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Overview / Comparison / Review of Voice Control apps (siri for android)

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by SkinJob, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oct 5, 2010
    Comparison of Voice Control Apps for Android

    The story is, I showed my GF "Siri" on my iPhone 4s, and she was impressed. So I challenged myself to see if I could find something similar for her HTC Desire (Gingerbread OS), and spent the last couple of days researching & trying out a whole slew of Voice Control apps**. Following are my raw notes cleaned up a bit, so I hope they are useful to others. Since my GF is French, I had the extra challenge of trying to find something comparable to Siri, that knew French!

    For those without the patience to read to the end, I'll announce the winner right off the bat: The winner is Siri. Sorry, but I could not find any Android voice control app that works better than Siri does on my iPhone. As for the best Android app, read on.

    Let's start with the basics....

    The stock voice engine on Android (Pico TTS) uses a very robotic voice. Some voice control apps actually have very nice voices built in. But any voice control app that relies on the default Pico TTS voice engine will sound crude. So the first thing I did was install "SVOX" voices "Grace" (English US - female) and "Aurellie" (French - female). Much better experience than stock, and you can adjust more aspects of the voices than you can with Pico, to your specific needs.

    Google Voice Search (aka Google Voice Actions):

    This already comes with the OS, and at first, I didn't even consider using it. After seeing a video of what you can do with the older versions of Google Actions (below ICS), which claimed it can do "40 Voice Actions", I had a closer look at GVA. Turns out, the stock voice search is pretty impressive itself! IF you know how to use it! That's the hard part, because about all I could find on this was the same video introducing the program. The entire length and breadth of Google itself, could not cough up a list of exactly what those "40+ Voice Actions" are! All I was able to find was about a dozen voice actions; so maybe they're counting variations of that dozen!

    Languages: English, French, etc.

    Call: You can say "Call Canadian Tire on Wellington" and it will immediately call the number of the store from within the app! However, "Pizza Spot on St Jacques" brings up a Google search with the business. So some, not all searches will give direct results.

    Text: You can say "Send text to Robert. Let's meet at 6 o clock outside the Guggenheim museum". It will show the text and be ready to send the SMS, within the app's own sms client!

    Navigation: "Navigate to (rockefeller plaza)" ...Will call the Google Maps Nav app! Also "Directions to...", "Map of...(art galleries in amsterdam)"

    Notes: "Note to self: pick up some teriyaki for dinner"

    Search: "ie. What's the average speed of a giraffe" brings google search.
    Images: "Pictures of (item)

    Websites: "Go to the NY times" (should get you directly to their site)

    Call: "Call (name) at (home)" "Call 650 555 1234"

    Email: "Send email to [contact name] cc [contact name] bcc [contact name] subject [message subject] body [message].

    For example, say: Send email to Lindsey Smith cc Antonio bcc Joel Subject: This is a test
    Body: Please let me know if you receive this message successfully.
    Body, ex. 2: "Just booked a scuba diving trip to the Kinko's in September - exclamation point" (it inserts the !). Or try "smiley face" for emoticon.

    Speak one line at a time, until email is finished. This way, you don't have to speed dictate.

    Define: (word)

    Alarms: "Set alarm for 8:30 a.m."

    Music: "Listen to... (artist)"

    (n.b. It does NOT work with your music files! Instead, it works with a very limited no. of streaming music apps, like Slacker radio. There is an app that fixes this, no longer availble in the market; reference: "com.bakachu.listento". It should then allow Google Voice to access your music files).

    Conclusion: Keep. It doesn't do a lot, but what it does, it does fairly well.


    Languages: English

    Notes: Uses Google Voice, so you have to be sure it is working in settings.

    Search: "Where is the nearest gas station?" A. "The nearest gas station is at...." (then it gives NOTHING in response!). Fail.

    Call: "Dial Robert at home" . Works perfect. Gives choice of dialers.

    Open: "File Explorer". Perfect

    Email: Won't write an email, only opens the email app!

    Sms: Same deal with email

    Calendar: "Set a meeting for date/time", searches Wolfram for the phrase!

    Music: "Play (track)", sends me to Wolfram again!

    Info: "What is the capital of Norway" .... Response? Wolfram again!

    Define: "What's the definition of (Sundry)", A. "Various"! (tried twice)

    Conclusion: Piss poor emulation of Siri, uninstalled.

    It blows. Did not stay around long on my phone.

    Jeannie (aka "Voice Actions" by Pannous):

    Languages: English, French, etc. (Seems like it may work best in Eng).

    Notes: Perplexingly, this app is in the Play store under two names, Voice Actions and Jeannie, yet both appear to be the same. I tried both apps.
    "Jeannie" is popular, but not sure why. First impressions. Ugly screen (purple mic) that fills up screen. Robotic voice. Constantly listening in background, so you dont press mic button, but it eats up battery. If there's one plus, its that it responds quickly. The more you learn what it does, the better it seems... but still! It does quite a bit actually, more than most such apps. Just doesn't do it gracefully.

    All I saw was a microphone, and no means of getting a command list. So I said "What can you do?", as I am stymied as to how you use it. It responded "Did you know I can open a contact to let you view that contact"? I responded "Who cares"? (as that's not impressive). It responded "Who cares.... a song by George Gershwin, bla bla bla"...


    Hint: "How do I?..."

    Email: Does not offer choice of email address as the last voice app did; it arbitrarily chose one of my two email addresses. French command is "Envoyer un....". But in either language, it only starts the app and expects you to write the email on the keyboard. Will not text to speech it! It even adds its stupid signature to your email, as though it authored it!

    Additional commands:
    Voice email: "use your friends inbox as a message machine"??
    Context email: Say "Email that to (name)" to send your current email to a specific person.

    Text: You can tell it to send a text to a contact, but its not clear if it asks for your confirmation before sending the text! It does not show the text message box!

    Alarm: Works, but kind of useless. "Set an alarm for 9:33pm" Response: "Ok I will set an alarm for 9 hundred, thirty three pm". Again, as with SMS, not sure if its doing ding all here. Shows no alarm clock or any way to confirm if its just blabbing or what. (But it actually did ring at 9:33p. Only a few loud beeps for about 4 seconds, same sound as its timer. Really not long enough to be an alarm! And it is internal, so its not really a clock. You can't snooze or anything. It's more of a reminder. It even says when it rings "Reminder set for 9 hundred 33 pm".

    Tried to set an alarm for 1 minute into future using present date (Nov 26), keeps going to Dec 03. Perhaps alarm too soon? When I tried "tomorrow at 10:20a" it got the alarm right.

    French: You can say "Reveille/Rapelle moi demain matin a 10h45", but it always returns "10h00"!

    Timer: Said "Set timer for 1 minute". It showed no confirmation, but did ring in a minute with a few loud beeps. Useful as a timer, even if it does not show the countdown.

    French: Said "Commence le minuterie pour 3 minutes". It worked but said its couting down from 3 hrs! "Minuterie pour une minute" did work, but rang like in 3 seconds later! (probably due to an earlier command, as it rang again 30s later)

    Find: It is good at finding businesses in a general search; ie. "Trouver moi un banque, bureau de change", but not specific! ie. Won't find the exchange counter "Money Wise". Amazingly, Jeannie understood the name "Jacques Derrida", unlike last app. But the information showed on screen for split second!!

    Photo: You can say "take a photo", it will open the camera app but not click a picture off.

    Images: You can say "paint a forest with trees and rabbits" it shows a couple of photos of trees and rabbits on the screen. Whoop dee doo. You can say "save image" to save the image showing to your sdcard.

    System settings: You can say "remove bluetooth" etc. (Said "turn off wifi" it responded with "wifi disabled". Worked! (Of course, that disables the app and tapping the mic dont do anything cos wifi is off!) You can say "turn brightness to 30%" and it does!

    Navigate: say "Navigate to (place)" for directons (opens Google Maps)

    Tried "C'est quoi le trafic a montreal". it gives an internal local trafifc report of construction obstacles!

    Reminder: say "remind me to (task)" for a reminder. I tried "remind me to buy vinegar." But again, problem of no confirmation! I have no idea what it means by "Okay i will remind you", since it does not specify when it will! Does it register it in a reminder app?

    Video: say "video of snoring cats" for online videos (goes to youtube) or "create a movie" to record video

    Find: say "get me a pizza" or "where is the nearest (pharmacy?)"

    "Where is the nearest exchange counter" gets force close! Second attempt by saying word "currency" uses google locate to find "cash tech counter" in pointe claire! Not that near but....

    Record: Say "record audio" for recorder

    Tried it, brings you to Google Play SVOX page! You must say "record" simply. Then it says "recording audio", and shows word 'recording'... but again, no interface! So how do you stop it, how do you replay audio recordings?? (Turns out you stop it by pressing the "recording..." button on the screen, or maybe saying "stop"). Don't know to play the file.... (Okay, this works: "Play the audio I just recorded"). And indeed, it plays a recording of me typing. Now how to erase?? (Ok, "Erase the recording" worked! Said "recording deleted"). Jeannie could be useful as a voice activated recorder.

    Clipboard: say "copy image" or "paste that" to use clipboard functions

    Music: You can say "Play bridge over troubled water" and it almost does! Unlike some other vc apps that do it instantly, it opens dialog box to let you manually choose either the music player or the BROWSER! Then once you choose player, it searches for the song in the music player, and shows it but does not play it. You have to do that manually! This is what I mean by "not graceful".

    Memory: "say something and ask for it later"? (No idea how this works)

    Search (google): 'Ask for: the distance to the moon" (this works well if it knows the location. Then it responds within the app) or "Google for (item)"

    Search ebay/amazon/etc.

    Definition: say "define (item)" to get wiki entry (Tried "sundry", gave me "sundries"; dried goods definition. Still, works well).

    Games: say "play a game"

    Horoscope: First it insults you by calling you superficial for believing in horoscopes, and asking if you're sure you want this. Then on 2nd attempt, it gives you the horoscope for your sign.

    Spell: (word) works, more or less

    Internet: Say a url to jump to it.
    "Go to appbrain dot com" gave me androidpit website!

    App navigation: say "next" or "previous" to jump to it (not sure how it works, does not seem to be listening when I'm in browser) (n.b. you can set "listen in background" in app)

    Dial: "call james at home" (works well!)

    Translate: "Translate what I just said into (lang)"

    Tried "Translate 'How Do I Say Stinkburger' in French". Gave me "Comment je pue burger". Works!

    Conclusion: "Jeannie" is hard to love. She lacks grace, she takes over your screen, she's not easy to understand. But she's worth keeping for a couple of reasons: she can speak multiple languages, and she goes the extra mile, doing some things most of the others can't.

    Notes: Vlingo does not speak, itself, as other "voice assistant" apps do.

    Strengths: Has excellent speech recognition capabilities, in regards to email writing. No pausing, can do long texts even allowing you to stop for a second or two. Quite unlike Eva, for example. It is fast after you speak a command, unlike Eva and some others. That is quite nice!

    In-car: VLINGO has a LOT of options for In-car use, and should be excellent for this.

    Limitations: Set Timer/Alarm: Vlingo is limited and can not do that. It brings you to Google Search for these commands. It is not a full on assistant. Doesn't do weather either.

    Languages: Eng, Fr. (You set lang. in the app;'s settings as well as voice recognizer settings. The help screen in Vlingo switches to French! It is fairly accurate when writing texts in French! Just a few corrections here and there).


    Send SMS ("Reply to last msg"): AMAZING accuracy, even though I spoke fast to try to trip it! 98% correct!

    French: "Texto a Robert"

    Email: Shows one of my email accounts, but not the other! After you hit send, it then passes to your choice of email app, and you send again.

    French: Does not accept "courriel"! Will do a google search if you try that! Instead:

    "Email a Robert" works. The txt to speech is reasonably accurate. "Vergule" and "point" creates comma & periods!

    Call: "Call robert at home" shows home no. perfect.
    Fr.: "Appel Robert a la mason". perfect.

    Find: "Find restaurants ("Chinese food")

    Find "Chinese Food" just gets you to a google search. Kind of useless ie. "find the nearest grocery store" gets "grocery store" in wikipedia

    Find businesses: ie. "Find grocery"

    "Find Money Wise on St. Jacques". It says it missed the first part of that, but once again, goes to Google Search which the first link is the moneywise on st jacques.

    Search ("Search dating sites..."). Works

    Fr. "Chercher...."

    Update social: (not tested. I don't Facebook)

    Definition: "What is the definition of sundry" gives me the good def of "haphazard, etc.." from within the app. Not a gogle search

    Get answers "Who is the founder of..."

    Trying "who is jacques derrida" or "who is peter belt" gets typical answers of "shock the reader" and "peter beltS", as with other vc apps. Must be Wolfram again!

    Get directions ("Navigate to...")

    Brings me to google maps navigation, which doesn't work inside, etc.

    Fr. "Aller ...."

    Get a taxi

    "Find a taxi", the suggested phrase, gets "pet taxi" on Google. Useless.

    Book a hotel

    google search again

    Buy Movie tickets

    google search again

    Hear incoming msgs

    don't know if tihs works, not tested

    Open apps

    "open file explorer" works perfectly
    Fr. "Ouvrir ..."

    n.b. Most commands on this thing go straight to Google searches??

    Conclusion: Although it does not speak, Vlingo is very useful, cos its good in French and it is the most accurate and fastest of all I've tried yet, regardless of language. Excellent for emails or sms, and can do spoken text in email.

    (n.b. Vlingo is seriously affected by Droidwall firewall, and even though DF is not checked as being blocked, if Droidwall is open and active it can cause vlingo to say "network error").

    AIVC: (Artificial Intelligence Voice Control)
    Language: Currently supports only german/english.

    AIVC has an impress list of COMMANDS:

    Email: "Email (name)"

    When I send email command, shows me a screen with both my addresses, and I can select from which I want to use! Best response!

    Then it asks for subject.

    When it comes to content, it's a bit too quick to finish the text! You have to talk fast, because if you pause too long (1s 2s?) it registers that as the end of the email. Then proceeds to go to your app to send it! So you end up having to write one lengthy paragraph as the entire email. Not like Speaktoit's "Assistant"!

    Navigation: "Where is the nearest gas station"

    It found gas stations on its internal engine, but although in and around the city (and just outside the city), none were too close! A few miles off! I need to ask it for a gas station to get to the gas station!

    Find Business:

    I say "Find currency exchange counter", it asks me to turn on GPS, then hands me to Google Navigation, which searches for driving directions via GPS! Kind of intense, considering it did not even find or name a currency exchange counter! However! I said "Find the nearest Money Wise" and voila, it showed a card on screen (not a map) with the exact Money Wise location nearby! This is best result of all vc apps so far.

    Text: "Text to (name)"

    This seems to function perfectly well, but to avoid charges, i did not send the message. Actually, not sure if it works, as its not obvious how you write the text via voice (you can by keyboard). So not fully confirmed.

    Dial: "Call (name)"

    Works PERFECTLY. It gives you option of which number to choose, and you can choose the no. by voice, unlike some other vc apps! So you can use this in car without touching the phone. It's just at the end of process, android asks to manually choose between which dialer app.

    Calendar: "Schedule a meeting for (day) (time)"

    This is almost perfect and Siri like! It gives a nice calendar notice (with a cancel/confirm button) when you say the above command. But!.... though it understands the day and time and indeed shows it to you on screen, it gets it wrong when it then shows you the schedule for confirmation! (2:20am instead of pm!). Next try, I say it clearer, and it gives me 2:00pm instead of 2:20pm! (Perfectly understanding the subject however).

    Alarm: "Set alarm for (time)"

    Same problem as above with calendar. It understand what you said, but when presented with confirmation, shows the time setting for alarm at the wrong time. However, you can easily adjust it in this screen and there you go!

    Timer: "Timer for (x minutes)"

    Similar problem as with calendar and alarm. It confirms the right time "2 minutes) but starts the countdown timer screen at 18h and 2 minutes! However, it rings in 2 minutes! Timer is internal and beeps a nice timer beep. But no clear way to shut it off! Just poking randomly on the screen seems to eventually do it.

    Calc: "What is (?) + (?)"

    Works great! Like Siri. Ie. "What is 7 times 49 plus 2? A. 345

    Music: "Play (artist/song?)"

    Plays song title perfectly!

    Images: "Show me a picture of (?)"

    Probably out of a combination of fatigue and boredom, I said "show me a picture of a dik". And AIVC said "Ok, here is a picture of a dik" and it showed a dildo in a box!

    Translate: "Translate into (lang) (text)"

    Does perfect translations, and speaks the trans in french!

    Weather: "How's the weather in (city)"

    "How's the weather in (my city) tomorrow" gets "I couldn't find any data for your current location". Not sure if this has to do with location services or what. (Apparently not, as it does know the current location when you ask it that)!

    Search : "Search for (business)"

    "Search for Canadian Tire" caused a force close! twice!

    Apps: "Open (app)"

    Understands the command "open file explorer" perfectly!

    Info: ie.

    "What's the capitol of (city)?"

    A. Oslo perfect!

    "How many songs (videos/contacts/pictures) do I have?"

    A. "801 playable audio files" (instant answer! amazing!)
    A. "3 playable videos" (instant answer! )
    A. "I found 2763 image files" Instant answer! bloody amazing.

    Spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

    A. It spelled it INSTANTLY and PERFECTLY!! Bloody amazing!

    "When was (person) born?"

    A. I tried "When was Jacques Derrida born?". I got "When was Jack get rid a porn"!
    A more known person, Isaac Newton, gave perfect results. (Dec 21, 1642).

    "Show me (city) on the map"

    A. "Show me Oslo" gets a nice pic of the city, and "show me oslo on the map" gets a google map of oslo location.

    - "What's the definition of (word)"

    A. "What is the definition of sundry". AIVC understood the line perfectly, but instead i get "i couldn't find any weather data for your current location"!

    "What is the definition of 'tractatus'"?

    A. Gets me "I do not know what "truck status" is. That is a very original thought". Tried a few other times, no luck. Definition of "Incredible" gave me "incredible hulk!". I finally got an answer on definition of "impaired", which was correct.

    "What is the distance from here to Nayarit,Mexcio"

    Gets me to location settings and turn on the GPS setting prompt, then driving directions! (Which doesn't do anything cos we're indoors).

    Conclusion: Overall, AIVC is quite good! It's speech engine is really the best of all, as it has the most natural female voice. Very Siri like! Even same icon and beep sound as Siri. But!... Gets appointments wrong! It often understands what you said, but processes it wrong, such as creating a wrong reminder timer for wrong date/time. Still, worth keeping cos it looks cool (looks if not functions most like siri), and is easy to understand. If it werent for the few imperfections (alarms etc), it could almost be mistaken for siri!

    Languages: English. Voice is perfect english, non robotic.

    Notes: Sort of Siri-like. Has an ominous space station "eye" button, like Hal. You can tell it to listen constantly, or just when you hit the button each time you respond. Overall, its comprehension of naturally spoken english is excellent, but its stupid in responding (often; "if i only knew"). Not impressive at first, but once you get into it, it's not that bad. Mostly comparable to AIVC, but AIVC has a few more tricks and nicer presentation, while sometimes Omega gave a more appropriate response.

    Timer: Can set timer if you say "set alarm", but it uses internal alarm, which only rings twice for about 5s and not very loud! (more like a timer!). At least it is accurate, and alarm can be set 2 min. in the future.

    "What can you do" gives list of commands.

    Email: "Send an email to robert" shows it understand perfectly the phrase, but responds with "don't know"?? I say "can you write emails", it responds "I can do a lot!" and shows list of commands again. Email is not listed! But sms is.

    SMS: "Send sms to robert" gives "what text shall i send to robert watt". so it works fine. Even though I spoke fast and normal, it understood almost all of the one line sms text. But it does not bring up an internal sms client. No idea how it will send it, if it will require confirmation first?!

    Search: "Find money wise on st jacques" gave "money wise on station", but then it popped up an internal list of local banks and atm branches. Interesting. I say "Where is the nearest gas station?". It pops up a google map of local gas stations... in ****ing Tehran!! Contrast that with Angie, who knows exactly which neighborhood of which city I am in!

    Weather: "What is the weather for tomorrow" goes to google web site and shows my city's weather for the following day and week. Which is not bad as it seems to provide accurate results. "Is it going to rain tomorrow" yields exact same result. Unlike another vc app, (Angie?) which showed different results to both questions.

    Dial: "Dial robert" gets "I don't know". "Call robert" however gets my name, so that's good. But if you dont specify a number, it chooses my mobile. Specifying "at home" chooses home no.

    Agenda: "Sechedule an appointment for date / time" yields interesting results. It asks for subject, then says it will schedule the appoint and brings up an app i'm not familair with?! (appears to be google calendar, since my email address is there). Shows the details of the appt you made. But I specified "7:45" without giving am/pm, it defaulted to am.

    Math: "What is 7 times 49 plus 2? A. 345 Internal answer, just like AIVC

    Music: "play (song)" gets you a box with choice of players, then the player with the song there, then you have to press play to start it. So like some vc apps, not as good as some others.

    Show: Since AIVC was so good at it, I tried "Show me a picture of a dik". It gave a google search of "dick's sporting goods", and other pages with dick in the title. So... not as accurate as AIVC here!

    Translate: "Translate into (lang) (text)" Can't really do translations, liek aivc. Best it came up with, after "Translate into french" was "General Traduire (prounounced it tradwire)". Thus, i t translated the word translate into french!

    Open: "open file explorer" worked perfectly

    Info: ie.

    "What's the capitol of (city)?"

    Uses Wolfram Alpha. So it can find "Oslo" if you ask capital of norway. Uses internal engine, not Google page to show results.

    "How many songs (videos/contacts/[pictures) do I have?"

    Omega, like most, does not know how to do that!

    "Spell (word)"

    Asked it to spell "supercalifragil....". Omega did not spell it, but recited a reference to Mary Poppins, with info about the word.

    "When was (person) born?",

    It easily gave me info on bill clinton.

    "What's the definition of (word)"

    A. def. of sundry: "Haphazard assortme of idfferent kinds". I like this answer better than AIVC's.

    Distance: "What is the distance from here to Nayarit,Mexcio". Does not know, thinks I said "90 rich mexico". Similar to other vc app that thinks I said "Know You're Rich, Mexico". Must be Wolfram engine that hears things that way. Just "mexico" gives good answer. A: 1995km.

    Conclusion: Omega is not bad, really. Not the best, not the worst.

    Strengths: voice listening can be easily turned off/on, so you have some control here. Needs work. Often says "don't know", and "does that make sense'? n.b. Uninstalled, because it was not among the best, and therefore redundant.


    Notes: This is a full screen app, you can't be in another screen while it is active. When "she" gets it right, EVA usually responds with a list that you click on, rather than doing the task automatically. Also, Eva is on the slow side when thinking and responding. Since it talks to you too much, its frustrating to use regularly, because of the time it takes to complete a task.

    EMAIL/SMS: A plus, is that when you are dictating text, it understands "period" and "comma" as punctuation symbols! It allows you to later edit what it registered, via keyboard, to correct errors. For email, It registers my name with *both* email adddresses in the send to bar! You have to manually send the email.

    Writing an SMS is going to be a similar experience but note! Eva does not necessarily ask for confirmation to send SMS! (But you can change this in settings).


    Line: "Set alarm at (time)" or "in (time)". "Cancel all alarms"

    Did work when setting an alarm, set at right time... it uses internal alarm clock, which has ramping beep alarm with vibrator, not bad! Not sure however, if this means Eva, no doubt a power hogger, needs to be active to hear your alarm? This is not what Siri does!

    WEATHER: "What is weather in (city)?"

    Said it could not find weather for my city! Next try: "What is the weather tomorrow" worked perfectly. Knew what city I was in, though i did not specify. And it outputted the results within the app. Also, it spoke the weather forecast.

    SEARCH: "Search (Google) for (?)"

    TIME: "What's the (EST?) time in (city)?"

    LOCATION: "When I get to (or sub for "leave") (location) (opt: before/after (time) ) remind me".

    Music: "play (song title)

    Answered "i did not understand", but it showed the music player, as though it does understand. And the requested track was one of those cued up! Saying "Play Bob Dylan" gets a list of Dylan songs, and asks you to choose which to play! But.... when i named the titles, did not work. I figured out you have to manually pick them off a list, then it adds them to player's queue.

    Navigation: "Where is the nearest gas station"

    Gets you google maps. Unimprssive. But its not a bad response either, as at least its fairly accurate.


    - I can't quit you babe: Can't seem to find a way to quit out of it, other than telling Eva "goodbye". To which she responds" talk to you later". But the @#$! pgm is still in the notification, listed as listening! (Learned you have to say "goodbye").
    - Not sure what "home","work","default" profiles do.
    - Has car mode and numerous settings for such.


    Strengths: Mostly and surprisingly accurate, when reading back your speech, even for multiline emails.

    Weaknesses: Eva seems quite limited, with many inconsistencies, and is slow overall to get actions done, as it requires confirmation. But settings has many many options I don't quite understand. Overall, I found this app mediocre at best. Moreover, the free ver. is only good for 28 days! It's been uninstalled.

    Language: Angie is specifically designed by and for French speakers.


    News: "Donne moi les nouvelles" will bring up a listing of news from Canoe.ca, a local information website, and it will read it aloud from within the app!

    Email: "Envoye un courriel a (name)" does work. But you can't pause for longer than a second, else it cuts off your text and finishes up. Thus making for poor emails with no punctuation or seperate paragraphs. But it does transfer the spoken text to your choice of email client, unlike Jeannie, which only starts the email client.

    SMS: Similar with email, but since an sms is shorter, it may be more appropriate for sms, as it cuts you off if you don't speak fast enough! It almost sends the text without confirming, but since my system requests a choice of sms app, you have to manually choose the app before it will pass the message you spoke and (presumably?) send it without confirmation.

    Weather: Tried "C'est quoi le meteo pour montreal pour cette semaine". It understood the phrase perfectly but kept responding "Je n'ai pas trouver le meteo pour votre ville pour cette semaine". !

    "Est-ce qu'il va pleuvoir demain" did get me a good prediction of weather for my neighborhood! So if you ask Angie the question in the right way, it can be very helpful. e.g. "Qu'elle temps fait-il" gives you a full internal overview of the weather in the neighborhood; does not have to go and search Google for it!

    Alarm: "Reveille moi demain matin a 10h45" yields "a new alarm has been created" (no voice response). What's worrying is where is it created, and why does it say "reveil moi deezer 45" as my text?? And when its being created, you get a brief pop up that says an alarm will be created 18hours and xx minutes from now! That's not 10h45 next morning! So not sure what's happening there.

    Timer: e.g. "Rapelle moi d'acheter du pain" (When I tried this, it said opening your alarm application, in english yes, and said alarm will ring 19 hours xx minutes from now. Though I did not ask for an alarm!! Indeed, it set an alarm called 'dacheter du pain" for 8:00 pm the next day!)

    Translate: Command: "Traduire en (anglais)". Then you can either say text i presume, or wait and press mic again to say text. It does a 'reasonable' job of translating, depending on how clear you are, I guess.

    Search: "Recherche" ou "Cherche" (item) or "recherche (item) sur (wikipedia, google, etc)

    Agenda: seems you can set calendar dates. but... i tried "afficher mes reunions" and it said my android system wasn't high enough (it requires "14", it said I have v."10"??). So, not successful at creating a calendar reminder. "Rappele moi..." creates an alarm only.

    Videos: "Youtube (item)" opens vids on youtube

    Spell: "Comment ecrire le mot (word)"

    Hints: You can say "commencer l'entrainement" and it will guide you through commands, etc and learn from your voice. Also, it has a list of commands next to the mic)

    Conclusion: To get Angie to work, you have to keep pressing the mic button each time, instead of it listening automatically. Overall, it's as mediocre as anything. Its more like a work in progress. It keeps saying "Did I answer it correctly for you" (in french) and expects you to press thumbs up/down, which sends info to the developer. That's another thing I don't like: it's too intrusive. Under normal circumstances, this thing would be gone like yesterday's lunch. But, there are so few choice for voice control email in French, I'm keeping it anway!


    Notes: Quite the contrast to Eva, Skyvi is just a simple 1d mic button screen, with no settings button! Not obvious how you start the dam thing! Seems to be mostly for car mode, particularly reading/sending SMS by voice (can read SMS msgs when they come in).

    In practice, it does not seem to understand squat! Even its basic functions, send text or find place! Can't even get my freakin' name! Ii say "robert", clearly and close to mic, it responds "I didn't find barbecue" (or sometimes, "I didn't find wardrecques"??)!


    Skyvi does not appear to work when Eva is listening! Many initial problems with Skyvi had to do with the firewall. However, once properly connected, Skyvi was not much more impressive! Kept begging for help to "remove ads", and you have to pay for "coins" to remove ads! Which costs real coins to pay for the fake coins! (Which is stupid, since I don't see ads on account of the firewall!).

    Often pressing the mic button gets you zip all. Just a rotating circle. Maybe i didn't buy enough coins to get it to say something? I look in commands help, under the few commands available, it says it can play music. So I say "play music", it answers "I can play music. I can stop music". So I say again "play music", it says "Who would you like me to text?"!. I say "Robert", it says "cancelled"!

    It always kep hearing "Robert" as cancelled! It loves cancelling things. I'm cancelling it!

    Conclusion: Skyvi has been cancelled.

    Assistant SPEAKTOIT:
    Language: English/Spanish only! (for now)

    Timer: It perfectly understands my command, but responds with "this is what i'm going to learn next!" It can't set a timer! But you can tell it to set an alarm for ie. 2 minutes past the time it is currently.

    Alarm: It perfectly set the alarm, but I can't confirm where it set it?! Internal? System app? I say "show alarms" it shows me pictures of alarms on google!

    Find: It worked PERFECTLY when I said "find money wise on st. jacques"! Went to Google, first hit was Money Wise. You can say "Where is the closest (?) store", but in saying "grocery" and "canadian tire", it said it wasn't able to find any. Though there are. It did show a map on google showing my location. Also, it perfectly understood "canadian tire" and "grocery"! It's speech rec. is tops. When I chose "Starbucks" as the business, it had no problem finding the closest Starbucks!

    Weather: You dont have to specify the city, it knows, and immediately gives you the weather in its app in both degrees! Perect.

    Email: Although fast and fairly accurate, it chose only one of my email addresses to send to!

    Music: You can say "Play (song title)" and it will play the exact song you spoke!

    Apps: Could not open File Explorer but can open Root Explorer!

    Other: Can't seem to quit out of the dam program! There is no option in settings, 'kill apps' in MIUI doesn't do it. Assistant even shows in notification bar (if you set it, though) constantly. I tried commands; "goodbye!", "bye!"; and it looked up "goodbye" on amazon! "Quit" is the command that works, but even then, she says 'I'll be on stand by"! (While "listening" on stand by, it takes up battery life!).

    Conclusion: Assistant was impressive from the get go. Go into the help settings, it has a lot of functions. Fluid voice and most accurate yet, though with faults. Does not make you pause and trudge through email writing texts like Eva. You can talk quickly too! Unlike Eva, it is more accurate at a normal speaking pace. And much like Siri, it can do math, and other such tasks, like find pictures on Google of items you describe. Assistant is worth keeping.

    Siri on iPhone

    At some point, it occurred to me that the Android vc apps were good enough, that I needed to compare them to Siri. These are the results:

    Email: Excellent voice recognition, even though I gave it a lot of text to swallow at once, and quick to respond overall. (Email came back instantly, cos it failed the transfer!).

    Navigation: "Where is the nearest gas station"

    Most accurate gas station results, including one .3km away! Nice internal list, no google pages here!

    Find Business: I say "Find currency exchange counter"

    It says "I found 15 currency exchange counters, 10 of them are fairly close to you"! Excellent! Closest was .6km, indeed, but none were "Money Wise", the one I was looking for that is situated a few blocks away! Mostly brokers, banks, insurance co.'s.

    Text: "Text to (name)"

    Again, excellent. Got the recognition100%, even though i spoke at a natural quick pace. All internal, no other apps launched, and quick.

    Call: "Dial J" gave me 'which number', and you specify the number by voice! Better than all the android vc apps tested!

    Open: "Open video" gave me video gallery instantly! "Ambiance" gave me 3 apps with similar names, and asking which i'd like. So much for that article I read that said Siri can not open apps!

    Calendar: "Set meeting for dec 31 at 7:45p". This was so difficult on so many Android apps, yet it ran perfectly on Siri! 100% accurate, and spoken at natural pace!

    Music: "Play downtown la". It said "Ok, Playing 3 Downtown la" and it played the jj cale song! Perfect, and amazing!

    Translate: "Translate into (lang) (text)" Nope! Here siri does not do translations.

    Weather: Asked for weather for Nayarit, Mexico. Gave back "Not your rich, Mexico" (must be wolfram alpha engine again. ) So... much like the android apps, but... it gave me Mexico weather at least, and they did not! I then asked for "province of nayarit in mexico", and it gave me weather for Tepic, Mexico! Which I think is close??

    Find business: "What is the number of moneywise on st jacques". It perfectly understood my text, but then said woudli like to search the web! Every time I say yes, it says "I figured as much" and does not do the search!!

    It perfectly understood "What is the nearest canadian tire store?" and gave me a list of 15 stores in the city, saying 11 are close to me, including one at 2.2km. But the very closest to me was not listed!! Still, better performance than any other vc app yet on android.

    Info: - . "What's the capitol of (city)?",

    A. Gives excellent info on Oslo, but does not speak it.

    - "How many songs (videos/contacts/[pictures) do I have?",

    Siri could not answer it! Well, that's one feature an android app has.

    - "Spell (word)"

    A. Spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

    It responded "The sound of that is something quite atrocious"! But did not spell the word. Second time, I said "spell the word supercali..." and it gave a printout of the spelling of "word"! Still, never spelled the word as some android apps did.

    - "When was (person) born?"

    A. I tried "When was Jacques Derrida born?". I got "When was Jaques Garrido born"! At least it got the first name right as a french name, which no other android app did. It never quite got the name, once thinking i said "Who is 'Chuck give me death' "?!

    - "What's the definition of (sundry)",

    A. Siri gave "haphazard assortment of diffrent kinds". Same response as I believe Omega gave. Wolfram again. Like all the android apps, it could not understand the term "tractatus. "; often reading it as "truck status", etc.

    Languages: Alas, only english, despite having an unobtainable version called "Maluuba International Beta". Also, does not work much at all with Vlingo set as speech engine. Requires Google speech engine.

    Notes: Just when you thought you've heard it all...... this one is no nonsense, no annoying voice or avatar, and has a distinctly Windows Phone 8 look. Which I'm pleased as punch about, since I modded the Desire to look just like Windows Phone 8!

    And Maluuba works fast! And it recognizes (english) voice rather well! No real need to remember commands, as I spoke to it naturally without knowing them, and it worked. It has a nice help interface that tells you what it can do (and it responds to command "what can you do"? with that interface). Morever, it displays timers, calendar, agenda in a list; once set. So you can easily review what you created! No other vc app did this! It also has touch functions within the app, such as a wp8 style music player. Agenda and reminders are diffrent colors in this view, so you can easily tell one from another.


    Alarm: "Set an alarm for tomorrow at 10:30a". No problem, done. Shows on screen the notificiation set in a wp8 format, with a "on" switch, allowing you to turn off. The alarm that rings is the sound of the default alarm tone on the device.

    Timer: "Set a timer for 2 minutes". Again, no problem.

    Find: Finding a business is so easy with this, you don't have to do anything. Local businesses are already listed, accurately, in the app under the proper section!

    Still... "What's the nearest gas station" got the *accurate* results of the very closest stations! Possibly, this was better than siri?! "Find the nearest cdn tire store" got me a list of cdn stores, with the very closest store listed! No other app, including Siri, found that store! Maluuba didn't do so well with "What is the number of money wise on st jacques?".

    Calendar: "Set meeting for dec 31 at 7:45p". Again, this worked amazingly well (though on the 2nd try). It pops up an orange card to show the date, time, etc (defaults as "7:45p - 8:45p"). Moreover, it integrates this with Google Calendar. So your meeting schedule will show up in gmail. You can check the app itself by scrolling to the date, and the reminder will be there.

    Text: "Text to robert" says composing message, shows my contact photo 3 times with all the different numbers, and i get to choose which to send the txt to! No other vc app did this. Can't actually speak the text though, within the app! (Like you can with a few other vc apps). But, you can speak it on the Swiftkey kbd.

    Email: "Email to robert" does the same as txt, it shows BOTH my email addresses, allowing me to choose which to send to! When I tried to speak the entire txt at the same time, it used part of the txt as subject, the rest as the body of msg.

    Call: "Robert at home". Works. Does not call immediately, but shows my contact with proper number, which is prob better, allowing me to click and call. Also passes a custom phone no. not in contact list.

    Open: "Open file explorer" Bit slow, but it worked. "Open video" (eventually) brought me to youtube.

    Math: "What is 7 times 42 + 6:". gave siri like response with many details on the equasion and the correct result of (300)

    Music: "Play 'Free at last' ". It starts up a wp8 style player and immediately plays the Al Green song!

    Translate: You can say "(word (ie. book)) in french" and it shows an internal screen referencing wikipedia, with the entry for "livre". It won't translate entire sentences this way. ie. "The dog is jumping at me in french" gives the wikipedia definition for "jumping"!

    Weather: Asked "What's the weather this week". I think the result is perhaps best i've seen on any such app! Nice blue screen with the proper weather for montreal, for the entire week, clearly laid out. Of course, Like other apps that use wolfram, it hears 'What's the weather for Nayarit' as "What's the weather for Now You're Rich?"!



    megapixle, jj2me and Ron H like this.
  2. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Private Security
    I am sure that many members would be interested in that info as I see a lot of questions pertaining to that subject.

    My question is, what OS version are you using? Google Now is VERY good, but it is only Android 4.1+ and isn't an app, it is part of the OS.
  3. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    As long as you
  4. Creakyknees

    Creakyknees Member

    Jul 30, 2012
    yes please... don't tease... share with ease
  5. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oct 5, 2010
    (CONTINUED FROM ORIGINAL POST ABOVE. Looks like I hit the 50,000 character limit! Do I get a prize? :p)


    - "How many songs do I have"?

    Like most other vc apps, it does not answer this.

    "What is the capital of norway?"

    Gives a response eerily similar to Siri! Similar internal printout with all the stats on norway including a map (pulled from wikipedia), but in wp8 style.

    "Spell the (word) "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".",

    A. It recognizes and spells the word perfectly, but then shows a wikipedia page with the definition of "super".

    "What's the definition of (sundry)",

    A. It gave the same answer as Siri: "a haphazard assortment of diffrent kinds". Same response as I believe Omega gave. Wolfram again. Could not understand " tractatus. "

    Conclusion: Maluuba was the last tested, but has become my fave of the bunch! Not just because it integrates perfectly with my fake Windows phone, but because although it looks the least like Siri, it works the most like Siri. Love the no-nonsense approach; that it doesn't bore you with fake conversation (that gets old real quick). I even like the effort they put into the promotional video commercial on their Play store page. Plus, afaik, it's free! This is what their page said:

    List of features supported in Maluuba International (beta):

    - Google Calendar, Reminders, Alarms
    - Weather, Navigation, Knowledge, Search
    - Call, Text, Email, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare
    - Limited support for concerts and events
    - Limited support for restaurants and businesses (depending on regions supported by Yelp)

    Maluuba helps you schedule appointments, set reminders, check the weather, discover concerts and entertainment events happening, and much more! If you run into any issues with using our app, don't hesitate to send us an email (included right in our settings page)!

    Compare our do engine to Apple Siri, Vlingo, Evi, Speaktoit Assistant, Skyvi, Nuance Dragon Go, Iris, Voice Actions, Andy, Sonalight, Jeannie, Gosms, EVA Intern, TiKL.


    Well, there's no "Siri" in this bunch, other than Siri herself. I don't know if Google Voice Actions on a newer phone works as well/better. The outstanding pick was Maluuba, for her accuracy, usefulness and presentation. My second favorite overall was probably "Assistant", as it was one of the first to truly start to impress. But some voice control apps are better at some things than others. Vlingo is great at voicing emails and texts and probably in-car. Google Voice Actions is good for quick Google searches, and is probably already on your phone. AIVC is the one to pick if you want to impress your friends with a Siri-look alike. Like Siri, it's especially easy to use and is competent enough to be useful. Though I didn't find Jeannie that endearing, it should be said that she has probably the most varied feature list. e.g. She can do some things that would be hard to find in most other such apps, and is multilingual. And Angie is ok for French speakers, but although her results were sometimes spot on, I don't see any reason to keep her otherwise, in the face of this kind of competition.


    I found all these apps more alike than different. I read the newer Google Voice Actions on the newer phones betters Siri. But I am doubtful. They all seem to use the same sources for information anyway; ie. Google, Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia. Siri's speech recognition engine is hard to beat since it's already very good. And none today will give perfect results.

    It's normally said as a "plus" if the app will speak its results. But unless you're using it in a car, or are blind, I don't see that as a plus. It just means longer, more tiring interactions with the app, when you just need to get things done asap. And if you are using it in a car, you're going to have to look at and poke the screen at certain points anyway. And if you're blind, what are you doing using a touch screen phone in the first place?

    (**n.b. For all of these apps, you need an internet connection. I've yet to find a 3rd party voice control app for Android that did not require one).
    jj2me and Ron H like this.
  6. fdbryant3

    fdbryant3 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2011
    I think you should post them, particularly since I feel cheated and mislead into here already :p
  7. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Private Security
    Google Voice is completely different. Google Voice is a voicemail, SMS, and call forwarding service.

    "Google voice actions" is also integrated into Google now, along with voice search, places, weather, etc. Google Now takes a lot of various google services and wraps it up into one great package.
  8. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oct 5, 2010
    Ok, DONE..............

    Utter! Voice Commands (Beta)


    (Please skip reading this if you don't want all the gory details of my initial impressions, and experiences trying to get Utter started).

    First thing: it's asking for root permissions. Unusual for such an app, and I'm not sure why. Got a notification saying "Utter has become self aware".

    I'm in its SETTINGS now, and I see it has "native recognition language". That option allows you to choose from every country going. Haven't seen that one elsewhere. I've read lots of counts of VC apps not recognizing regional dialects of English. I am assuming this is an attempt to correct that, because I'm already assuming the app can't understand other languages than English. It has a lot of other settings you don't normally find elsewhere, so this is an ambitious release. Unfortunately, most don't do anything yet (e.g. Shake to Wake, Wave To Wake, Interaction Level, Wake-up Phrase, etc.) Pressing "Shake To Wake" just makes the phone vibrate, but does not turn the Red X to a green checkmark).

    "Utter!" bills itself as being "different", in that it claims it is "super functional", "fast" and can be activated from the background. All great goals, but not exactly unique. "Vlingo" and Maluuba are super functional and fast, and I believe Assistant and Eva and probably Jeannie can work in the background. Although I've not seen any other that (potentially!) has as many options of waking the voice app as this one does. I like that it comes with a command list in the start screen, so you don't have to guess what commands you need to say to make it work.

    But as far as making it work... well, it's not immediately obvious to a newcomer (who didn't watch the video or anything...) how you actually start the thing. There's an "ON" button and its green, but I'm talkin', and it's not squawkin'. There's a blue "Utter!" icon to the left of that, but pressing it doesn't do anything. Guess it looks like I'm gonna have to click on "user guide" to get this puppy in gear! .....WHICH takes me to a thread on the XDA forum! (Ok, THAT's gotta change!).

    It starts off telling me it has created an icon on my launcher. Great. Except I don't have a launcher, per se. (I'm running a WP7 clone, which has no dock). I don't have "screens", either. It can't create an icon for me anyway, all of my icons are custom. Fortunately, I can create a widget and fortunately again, I did see it in my widget list (that's not always the case).

    Clicking on the icon gives a short vibration, and it says in the notification bar that it's listening. I enter a command to see if it is; "What's the time?". It responds in the notification bar with "Computing". When I hit the start screen widget (you can also activate Utter in the notification bar, or in the case of the Desire, the hardware search button), I get a (female) voice, saying "Can I help you?". And "What's the time" get's the actual time!


    Even though my first command was simply to ask for the time, not a difficult task for any Voice Control app, I was pretty impressed with the way Utter! worked, right off the bat. Because I did not try to speak in a slow cadence, or particularly clearly. I spoke as I would normally speak that request, and the response I got back was quick, and in a pretty natural female voice, with just a slight roboticish tinge. It spoke of the app's potential. True to its copy, Utter! is so meant to be used in the background, it's not at all clear to me right now, how to get back into the app (to check the command list)! Going through it's widget, the notification bar, or the search button, just gets the voice control activated. I had to go back in via the "OPEN" button on the Play store page!


    For a meaningful comparison, I will run Utter through the same tests I ran on most of the other vc apps:


    Q. "Send an email to Robert"

    A. "That command meant nothing to me".

    I actually like this response! No nonsense. RIGHT OFF! (rip). I knew I might be tripping it, because the command in the command list just says "Email (contact)". So this time...

    Q. "Email Robert".

    A. "Please tell me what you want to say to Robert Watt"

    (I told it "Please let me know when you will be coming tomorrow from New York")

    Once Utter registered a too long pause in my dialogue (1-2s), it ended that and asked:

    Q. "And the subject?"

    To which I responded "Hello what's up".

    Then Utter asked me "Do you want to proofred it?"

    I said "yes", and the email client list pops up, allowing me to select which email client I wanted.

    Once in the email client, I saw it had chosen one of the two email addresses in my contact file (but with a comma after it). But it chose the main one I prefer to use, so that was great.

    This is the subject as Utter! wrote it:

    "Hello what's up".

    This is the body of text that it showed me:

    "Please let me know when you will be coming tomorrow from New York"

    I wanted to say more and got cut off, so it's not very long. But in both subject and body, Utter hit the accuracy at 100%! It even put an apostrophe in "what's"! (It could very well have written "watts"!). It adds "Sent by voice from Utter!" as your sig. Pretty cool! Although I haven't done it, I would say this thing is ready to be put to a head-to-head challenge with Siri, for voice-activated email messaging.


    Q. "Text Robert"

    As with email, it asked

    A. "Do you want to proofread it?".

    Brings up choice of SMS clients, but no matter which I pick, the message I spoke isn't passed to the client. I don't know if it works should I say "no" the proofreading option. (I don't want to risk it, because I don't know if Utter warns you before sending an SMS. And I got hit with over $30 in SMS fees from my carrier, just from testing apps recently!).

    Navigation: "Where is the nearest gas station"

    Utter! has a lot of a commands, that it can understand. A LOT. But "Where is", isn't one of them. So I couldn't ask it to find a local business; ie. a currency exchange counter. It will navigate to that business (opening up Google Nav), presuming I knew the location.

    It does however have "SetCPU to +governor". I could see where that could come in handy. If I'm kidnapped by Mexican drug lords, and they've bound my wrists and feet, and my Android phone is in my fanny pack.... I could shake my bum-bum, wake up Utter!, and then she could change the governor setting on my device by remote control, so that it wouldn't risk overheating on a hot Mexican day. Yeah, who needs to know where a gas station is, anyway? It certainly wouldn't help one bit in overclocking my HTC.

    Call: "Robert"

    To which it specifies home/mobile, and you say "Home" and it passes the number to your dialer. So yeah, that's about as good as it gets! (If not as pretty). However, unlike Siri and some of the VC apps I tested, there is no way to ask it to dial a direct no. This shouldn't be too hard to implement in a later version.

    Q. "Skype (contact)"

    I'm not sure Siri can make direct calls through Skype. But I tried this, since I have it, and it does work. The name of my contact is "A.", which it understood once I said "A period". (Only, the call goes to "null" instead of the contact I named; but that may be a technical problem not related to the app).

    Open "File Explorer"

    It had no problem opening the app, and dare I say it, was probably the fastest of them doing it. This trick alone might be worth the memory it consumes remaining active at all times! It could mean no more having to get out of an app and go hunting for apps to open on your phone.

    Calendar: "Set an appointment for Dec 31st at 7:45PM".

    Utter responds "There you go", and shows a written confirmation of the event on the screen (from 7:45p to 8:45p), using the stock calendar app. Nice.

    : "Set an alarm for 8:45"

    This is where I ran into some of Utter's limitations. Realizing that it's still rigid when it comes to understanding natural language. It responds more to set commands, and if you stray too far from what it knows.... it tells you it couldn't decipher the command. Now in the command list, it says you set an alarm in hours and minutes. So I didn't like having to think how many hours ahead do I want to wake up or be reminded of something? But ok, I spoke in the language I thought it wanted to hear:

    "Set an alarm for 12 hours and 10 minutes"

    Which got me a confirmation in a small box upper left of the screen that showed a text version of what I spoke. But then another smaller box at the bottom of the screen said it didn't understand that?! I then realized the larger box can be pulled open to reveal a list of what I might have said, repeated a dozen times. You can press on each one but it doesn't do anything. In such cases, you really have to be precise to get the right response:

    "Set an alarm in 12 hours and 10 minutes"

    That got "Ok, it's done". But how to confirm? It did not bring up the stock alarm app, so I'm not sure where it is set, as there is no "Show alarms" command. (Hint to self: it's in the stock alarm app)

    Notes: "New note"

    This could prove to be very useful, taking voice dictation. I'm not sure what other voice apps will pass your speech to a note app. But it appears to require "Evernote" app to work, with either "voice note" or "note" commands.

    Music: "Play knockin' on heaven's door".

    Now, that's a song title. I didn't even try to be clear or slow. It said "Playing closest match" (if you don't have the song, it will play whatever sounds closest to what you said!). But it got the song right and played it directly in the stock player.

    Translate to French: "The rain in spain falls mainly on the plane".

    I got a quick vocal response, but I couldn't make out a word of what was said. It sounded like some alien language I'm unfamiliar with. Then again, I was on Pico TTS at this point, so that might not help. Still, kudos for trying. Siri (on the 4s) can't even go that far. Would have been nice to see support of a text printout of the translation.

    Weather: "What's the weather tomorrow?"

    A. "Outside it's 1 degrees centigrade. That's 31 degrees Farenheit. And clear.

    Again, quick, sharp responses. But "Utter!" is very vocal oriented, and goes without the pretty visuals and in-depth reports (on weather, etc.) you get from, say, Maluuba or Siri. Asking for the weather tomorrow or this week will get you the same response (the weather of today).

    n.b. Like all other vc programs I tested, it can't understand the province of "Nayarit" in Mexico. (Damn good thing I don't live there, is all i can say). But at least it was different in its wrongful guesses ("Norwich Mexico, Night Rich Mexico, 9 Rich Mexico, Nitric Mexico"). So they weren't kidding when they said it was different from Siri and other Siri clones. I take that to imply it's not searching Wolfram Alpha for these answers.


    Q. "What's the capitol of Norway"?

    A. "That command meant nothing to me, I'm afraid".

    (Mind you, it printed the command in the on-screen dialog box, showing it understood what I said. Tapping the selection in that box yields nothing).

    Again, Utter! is showing its tendency to be inflexible in your interactions with it. You can't just ask it anything your mind comes up with, as you might do with a more "Assistant-oriented" app. But... if we try "Search (Google) for the capitol of Norway", we get a Google page with a map of Oslo on it. It's kind of like going into town on a donkey trudging over rocky cliffs, while your friend named "Siri" goes there in a red Porsche with two hot chicks riding shotgun. But.. .you both still end up in the same place, more or less.

    "Spell (word)"

    Q. Spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

    A. "Really sorry, but I didn't understand that request".

    Now, here I was trying to trip up the engine, and said the word real fast. Yeah, like a smartass. So I'm not surprised it didn't respond in the positive. But I am surprised that it spelled the word perfectly anyway, if you looked at the confirmation clipboard! (which had multiple variations of the spelling, and no. 2 was correct). This scenario was repeated exactly the same way, when I asked it to spell "heterogeneous".

    Q. "When was Bill Clinton born?"

    A. "Sorry, but I don't think I heard you on that command".

    Yet here again, it printed exactly what I said to its clipboard! So it did hear me.

    Utter! has a lot of commands (some of which NO other vc app has... or perhaps wants to have?). But its responses seem limited to those commands. Obviously, "when was" is not one of them, so I couldn't make a comparison here. You can come close by saying

    Q. "Search Google for Jacques Derrida".

    To which it responds "Searching Google for shock give me to..."..... (The first Google hit is "Why does my car door give me electric shocks?" That's GOT to be more interesting than deconstructionism any day...).

    Q. "Define (word) "sundry".

    A. "Sorry, but this feature is currently disabled. "

    I guess that's why they're calling it a 'beta'. But, it did understand the phrase correctly, as shown in the clipboard.

    Conclusion: Though I wouldn't list it as my favorite (because for one, there's some important things it can't do), "Utter!" is a very promising voice control app. It seems to be oriented towards Android geeks. (ie. Judging by the "take a screenshot", "reboot bootloader", "run tasker" commands...). It does many things other such apps don't even think of, some of which can even be useful to some. For example, you can toggle wifi or bluetooth by voice, ask it where your car is, browse files by voice, read the clipboard, change the volume, translate phrases to various languages, check your battery stats and probably change more system settings than you knew you had.

    It has a ways to go, before it's suited and ready for work. I think those who like Jeannie would probably like Utter! a lot too. It goes where Jeannie fears to tread... (right into your root files...). :rolleyes:

    Strengths: Runs in the background, can be activated a variety of ways, including a hardware button. This alone turns it from a party novelty to something that, potentially anyway, can be used to change the way you interact with your phone, and make things a lot more productive. Assuming you always have an internet connection going.

    Weaknesses: Although you can speak to it at a fluid pace, it's not big on artificial intelligence. Skewing more towards having the capability to do many things that can be triggered in few ways, rather than a few things that can be accomplished in a larger variety of ways.

    Addendum: After a little more fooling around with Utter, I came to realize the "Shake to Wake" does function correctly, even though the red x did not immediately turn to a checkmark. Not even sure how the "Wave to Wake" works yet, but it did say "enabled"....
    jae_63 and hstroph like this.
  9. hstroph

    hstroph Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    I would've enjoyed hearing about your assessment of Utter! from the Play Store (currently free) ... the reviews are generally great.
  10. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Private Security
    Google Now voice controls don't need a data connection. Any voice to text can be done on Android 4.1+ without a data connection :thumbup:
  11. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oct 5, 2010
    Hadn't heard of this one, and although few, the reviews are great. So see mine above!
    hstroph likes this.
  12. Ron H

    Ron H Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2010
    Thanks so much for all your thorough work; I think we all appreciate it.

    I have one question for you: In your review of Google Voice Search, you wrote "Notes: "Note to self: pick up some teriyaki for dinner" "

    Where would I find the results of the note?
  13. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Private Security
    When you use "note to self" it goes to your Gmail I believe. Never actually used it myself though.
  14. hstroph

    hstroph Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    If he had had a smiley with the question, I would've thought Rob H. was looking for the teriyaki.
  15. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oct 5, 2010

    Good question. That instruction I took directly from the Google video demonstrating their Voice Actions app. So I tried it just now, and it says "Send". It's not actually taking a note! Couple of seconds later, I get a notification in my email box (the one registered on the phone) about the Teriyaki dinner note I just created. So, it's really "email to self". :D
    Ron H likes this.
  16. Ron H

    Ron H Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2010
    On my S3, it does go to Gmail, but sends no notification to the Notification Bar (as does a Gmail sent be someone else)
  17. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator

    Sep 5, 2012
    Civil Engineer
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    This is some really good information, i was looking into a Voice Assistant and i came across this thread, thanks so much!

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