Android Users – Ask and Listen with Iris
I could not understand why my boss was so excited when he saw the video of the iPhone 4S until i saw the video myself. The introduction of Siri with the iPhone 4S has really captured the attention of people worldwide. Using your smartphone as a personal assistant is certainly appealing. Even though this technology is not a new idea since that there has been voice action technology before it that allows user to call contacts and send messages it is by far the best-rounded one. However, Siri however is an iPhone application. So what about Android users? Don’t they deserve a person assistant too?
Well someone surely thought they did – Dexetra. The Android alternative to Siri is known as Iris which if looked at closely is Siri spelt backwards. Iris stands for Intelligent Rival imitation of Siri. Iris and Siri have many functionalities in common. Users need to press on a single button before they start engaging with the application which generates an answer based on a question generated by the user. Some people claim that because Iris was put together in approximately 8 hours it still has a long way to go because certain users claim that it returns multiple wrong answers to a question. The fact is that Iris was designed to provide answers based on questions on history, science, culture, philosophy and general conversation and that the best way to use it is by asking basic questions that you can find the answer on Wikipedia.
Dexetra claims that there is another smarter alternative for Android phones known as Friday which was designed to keep a watchful eye on all events on an Android phone. It logs everything that occurs on the phone from calls to messages to location to battery life. Friday is indeed a handy application that can answer simple questions of actual events that happened with the phone. For example, if you have several appoints booked in your calendar for last week Thursday and you would ask the application where you went last week Thursday it will be able to tell you where you went.
Some people think that Friday and Siri can be combined together to form one super personal assistant. However Iris in itself does have some great features and benefits. It makes calls for you, it text your friends, it browse the Internet, it looks up contacts or it can just answer general questions. However before you can use Iris you need to make sure that your voice commands are clear so that Iris can give you accurate answers. In order for iris to work, Voice Search and TTS library needs to be installed on your phone. Some benefits of Iris is that it is free, it is simple, and it is easy to use and can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace.
Iris is still in its development stage but it is indeed a great new service that is aiming at giving android users the same comfort as Apple users. It is not as smart and as quick as Siri but it is well on its way. For now you can see it as a voice activated search engine instead of as a personal assistant. Iris is perfect for those of you who want to do a Google search but are lazy to type in the clue. Just say the words and Iris will get back to you. Maybe Iris will become as good as Siri maybe not. What do you think? Please feel free to let us know. Leave a comment.