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.
First of all, don’t be too disappointed by the app’s interface, as the developer of Ask Ziggy has promised that a new version of the app will soon be rolled out, having major interface improvements. Interface problems apart, the app works just fine even in its current version. After firing up the app, you just have to tap the Ask Ziggy button on its home page, and once it starts listening, you can ask away any question. For many questions, the app has answers of its own, but even if it has no idea what you are talking about, it will take you to the query’s Bing search results. A lot of questions have been tried so far on Ziggy, and even a simple Hello gets a response.
However, Ask Ziggy is an app which is not just for fun. It can be used to accomplish some useful tasks as well. Go to the app’s About section to discover its complete functionality. In addition to just having a light conversation with you, Ziggy can also do the stuff TellMe does. This includes sending texts, making phone calls and even dispatching emails. Ask Ziggy goes beyond the normal TellMe functions, and you can use it to find places and get directions to a few pre-specified genres of destinations as well, like markets and restaurants. Weather and stock prices can also be viewed by just saying the word. Ziggy updates Twitter and Facebook status messages of its users if you say, “Update”, followed by the message.
Ask Ziggy does not come with a lot of setup steps, or configurable settings. The only option found in the Settings menu of the app allows you to choose the gender of Ziggy’s voice (Bloke or Sheila). On the whole, the app looks really promising, and it can be hoped that this will become a huge hit once it leaves its alpha testing phase.