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March 26, 2012

Siri alternatives for Android

You all know about Siri — the cool iPhone 4S feature which acts as a virtual assistant and responds to voice queries? And you want to do the same on Android but don't know how to?

While Siri is unlikely to be ever ported to Android, there are various alternatives which try to mimic Siri, with some of them very powerful. The major feature that they lack currently is the integration with the Android OS, which will hopefully come as the apps mature.

All of these apps require Google's voice recognition system to function, for which an Internet connection is required, so none of them work offline.

Some of the major Siri alternatives for android include:

Evi (free for Android, $0.99 for IOS): Available on both Android and IOS (yes IOS!). Verge reported that Apple is working with True Knowledge to change the UI, so that the consumer does not mistake it to be Siri.Features include:
  • Voice or Text input
  • Local information for UK and the US
  • Built in browser - but no integration with Android or other browsers
  • Probably more accurate on IOS as it uses Nuance Speech recognition engine, which it does not on Android 
  • Summarises key info which is good... but sometimes not very accurate. For ex. asking about Arsenal fan club took me to a page with summary of Arsenal, which is not to bad except that a lot of info was wrong. For ex. William Gallas was listed as the captain.

Iris (free): A well known Siri alternative, currently at the alpha testing stage. Features include:
  • Only voice input
  • Integration with ChaCha database
  • Funny, but needs to work on accuracy
  • Adding lots of features, hopefully will become quite good once it enters “beta” or “release” stage
Check the app review at Eyes4Tech and The Review Preview, and here’s the link to the official website

Speaktoit Assistant (free): Potentially the best overall Siri alternative currently for android. Features include:
  • Both text and voice input
  • Nice overall touches, for ex. Ask for hotels near a specific place takes to a Google map with the hotels marked
  • Nice touches including avatar customization
  • Very rich set of features including opening of apps, note taking for reminders, translating, email handling etc
  • Potential to be very good; already functional beta version
Overall, I liked Speaktoit Assistant the most. Here is a detailed review at Eyes4Tech.

Skyvi (free): Another good Siri alternative. Features include:
  • Posting on Twitter and Facebook
  • Call, text, SMS
  • Local features including weather and time
  • Fun and witty chats with the  assistant

Google Majel (likely to be bundled with Android): Expected to launch sometimes "early 2012" and is named after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the actress and wife of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek. If it is even half as good as what Star Trek was, it will beat Siri hands down.

According to an article by Fast Company Majel will be tightly integrated with Android but functionality could suffer if it is limited to Google services.

Other Siri alternatives include Alice(free), Vlingo (free) and Dragon Go (Free).

Remember that most of these apps (like Siri) are at an initial stage of development and hence some features are absent, some just don't work and especially for non-American getting relevant local results is a problem.

With that in mind, If I have to recommend only one Siri alternative, I will strongly recommend to try Speaktoit Assistant. But, depending upon the location, some apps will be better than others. As all the apps mentioned above are free, I will strongly recommend you to try all of them and then select one which you are most comfortable with and gives you the features you require. We will do a detailed review when these apps mature, but for now, enjoy all of them!


  1. Heard about Siri before, it's pretty cool technology

  2. I don't know about siri alternatives but the app for is pretty cool.