Siri was one of the most talked-about features after the iPhone 4S was announced last week.
Siri is a voice-activated virtual assistant. Siri responds to spoken queries by serving up information from the iPhone’s built-in apps, and it can read incoming messages in a computerized female voice. Users can also dictate text messages and email messages to Siri. It will also be able to answer just about anything you ask it, from the weather report to nearby points of interest.
There’s only one drawback to Siri: It is only available on the iPhone 4S. And Siri Assistant-the app on which Siri is based (and which Apple acquired last year)-has already disappeared from the App Store; the app will stop working on October 15, so even existing Siri Assistant users won’t be able to continue using it.
However, not to worry, iPhone 4 and 3GS owners-you needn’t miss out on the voice-control fun. Here’s five alternatives to Siri that are worth checking out:
- Dragon Go- just say what it is you’re looking for, and Dragon Go will search hundreds of content providers to deliver the best answers to match the query. It can also help call a taxi, look up good restaurants nearby, and stream movies.
- Google Search- allows voice commands to conduct a search. In addition to straightforward searches, the app also uses location to help find movie times, local restaurants, and more.
- Vlingo- using voice commands, users can dictate an email, text message, tweet or Facebook status, make a call, locate a place, or search the web.
- Voice Camera Pro- For $2, it uses voice commands to launch the app’s camera, take a picture, view your photo library, and share photos.
- Voice Control- iPhone 4 or 3GS already comes with some voice-recognition functionality. Voice Control can list artist names, shuffle playlists, skip tracks, or play music similar to the current song playing-accessed most easily by holding down the Home button on your device-is quite suitable for their needs.