BlackBerry’s Personal Assistant is Here To Take On Siri
By Pranav Arora
BlackBerry seriously needs to pull up its sleeves now. The smartphone market is slowly but surely being taken over by the three Silicon Valley giants – Apple, Google and Microsoft. BlackBerry needs to catch up. It needs to aim for the fourth position and give the market competitive alternative.
To achieve this BlackBerry has decided to start with a personal voice assistant. Announced officially on the company’s blog, BlackBerry Assistant (BB Assistant) is the latest new feature that we can expect in the BlackBerry OS 10.3 launch. Taking clues from the top dogs of the game; Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana. BB Assistant is BB’s own little assistant that lives inside your Blackberry smartphone.
In terms of design, it’s uncannily similar to the likes of Cortana and Siri. It appears as a small mic-in-a-cirle that pulsates when you talk to it. Along with it is a basic tile layout for other instructions and information. BlackBerry is going for the formal, business look that they’ve been known for, and it shows.
In BlackBerry’s words “the BB Assistant will keep you organized, informed and productive.” So what can it really do? While BB hasn’t released a full feature list yet, you can expect BB Assistant to do pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the dominant personal assistants. It can call people, send BBM/text messages, set reminders and alarms for you, read out and write emails and check Twitter trends if that’s your thing.
Like Google Now’s latest feature, BB Assistant will be in an ‘always on’ state which means; you can trigger it through a voice command without actually closing the application you’re in. Pretty neat. BB also claims that it’ll get better with multiple usages, by learning your habits and needs.
This is clearly not a new feature by brought out by BlackBerry. They’re not even trying to promote it as new. The other competitors have had quite a bit of a head start. But as an attempt to catch up, BB Assistant is not a bad attempt in any way. Things might get better for BlackBerry. They really need to.