By: Amanda Reichert
One of the most common phone assistants in the world is Apple’s Siri, equipped with every Apple device sold. However, not everyone one owns an Apple device, or may not like Siri. Here are some other options for digital, voice activated assistants that can help you the way Siri does, but maybe even better.
The most well-known option is most likely Cortana from Windows. Cortana comes with any Windows 10 computer, which you can link to your phone. All you have to do is find the Cortana app in the Google Play Store or the Apple Store, log into your Microsoft account if you have one or make a new account. Windows phones come with Cortana pre-installed. Cortana acts much like Siri. Voice activated and responsive, Cortana can tell you the weather, what your day holds, set timers, or even make a to-do list for you. The best part is that it can link to your Windows 10 computer if you wish, creating a seamless flow between mobile and computer. However, Cortana can be based solely on your phone.
Cortana might sound great and is everything an assistant app should be, but it has some difficulties. That is where Google Now stole the show. Cortana seems to have issues fully linking between phone and computer, and some people can’t even log into their account at all on their mobile device. Google Now is directly on most Android phones and is on your home-screen. It also can be downloaded for Apple devices. You can tap the microphone or say “Ok Google” and Google opens to your command. You can ask it questions, to which it will research the answer, start timers, and many other things Siri and Cortana can also do. However, Google Now is smarter than Siri and Cortana. Google Now learns what you like to ask about, and can sometimes offer information it thinks you might want. Of course, that option can be turned off.
Finally, an underdog in terms of assistance is SoundHound’s Hound app. Not many have heard of it, with only 500 thousand downloads, compared to Cortana’s over 1 million. Hound can be found in the Google Play Store or the Apple Store and downloaded for free. It works like Cortana and Google Now but appears to be more efficient and correct with speech recognition. You don’t have to speak slowly like you do with other voice applications, and it can accurately register what you say. It can play your music, search the web, find videos, give you a game to play, and of course, book an Uber driver. Hound, at this time, is an underrated voice application that could be easier and better to use than the other three assistants in this article. No signup is required, and the app is ready to go when you are.
Whether you like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, or even Hound, there is an assistant for everyone out there. Voice-based apps are become increasingly popular, as we can see with devices such as the Amazon Echo selling out in the millions. All of these options are available for people to use for free. Everyone has their favorite, but what is yours? Is it the convenient and witty Siri? The kind and sometimes disagreeable Cortana? Google Now and its home-screen availability and ease of use? Or have you tried the Hound’s easy to navigate the app, complete with an Uber-driver booking system? Whatever you decide is your favorite, voice assistants are the future, and you better get one now!