In a world where voice assistants are changing how we use our smart phones, there are many imitators to the integrated assistants. An integrated voice assistant, like Siri, can create calendar reminders, notes, search for contacts and can complete and entire slew of other functions for users. By giving the voice assistant commands like, “Remind me to feed the dog when I get home,” it will create a reminder for the user without the user having to go into the reminder app. This is what makes a voice assistant on a phone so valuable.
I currently have an iPhone 3GS, which does not have the option of Siri as a function. So, I was excited when I found Voice Assistant for iPhone. I thought it might have the same functionality as Siri, but was sorely disappointed. From the description in iTunes, it makes it sound like the the app would work similarly to Siri. It does not. It has the same functionality as Dragon Dictation. You can speak into the app and then select how to use the text on the screen. I will say that the voice recognition is accurate. I spoke into the app with the TV turned up in the same room and the app recognized it correctly.
Does the app work? Yes. But, is it a good option for those who don’t have Siri. Not really. It is not an assistant. It is a dictation tool.
My advice to anyone who is interested in a good dictation tool, download Dragon Dictation. It is a free app and works very well. Voice Assistant was recently updated (March 28, 2012) to version 1.1 and sells from the iTunes App Store for $0.99. It is currently on sale (75% off). The app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.
UPDATE: Just a few days after I published this review, QuaniticApps, the designer, published an update to the app. On April 13, version 1.2 was released and some of the critisms I gave the app were remedied. As I stated before, it really just seemed like a dictation app that a user similar to Dragon Dictation. With this update, the app became slightly more like Siri. Users can now turn on a “Fast Access” option for the dictated text. Among the options listed are: SMS & iMessage, Email and Twitter. When you select one of the options, the dictated text automatically goes to that option. For example, if I spoke the words, “Please pick up some milk at the store,” into the app and had ‘SMS & iMessage’ selected, once spoken, the text would automatically be copied into a new SMS message.
For those who have a non-Siri capable iPhone, this function makes it worth the $0.99 it currently costs.