Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skyvi is a better alternative to Siri than Iris

Ss-480-0-1[1]Skyvi is an Android-based Siri alternative that seems to make up several of the answers, but otherwise functions in a similar way. Unfortunately, getting useful information from Iris has been next to impossible for me. Skyvi, on the other hand, is leaps and bounds further along the developmental road at the moment, with Twitter and Facebook integration and an ability to answer most questions I threw at it.
Here are my last few Skyvi questions/requests and answers:
  • How far is Mars? 1.441AU
  • Where is the best Chinese food in Nashville? (it gave me several addresses)
  • Tweet that I love my wife. Twitter shows "that I love my wife"
  • What is the capital of Kansas? Topeka
  • Where am I right now? Nashville, Tennessee
  • How long is Route 66? 60 minutes (it gave the TV show's length)
I've had some issues with a few questions, such as asking for a decent lasagna recipe, and there seems to be a lack of maps or navigation ability, but as a work-in-progress I'd say this is at about two-thirds of what it needs to be to compete with Siri in a very, very short development time.

Img[1]When it doesn't know the answer it tends to get a bit sassy with you, which I believe the developers call "personality." It can't set an alarm on the phone or speak to you either; however, I actually consider that an improvement over Siri and Iris's voices.
The Facebook integration is pretty neat. You can say "read my Facebook" and see a live stream; you're then able to comment on people's posts by speaking. Unfortunately, the speech recognizer sometimes flubs what you want and there's no "delete comment" evident. But you can say something like "read Bob Bob's Facebook" and it will pull up posts only by him, which is quite useful.
All in all it's a fairly nifty little app so far, and until Siri is released in one form or another on Android, if you've got to have it, then I think Skyvi is probably your best free bet.

Download link: Market (web)

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