Thursday, 8 March 2012

Robin vs. Siri

Siri, the inbuilt voice command app for the iPhone, is a personable digital guide that has a pretty comprehensive list of voice command features. Siri, which received mixed reviews, is also able to control phone functions for you, as well as search for local businesses and perform research in search engines. Of course, it bears the Apple hallmarks of user-friendliness and personality.

So why the mixed reviews? There isn’t too much that Siri does, that cannot be achieved by other, older voice command apps. Perhaps it was the unrealistic hype. Voice commands are hardly the only, or main, criteria that people use when deciding what Smartphone to purchase, but they are a significant one. Let’s compare a recently released Android app, Robin, to Apple’s Siri.

Robin, a recently released (Mar 7th) App, is still in its beta phase, but is already making headlines. Robin is designed to be utilised in your car as a ‘voice assistant’, like having a secretary in the passenger’s seat guiding you.

Robin can find you locations, direct you, and provide, traffic, parking and weather updates, among other features. The difference is that Robin retains a ‘memory’ of your recent search terms, enabling you to ask adumbrating questions about the topic at hand without re-phrasing the question from scratch. You could ask for directions to a restaurant, and then ask about the traffic situation en route, for example.

If Robin retains and enhances Siri’s ability to organise your day from the home or office, its vehicular functionality could give it an advantage. Of course, it will be hard-pressed to match Siri for user-friendliness. It will be interesting to see what new features voice command apps will provide in the next few years, with inevitable updates and new versions.

Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at: 

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