Siri might be responsible for creating all the hype for personal assistants having speech recognition capabilities, but there are services and apps that adopted the concept long before Apple introduced Siri. Speaktoit Assistant is one such service that is among the pioneers of talking personal assistants. Since the Assistant app has had more time to evolve and learn, it is much better than Siri in many regards. The app has been around for iOS and Android for quite a while, and after the two bigger smartphone platforms, Windows Phone has become the third one to receive the app. Assistant for WP7 has got all the features that made it popular on iOS and Android. You can use the app as your day planner, newsreader, music and video player, web browser, or just a buddy you can have a light chat with every once in a while.
The app‘s layout is quite different from similar apps in the same genre. Rather than just displaying questions and answers on the home screen, the Assistant app shows an Avatar there as well. You can change the appearance of this avatar in any way you want. To do that, go to the Settings menu of the app and hit the Custom Avatar section, where you will be able to change the appearance, gender, clothes and other aspects of your avatar. Once you think your assistant looks pretty (or handsome) enough, the next step is to get to know it better. You can do that by asking Assistant questions about Speaktoit and the app’s working. The avatar is named Sam (the name can be changed simply by making a verbal request), and supports two modes of input; text and speech. To use the speech input mode, hit the mic icon located at the center of the bottom bar, and say anything. Hit the Done button when you have finished speaking. By typing anything in the text box and hitting the enter key, the text input mode can be employed.
So, what exactly can Speaktoit Assistant be used for? In a nutshell, the app can do just about anything that can be done on your phone manually. Here is a list of all the Skills that Assistant has got.
- Talk: Just use Assistant to make light conversation on general topics.
- Find: The app has the potential to act like a complete search engine, and look for images, webpages and just about anything else you can ever want.
- Navigate: Get directions to any place.
- Call: You can say any contact’s name or number, and Assistant will place the call.
- Send: Use the app to send text messages and emails to anyone.
- Updates: Assistant can be used to post Twitter and Facebook updates with ease.
- Play: Even if an item is not in your phone’s own music library, the Speaktoit app will provide you with YouTube results for it, and that too within the app.
- Tell about: This skill acts like a place finder for you, and you can use it to find notable places and people near you.
- Read: This skill is all about the app’s news reading abilities.
- Organize: Manage your calendars (only Google Calendars are supported), alarms, schedules and other similar data with simple voice commands.
- Open: Navigate your way to websites.
- Translate: Speaktoit only supports translation from English to different languages, but that should prove to be enough for most users.
- Calculate: As the spectacles in our screenshot can probably tell you, Assistant is quite the nerd. It can do mathematical calculations with ease, and covert units and currencies as well.
- Check in: Dedicated to just Foursquare.
Speaktoit was released as a $0.99 download originally, but it has recently gone free for the first 10,000 downloads. So hurry up, and grab the app right now from the Marketplace link given below.