Siri Alternatives For Android And iPhone

Image via CrunchBase

Everyone is talking about Siri on the iPhone 4S. For some, the virtual voice assistant is the number-one reason why many chose to upgrade to the newest Apple smartphone.

Virtual assistants that can get things done and can understand natural speech are not limited to the iPhone 4S, however: There is a solid selection of third-party apps for both Android and iOS that can accomplish much of what Siri can (though obviously not with the same level of ground-floor integration into the system as Siri).

If you’re finding your iPhone’s Voice Control or your Android’s Voice Actions lacking for whatever reason, check out these Siri alternatives:

  • Vlingo (Android and iOS, Free) - ”Looking for Siri-like functionality on your Android device?” asks the product description for Vlingoin the Android Market. “Look no further.”Vlingo, actually available on both Android and iOS, does not understand natural language like Siri does; the list of accepted commands that you can use with Vlingo appears on the app’s home screen. Vlingo still has a good amount of functionality, included some actions that Siri still cannot do: It can (again, per the Android Market description) send texts and emails, voice dial, search the web, find local businesses, get directions, update Facebook and Twitter, check in to Foursquare and launch apps. It has also added a very cool (beta) InCar edition for totally hands-free voice command when you’re driving. Neat stuff.

    Speaking of neat, Vlingo can also be chosen as the default Voice Input within the settings of your Android phone for direct access when touching the microphone key on the keyboard.

  • Iris (Android, Free, Beta) - Spoiler alert: Iris is Siri backwards, and Apple’s Siri inspired the developers at Dexetra to build a natural speech recognition assistant for Android.The first edition took them 8 hours to build, according to TechCrunch, and it premiered in the Android Market on October 18. As of now, Iris can’t actually complete any actions on the phone like Vlingo can, but it does respond quite well to your questions, both fact-based (conversions, history facts, Wikipedia knowledge) and also those funny personal questions (When I asked if it wanted some chocolate, it replied “No, chocolate makes me fat”).

    Though for now, it is somewhat of a curiosity, it’s an Android app to keep an eye on. Read more about it at TechCrunch, and get ready to show it off to your iPhone 4S-toting friends and brag about how it was built in less than a day.

  • Speaktoit (Android, Free) - Speaktoit is similar to Vlingo, in that it can perform a number of actions on your Android phone: opening apps, updating Facebook and Twitter, getting directions and local weather, etc. Where it is different is that it attempts to understand natural language like Siri does; it does so with mixed success. The app is still in beta, and, honestly, it acts like an app in beta. It had trouble picking up my location and carrying out my requests, where Vlingo did not.Speaktoit is an app to watch out for, however, as its combination of natural speech recognition, conversational tone and effort to perform functions both within and outside of the phone make it what is probably the closest match to Siri’s skill set on Android.

    Also of note: The default is to talk to an animated avatar, which you have the option of customizing. If you don’t like the idea of talking to a cartoon, you can change the avatar to a regular microphone.

  • Dragon Go! (iOS, Free) - A free app for iPhone, Dragon Go! offers an impressive range of voice-activated features for those who aren’t quite ready to upgrade to the iPhone 4S. Dragon Go! responds to a wide range of commands and can download apps, search for books, find local businesses and upcoming events, get directions, scores and local weather and launch a few designated apps. It also features integration with dozens of websites, so that you can search your favorites for content (Example: “Search Huffington Post for Jason Gilbert” worked fine, just fine).The main interface of Dragon Go! (above) displays different results sorted by website and app: It’s very clean and very user-friendly.

    Dragon Go! lacks the ability to write texts or update your social networks like you’ll find on Vlingo (for that, you’ll need the excellent Dragon Dictation), but it boasts a wonderful ability to search for a ton of different stuff on the web using voice commands. It’s worth a look.

  • Voice Actions ($4.99, iOS) - Sort of a poor man’s Siri, Voice Actions is an app for the iPhone that can do most of what Siri can, but without the flair, without the nice interface and without the same success. In our trials, it was able to send text messages and emails; answer questions (both factual and conversational); play music in the iPodby artist; launch the browser and search Google and Wolfram Alpha; get directions; set reminders; translate speech to French; and call a contact. Some of it is pretty slow-going, and it doesn’t integrate with the entire system the way that Siri or Vlingo do. Also, it is VERY sensitive to background noise, and there is no intuitive way to turn the microphone off.It will be interesting to see if, in the future, Voice Actions can bring itself in to the overall system in a more meaningful way to justify that $5 price tag a bit, especially with equally robust free options on the market. Right now it’s a curiosity with a pretty lackluster interface but lots of features; it can do more.
Source :-
  • Siri, are you a security hole? And have you met Iris, your Android sister? (
  • Vlingo enjoys a Siri boost: voice actions up 50 percent (

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