being launched from anywhere in the OS by holding down the Search key.
While the app’s integration into the search key might not matter too much to users owning relatively new devices, like Galaxy Nexus, for devices that support said button, the option to launch Siri upon request can prove to be a time saver. Long-pressing the search key brings up the Complete action using menu that will contain the Iris option.
As mentioned earlier, Iris now takes voice commands from users to search for and play videos, show lyrics of requested songs, read horoscopes, fetch recipes for dishes and keep you apprised of the latest news and stock prices. Videos are played within the app’s interface.
That’s not all; you can now also get movie recommendations from Iris. To our utter surprise, not only was the app able to fetch useful results for our movie-based queries, but also supplemented those answers with comprehensive movie details, star cast, ratings, release date and much more.
The latest update makes Iris an even stronger contender among similar apps out there. There are, of course, better Android apps out there (some a lot older than Apple’s Siri) that let you control various aspects of the OS through voice commands, but that is not what Siri is primarily about. It’s more about having a virtual assistant that you can chat with and ask questions about anything, and that is what the developers seem to be expanding towards.
You can update your existing copy of Iris or to install it afresh from the Android Market link provided below.