Get Google Now Launcher Hotword Detection In Apex, Nova, TouchWiz & Sense

Upon releasing Android 4.4 KitKat on the Nexus 5, Google decided to ditch the AOSP launcher in favor of its all-new Google Now Launcher, featuring tight integration with Google Now, complete with ‘OK Google’ hotword detection to trigger Google Now voice search right from your home screen without even having to touch your phone. As awesome as this feature is, it’s limited specifically to the Google Now Launcher, and doesn’t work with any other launcher (including the AOSP launcher) even on KitKat. However, if you are using Apex, Nova, Samsung TouchWiz or HTC Sense launchers, you can now get similar voice-activated Google Now voice search capability right on your home screen with Active Searching by XDA-Developers Senior Member sam_0829. Read More

Listen To Your RSS, Reddit & Other Feeds In Style On Android With Auri

Over the past couple of years, we have seen several voice assistants pop up for all mobile platforms. Some focus mainly on executing your commands in a minimal way, while others let you have conversations with them. Auri is different in that it's all about reading out your daily RSS, Reddit, 4chan (experimental) or any other news feed read to you, allowing you to focus on the more occupying tasks at hand. Auri is designed to behave like a radio app, playing whatever is on the playlist of the channel selected. The appeal of the app lies in its versatility, given the types of feeds it is able to handle. The feeds are read with a subtle music in the background; it’s almost like tuning into your favorite news channel on the TV or radio, and going about your tasks in the house. The app works with the built-in Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine for Android, so you can choose the voice and expression to your liking as well. To learn more about the app and it’s beautiful UI, read on after the jump! Read More

JARVIS, Iron Man’s Voice-Controlled Assistant, Comes To The iPhone

Siri might be the most popular talking assistant available on iOS devices, but it is by no means the most popular voice-controlled assistant in the fantasy world. In the past, Space Odyssey's HAL 9000 gained a lot of notoriety, and these days, JARVIS from the Iron Man franchise is all the rage. If you have watched Iron Man 3, you might have wished for a suit just like Tony Stark’s, complete with its own virtual butler. Well, you'll have to keep waiting for the suit, but the latter, JARVIS, is here. Marvel has released a new iOS app that replicates the looks and voice of Tony Stark's assistant, while also doubling as an alarm clock. If you have an Iron Man 3 Blu-ray disc, JARVIS also has the ability to act as your second screen, and a controller for the movie. Read More

utter! For Android Now Boasts Completely Offline Voice Recognition

utter! is one of the few fully voice-controlled virtual assistants for Android that is universally accessible from anywhere within the entire OS. This functionality combined with the app’s ability to interpret a broad range of voice commands and perform various actions in response makes it a serious competitor in this arena. If you're using Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher, you will definitely want to check out the latest utter! update. utter! v3.0 claims to have become the first app of its kind to bring complete offline voice recognition support to any device rocking Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or above. That’s right – utter! is now capable of understanding and carrying out your voice commands even if your device is not connected to the internet. Read More

Google Sound Search Song Recognition Widget Comes To Play Store

The official mobile clients of various cross-platform online music recognition services like Shazam and SoundHound are hugely popular for the level of ease they offer to identify and track information regarding any music you come across, be it anywhere. Inspired by the success of these tools, Google decided to incorporate one of its own within Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the form of a neat little home screen widget. Call it a Christmas gift or Google’s decision to spread the feature to masses, the same Sound Search widget is now available in the Play Store for any device running Android 4.0 or higher. As with Shazam and SoundHound, the idea behind this widget is the same - to help users easily recognize any playing song. In addition, you can also purchase the detected songs from Google Play’s gigantic online music repository. Read More

Maluuba: Android Search Assistant With Modern UI & Event Management

The number of Android voice assistants and search apps, such as Vlingo, Google Now, Nuance’s Dragon Go!Iriset al, has grown to a point where one needs a very succinct analysis of what exclusive features a new entrant supports. Maluuba, the brainchild of the company with the same name, is the latest to join the list of the apps mentioned above. Sporting an eye-pleasing Windows 8-style UI, the app accepts voice and text input to help you with virtually anything on your Android (Update: Now available for Windows Phone as well). Using Maluuba, you can explore nearby food points, conduct general knowledge search queries, request for navigation to desired destinations, get business information, ask for detailed weather forecasts, manage & interact with your contacts via phone calls, mails, text messages & social media, post to various social networks, launch apps, get upcoming event details, play music, set reminders, alarms & calendar events, get movie showtimes, maintain routine schedules, and search across the wide world for web to get accurate answers for your queries. In some areas, the app can help you through its built-in features, whereas for all unsupported features, it presents you with the choice to head over to the concerned apps. Like most aforementioned solutions, Maluuba is quite effective in certain aspects, but can also leave users desiring for more in others. How? We shall explore past the break. Read More

Voice Shortcuts Launcher: Control Your Android via Custom Voice Commands

The idea of conducting online searches, indulging in friendly chitchats and accessing system-wide features via voice commands on smartphones is actually quite old, but few would disagree with the fact that it was Apple’s virtual mobile assistant, Siri, that took the concept to a whole new level. Owing to Siri’s exclusivity to iDevices, Android developers tried to follow suit by releasing their own solutions in the form of Dextera's Iris and other similar alternatives. In between, we also got to see the likes of Nuance’s Dragon Go! and plenty of other apps that focused on presenting users with a specific facet of voice recognition in a much refined form. Then, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean rolled out, bringing with it a much enhanced, intelligent and user-friendly search feature, aptly supplemented by a variety of Google Now Smart Cards. As much as each of the aforementioned names is assistive and purposeful in its own respect, they all have their own specific restrictions; the most common of all being the reliance on a specific set of voice commands and query formats. Moreover, Google Now, the most comprehensive tool of the aforementioned ones, currently doesn’t support launching apps or accessing system features, which somewhat diminishes its overall usability as a full-fledged voice-enabled assistant. Enter Voice Shortcuts Launcher by Project Trinity that lets you access virtually anything on your Android using whatever voice commands you prefer. Read More

VoiceBase Brings Its Online Audio Transcription Search & Upload App To Android

VoiceBase is an online audio/video transcription service, sporting its own native search engine, that lets users upload their recorded material and search for the required multimedia (audio/video) content across the expanded VoiceBase database by providing the relevant keyword(s). Simply put, anyone looking to search the internet for audio content – interviews, debates, conferences, podcasts and webinars etc – can resort to VoiceBase in order to find adequate helpful material. The service also sports a little social network of its own, wherein people can share the required audio bits with others, comment on the shared content, and upload their own data. Read More

Speaktoit Assistant: Worthy Siri Alternative For Android, Now Available On iOS

The iPhone 4S’ most advertised, and arguably most distinguishing, feature was Siri – the virtual personal assistant that you’d have either come to love or hate, if you’ve been interacting with her. Despite the beta tag that Siri carries, it works pretty smooth, and has been a cause of envy for most iOS users that didn’t have the iPhone 4S. On the jailbreak front, solutions like Spire Siri port piqued a lot of interest, but they remain heavily dependent on a lot of features (jailbroken device, for one, and working iPhone 4S keys for another). Then there have been apps like Dragon Dictation and Dragon Go!, but none really compared to Siri when it came to ease of use. Speaktoit Assistant, however, looks at changing that, and for good. Details past the break. Read More

Nuance Brings Its Voice-Controlled Search Engine Dragon Go! To Android

Nuance, the company behind Dragon Dictation, Dragon For Email, FlexT9, Dragon Search and now, Swype and Vlingo, has released its voice-based search assistant, Dragon Go!, to the Android Market. After the successful launch of the app in the iTunes App Store, Nuance announced at the recent CES 2012 that it would be bringing its latest brainchild to Android users as well. Arguably among one of the most elegantly designed, feature-rich and simple-to-use voice search apps in the Android Market, Dragon Go! vows to help you with searching for virtually anything. Whether you wish to get the latest weather forecast for your hometown from multiple weather services, want to post a quick update to your Facebook Wall, check your Twitter timeline, need the map of Venice, listen to Madonna on Pandora, YouTube or Last.fm, search for a movie's DVD on Amazon or eBay, locate a McDonald’s outlet in your vicinity, or conduct your routine searches on Google, Ask.com, Bing or Yahoo!, the app has you covered. Read More

Ask Ziggy: Windows Phone 7′s New, Siri-Like Personal Talking Assistant

Even though people have compared Windows Phone 7’s TellMe with iOS’s Siri, the truth of the matter is that nothing TellMe does is as intuitive and attractive as Siri. Apple’s voice assistant has the edge over other voice recognition apps and software due to its conversational style. Developers came up with Iris on Android and a host of other competitors almost as soon as Siri was launched, and now the trend has started to seep into Windows Phone too. Ask Ziggy is a free app, which, though nowhere near as polished as Siri, performs about the same tasks as Siri does. Read More

Iris For Android Updated; Now Plays Videos, Fetches Lyrics, News, Movie Info & More

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. Read More

Launch Android Apps Via Voice Control Without Any Internet Connection

So far, what we’ve seen with most voice-controlled smartphone apps is that they require internet access to interpret your vocal queries. Once an appropriate match is found, the app launches an action accordingly. Whether it be Siri, Sonalight, Vlingo, Google Voice or any of the various Siri clones (such as Iris, Skyvi et al), all work more or less according to the aforementioned mechanism. However, K&J Software, thinking outside the box, have developed an Android app called Voice Control, which lets you launch apps on your device via voice commands without requiring any internet access whatsoever. Read More

Potential Siri Alternatives For Android [Roundup]

As iPhone 4S users begin utilizing the services of Siri – the latest voice recognition sensation in the world of smartphones – Android developers all across the globe are busy ensuring that the users of said OS are not left out in the cold. The results of these efforts? A brand new voice recognition app (or Siri clone) that hits the Android Market almost twice a week. With such an enormous influx of such apps, one finds it hard to determine which one could possibly be the best option. Although apps like Vlingo and Sonalight Text by Voice do accept voice commands from users to perform a few predefined actions, they cannot be deemed as Siri-like assistants, as they are incapable of indulging in natural conversation or Q&A with the users. We scoured the Android Market and managed to find four potential  Siri alternatives for Android, each with its own unique set of features. Read More

Sonalight Text By Voice: Send, Listen & Reply To SMS via Voice Commands [Android]

The latest voice recognition sensation Siri that has recently been introduced along with iPhone 4S might be the talking point among smartphone users right now, but there’s certainly something for the Android users to cheer about while discussing apps from the same genre for their beloved platform. If you’re familiar with voice recognition apps for Android, then you must’ve come across Vlingo – an Android app that takes voice commands from users, allowing them to control or access various aspects of your device. Sonalight Text by Voice, although not as feature-packed as the aforementioned app or as intelligent as Siri, is another useful Android app that puts Voice Recognition to good use and lets you record, send and repeat outgoing text messages through its own dedicated service. In addition, the app also reads all your incoming text messages and lets you repeat and reply to them without having to touch your device. What’s best about Sonalight is that it’s light-weight, requires minimum configuration. We delve into this handy app after the break. Read More

Say Cheese Camera Lets You Snap Photos Via Voice Commands! [Android]

We won’t lie to you. We’re fond of collecting camera replacement apps. After testing countless such applications on the Android Market, we thought developers had run out of ideas. Well, we were wrong. Say hello to Say Cheese Camera for Android – a free yet comprehensive camera replacement app that, along with a plethora of other handy features, comes packed with the option to snap photos via voice recognition. Other noteworthy features include the option to toggle talk-back (voice confirmation), a Stealth mode for capturing photos, a built-in gallery, batch uploading to Facebook and rainSlides – a Facebook app that lets you convert a group of photos into a slideshow. We delve into these and a few other components of the app after the break. Read More

Hound For Android & iOS – Voice Search For Music

From the developers of the highly acclaimed, immensely popular music recognition app, SoundHound, comes another gem of an application for Android and iOS-sporting music buffs. Hound for Android and iOS is a free (ad-supported), comprehensive online information portal for music. The app lets you speak to search for songs, artists and bands, purchase songs and albums, listen to song previews, browse related YouTube videos, bookmark, share and view detailed information for search results. Said info includes top songs, Wikipedia pages, biographies, albums and tour dates for artists or bands, lyrics and album appearances for songs, and track lists for albums. More after the break. Read More

Firesay Voice Recognition Controls Firefox With Voice In Windows 7

Where voice recognition has grown fairly common in the mobile industry, especially with apps such as Google Voice and Blackberry Voice Recognition, the same still requires sophisticated software and hardware solutions to be just as effective in computers. But Fairsay, an innovative add-on for Firefox changes all this, introducing voice application control to web browsers for the first time ever. Read More