1. somerussianguy's Avatar
    A couple of months ago I did a detailed comparison for my blog between the 3 apps. I used the same phrases to see how well each app handles the inquiry. Since the original post is pretty long, I'll post just a few inquiries here.

    I would love to hear any kind of feedback, recommendations for other voice apps, and some features I might have missed.

    Original at: WorldGoesBoom.com

    (UPDATE)

    AIVC stands for Artificial Intelligent Voice Control. A popular voice-assistant app on Android with lots of functionality. The icon and sounds in AIVC are a pretty much a direct rip-off of Siri.

    Assistant has the most generic name out of the bunch. The full name is actually Speaktoit Assistant, but since the actual app is called Assistant, that's what I'll use. Assistant also has the creepiest interface out of the bunch (thankfully it can be changed). It is, however, one of the most popular third-party voice assistants on Android.

    Dragon Go, although not as popular as some other virtual/voice-assistant apps on Android, it was developed by Nuance Communications, the same company that "partnered" with Apple to work on Siri.

    Evi is less popular than other voice assistants and doesn't really have the best ratings on the Google Play Store. But still worth a shot.

    Google's native built-in voice-actions. It was there from the beginning and it improves with every version of Android.

    iris is siri backwards! Get it?! How original and creative! Despite the lazy name it's actually a pretty popular voice assistant app on Android.

    Jeannie (friend of Siri), another lazy-named voice-assistant. Supposedly it's better than Siri. But since I don't have an iPhone I can't say. Let's see how it is compared to other lazy-named voice assistants.

    S-Voice, introduced on the new Galaxy S3, is a direct rip-off competitor to iPhone's Siri. The UI is virtually the same, the functionality, the talk-back feature with a robotic female voice, even the icon is almost identical. The S-Voice app in this comparison is from the Touchwiz UX addon for the Galaxy Nexus. So if the app acts up, it might be an issue with the ported version of the app, not the official one on the Galaxy S3!

    Skyvi yet another app with a lazy name. Can't these developers be creative with their app names? It's supposedly "the #1 Voice App on Android". Not sure about that, but it's definitely worth comparing.

    Vlingo is one of the most popular virtual-assistant apps on Android. It's a cross-platform app, available on Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Symbian.


    Search & web

    Basic search and web browsing.

    "Go to ign.com"


    AIVC
    Well, this app did not quite get that I wanted to visit that site - no results. Second attempt gave me a response of "I've been waiting for you". OK...what the hell does that have to do with IGN? Another attempt gave me "That is a very original thought". I tried "visit ign.com" instead - another smartass response. Well, I tried. Next!

    Assistant
    First try ended in an app search for "ign call", which it did not find. So it prompted me to search the Play Store. I said no, so it went back to voice search. Second and third tries loaded the site in the built-in window. Saying just the site name resulted in a "I'm not sure what you mean" response.

    Dragon Go
    First and every attempt actually went right to the site, no matter if I said that actual phrase or simply the site name (ign.com); although it did use the built-in browser window.

    Evi
    Well it took its time but gave me the result. Almost. I still had to click on the link though. Simply saying the site name, gave me absolutely nothing.

    Google
    First couple of attempts loaded the site in the browser. However, they were much slower to load compared to Dragon Go. Third time I simply said the site name and it didn't go to the actual site but searched for it instead.

    iris
    It understood me but responded with "Thanks for that web address". You're welcome, now how about actually going to the damn site?! Last attempt - same thing! Next!

    Jeannie
    Loaded the site in a few seconds. Saying just the site name also loads it pretty fast.

    S-Voice
    Well the first result ended up "Going to go". So it went. To go.com. Second try I simply said the name of the site and even though it understood me, it couldn't figure out that I wanted to visit the site. So it presented me with a list of all my apps. Third time, the same as before.

    Skyvi
    First try it told me "Thanks for that web address". Of course it's too stupid to figure out that I wanted to visit the site. Second try, same thing except it also added "Now update your Facebook. Say: Update Facebook". I didn't say anything about Facebook! Also, after it says that or something about texting or calling someone, it waits for you to say something. Even if I didn't ask to call or text or update Facebook, it'll assume that you did!

    Vlingo
    First try got me a google search for "go to ign.com". Second and third time Vlingo told me "application not installed"...what application?! Finally saying ign.com got me an actual site in the search. It's a start, I guess.

    Conclusion
    I'd say this round goes to Dragon Go. It loaded the site quicker than any other app, even though it used a built-in window to display it.


    "Search for Android icons"


    AIVC
    It understands but takes a while for it to process it before actually searching.

    Assistant
    Again I got perfect results in about 2 seconds. Adding "on XDA" got me "x t 8" instead. Close enough, I guess. A search for round Android icons again got me perfect results, fast. I'm actually surprised how fast this thing searches.

    Dragon Go
    Take one, it got the phrase right but it searched in Amazon by default. Second try I used "Google android icons", Dragon Go again searched Amazon by default. Third attempt - same thing. Two more times I've added "search for android icons on XDA" & "search for round android icons". Both times Dragon Go understood me but it searched Yelp by default.

    Evi
    Well it gave a site called anroidicons.com, which is not really what I asked for. Second time, same result. Third time searching for "round android icons" gave the same exact result as the previous two.

    Google
    First try got me the correct results. Second try, same result. Third attempt with "on XDA" got me "on XD 8" instead. Searching for round icons netted me a proper result.

    iris
    This one gives results pretty fast actually. Although, when I added "round" to the inquiry it did have trouble understanding it.

    Jeannie
    No problem searching for android icons, but when I added "round", it always messed up! It's either "old" or "lg". The one time that it did understand the word "round", it search for just "round android", without the "icons" part.

    S-Voice
    The voice recognition seems to work well. It understood perfectly when spoken in a natural voice and normal syntax. However, since it confirms your command before actually searching it, it took longer to get results.

    Skyvi
    Instead of searching for what I asked, it responded with "Have you tried looking in the Open Directory? That's not something I get asked all the time. I can call your friends. Say: Call John". What the **** what?! I don't care if it's uncommon to ask a voice assistant to search, but so what? Also, I didn't say anything about calling anybody! So I tried "google android icons" and I got another ed response - "Have you ever been to Europe? Tell me your name. Say: My name is human". Yeah...I'll just leave it at that!

    Vlingo
    Off to a bad start - "and where to buy cars"...WAT?! Take two, I replaced "search for" with just Google, and I got the wanted results. Take three, same result as before. Last one I said that exact phrase and got what I was searching for. Vlingo seems to understand this one.

    Conclusion
    Google has taken this round as is gave me the actual results I was looking for and did it fast.


    Specialized search

    In this part I'll cover search questions like names, dates, and math problems.


    "Who was the first/twelfth/twenty-first president of united states?"


    AIVC
    Understood the first question perfectly and gave me a pretty detailed answer in less than two seconds. I'm impressed! Second question it misunderstood "was" for "is" and provided me with an irrelevant smartass answer. Take two, another smartass answer. Third question, resulted in another useless response. I'm not impressed anymore...

    Assistant
    Understood me perfectly and responded with "let's check Google". If I wanted to Google it, I would've simply Google'd it! It messed up on the last question, however, second attempt got me the correct result (in Google search).

    Dragon Go
    Dragon Go understood me perfectly and all questions were answered correctly.

    Evi
    First question It took its time searching to ultimately give me a link with the wrong answer. For the second question it again took it's time, but at least it provided me with a link to the correct answer. Final question was misunderstood as it searched for "...president of unite beach". Take two, again it gave me a link. Might as well just Google it!

    Google
    First question went into search and it replaced the "was" with "is" and the top result was wrong. Second and third questions went into search as well but at least the top results had the answer.

    iris
    Took a few seconds on the first question, but gave me the same answer as AIVC. Second question was much quicker and fairly detailed as well. It had trouble understanding "president" on the third question, but gave me a good answer on second try.

    Jeannie
    First question it misunderstood me. I did four takes on the first question where the app did actually understand the question, however, it did not search. Or do anything actually. It just froze with the question on the bottom. Second question did actually provide me with an answer. Third question gave me the answer but was a little out of syntax.

    S-Voice
    Well it gave me the answer but I think I could've found it quicker by actually walking to a library and looking for the answer in the books! Second question, again understood me perfectly, gave me an answer, and did it slower than anything out there. Third question, same exact results.

    Skyvi
    First question, understood what I said perfectly and gave me an irrelevant answer: "John F. Kennedy was the first president of Roman Catholic faith..." That's not what I asked! For the second question, shockingly, it actually gave me a proper answer. A first for this, so far, worthless voice-assistant! A proper result for the last question as well. On questions 2 and 3, I actually got the result in less than two seconds!

    Vlingo
    Vlingo gave me proper results for all three questions and did it fast - two seconds tops.

    Conclusion
    Vlingo is the obvious winner here. It understood me perfectly this time and found the answers faster than the other apps.


    "Who is the tallest person in the world / how tall is the tallest person in the world?"


    AIVC
    It understood the question but responded with "Sometimes I don't know a client's real name so I make one up based on their DNS. The whole world?" What the **** is this thing talking about?!...Take two, same exact response! Second question got me another cute response: "Let me guess. 2 meters? The whole world?" Guess?! Let me guess the status of this app after I'm done writing this post, it will be deleted, never to be used again?

    Assistant
    Google search again, useless! At least it understands the questions.

    Dragon Go
    Same as before, it understood the question and provided a more-detailed answer (the overall record tallest person and his height and current tallest person and his height).

    Evi
    Hallelujah! It finally gave me a straight answer! And in just a second! Second question was much slower to give the answer but I got it nonetheless.

    Google
    It understood the question but searched for it in the browser with no apparent answer in the end.

    iris
    Gave me the answer to the first question pretty fast (about 3-4 seconds), and gave me a pretty detailed answer. A very basic answer to the second question.

    Jeannie
    Gave me a pretty detailed answer in a few seconds. About the same for the second question.

    S-Voice
    Well, for the first question I got "I didn't catch that. Please try again". Take two: I got some radio frequency...I really don't know how to explain that. Last take I finally got the answer! Second question got me an answer right away.

    Skyvi
    The first question got me a response of "a list of tallest people in the world, living or dead". Except, there was no actual list! Only that incomplete response. Second question, same exact answer.

    Vlingo
    First question gave me the name in less than two seconds. Second question gave me the answer just as fast. They're both seem to be correct (Sultan Ksen at 8'1").

    Conclusion
    Jeannie was the best all around. Fast and detailed answers.


    "What's 27 times 18?"


    AIVC
    Gave me the answer right away.

    Assistant
    Understood me perfectly and gave me a no BS answer in a natural voice withing a few seconds.

    Dragon Go
    Understood the question and gave me an answer in about 2 seconds. (UPDATE) Dragon Go was using Wolfram Alfa as a calculator. It now requires you to download the app separately before you can use it.

    Evi
    Asking it using a voice command doesn't work because it uses an asterisk (*) as a multiplication sign, and Evi is apparently too stupid to comprehend that. So manually replacing the asterisk with the word "times" gets you a proper answer. In other words, it's useless!

    Google
    Browser search again, but at least it gave me the answer.

    iris
    Another cute response: "I'll come back to that later". Yeah. Sure. Take your time. No rush.

    Jeannie
    It gave me an answer fairly quickly and it also presented me with a very low-res image of the number in full screen. That works, I guess.

    S-Voice
    Understood the question perfectly but took its time answering it.

    Skyvi
    First attempt gave me the all too familiar "Ask the open directory about it". Second try it responded with "What is it to you? Want me to read your text messages? Turn on Speak Incoming SMS in Settings". Wow...I hope whoever programmed this app to give those idiotic responses gets run over by a bulldozer!

    Vlingo
    It understood the question perfectly, only to give me a no answer found. Thanks Vlingo.

    Conclusion
    AIVC is the winner here. I got the answer almost immediately.


    Technical Functions

    In this part I'll cover calling, texting, and emailing, working with other apps, setting alarms, updating social media.


    "Set alarm for 8 am/o' clock"


    AIVC
    First time with "8am" resulted in an error. "8 o' clock" brought up a friendly time interface. Clicking "set" brings you to the standard alarm interface where you can actually confirm the alarm. Bottom line, it works.

    Assistant
    Doesn't understand the "o clock" part but does pretty well with AM/PM. Gives you a confirmation menu after your command.

    Dragon Go
    Dragon Go just doesn't have this functionality.

    Evi
    Ok, well Evi is simply missing this functionality.

    Google
    "Set an alarm for 8 o' clock" gave me a menu to choose either AM or PM. If you say AM or PM instead, you can set it right away by pressing Set.

    iris
    Using "8am" works well. Brings up a basic set alarm menu then brings you into the standard Android alarm menu. Saying "8 o'clock" however, gets you a response of "What is your real name?" What the hell does this have to do with an alarm?!

    Jeannie
    Both 8am and 8 o'clock work and unlike other apps it does not bring up its own alarm menu, but rather asks for a confirmation. Then it takes you to the standard Android alarm menu.

    S-Voice
    Understands both am and o'clock. Confirmation is through a voice command instead of a menu. It could not actually save though. Remember, this is a ported version of the official app.

    Skyvi
    It understands both 8am and 8 o'clock but asks for a location... Why the hell does it need a location for an alarm?! I don't care if the alarm-setting actually works on Skyvi, I'm not gonna turn on GPS just for an alarm!

    Vlingo
    First two times it understood what I said but it went to a browser search for "set alarm for 8:00". Third time it searched for "call long 488". Not funny, Vlingo!

    Conclusion
    Even though setting an alarm is supposed to be a function of Vlingo, it simply refused to work. And S-Voice crapped out on this one, probably because it's a port. This one goes to Jeannie.


    "Update Facebook: I'm testing out some voice apps; so far they are not that useful. Update Twitter: these voice apps are useless"


    AIVC
    This one did not quite understand the actual Facebook message. There's no Twitter updating, at least not on the free version of the app.

    Assistant
    After the Facebook sign-in, this thing automatically posts something along the lines of "I like my new assistant, it's very cool". I didn't ask it to post that! Thankfully you can say no before it actually posts it. After that it actually works pretty well, although voice recognition was a little off with a couple of words. Should be the same story for Twitter, except it didn't actually post anything.

    Dragon Go
    You can sign-in to Facebook and Twitter in Dragon Go as well. Too bad it doesn't actually do s***! You can search for people on Facebook or Twitter, that's about it.

    Evi
    You can sign-in to Facebook but just like Dragon Go, it doesn't do anything.

    Google
    I get....nothing! I can't update Facebook even though I have the official app.

    iris
    Facebook updating works fairly straight forward. Twitter works as well. Voice recognition was off with both of them.

    Jeannie
    This is supposed to be a feature of Jeannie but it simply refused to work with Facebook. It understands the command but nothing happens. Saying "update twitter" brings up Google Drive... I really don't know how to explain that.

    S-Voice
    Well I got an error on this one when I had the Facebook app installed. Otherwise after the sign-in it works as it should. Also, it uses Vlingo to update your Facebook status. Twitter had no trouble. Updating works well on S-Voice.

    Skyvi
    Updating Facebook does so without confirmation. It simply updates it. Although, voice recognition was off. Twitter is supposed to work with Skyvi but I just could not sign-in.

    Vlingo
    Vlingo got this one right when I tested it with Facebook. Voice-recognition worked well as it recognized most words, and I had no issues updating the status. Twitter updated no problem but the voice recognition was a little off.

    Conclusion
    S-Voice and Vlingo are the only ones that had no trouble signing in or actually updating the status on both Facebook and Twitter. Even though both had trouble understanding the message.


    "Call/text/email -name-"


    AIVC
    Calls and texts gets you the usual smartass response. Email works...kind of. The person you're emailing better have a common name. If not, you're going to be stuck in an infinite loop of telling this thing the name of the person you're trying to email.

    Assistant
    Calling doesn't seem to work at all. Texting seems like it's working at first. It understands the command, but doesn't actually get the person's name. Any name. Or the actual message. In other words it doesn't work. After saying "email", whatever follows that is actually the email itself not the person you're trying to email. But you still have to enter the person's name and subject. So you might as well just type in the whole email.

    Dragon Go
    One of the names got me a Yelp search for "Colt bar near". After a few more tries with different names, there doesn't seem to be a way to actually call people, at least not for me. Texting and email understood what I was saying but it ended up searching for the phrase instead.

    Evi
    It messed up every single name I tried, save for one! Even then I still had to type out the text. Absolutely useless!

    Google
    No matter if it's a call, text or email, it works whenever it feels like it!

    iris
    It kept messing up the names. After a while it said "I am tired of asking for the name, please select it from the list", oh the irony! It understood two very basic-sounding names when trying to call. I couldn't get to texting or emailing because it could not understand the most basic names like Brandon, Billy, Colin... I'm done! Next!

    Jeannie
    Of all the names, it understood only one. Next!

    S-Voice
    Calling and texting works on simple names but has trouble recognizing some unique names. Emails get you warm response of "Sorry, I am not able to send email". Why the hell not?!

    Skyvi
    This app surprised me again! It actually understood more names than any other app when trying to call or text someone. Email doesn't seem to work.

    Vlingo
    First try, calling my friend Pamir, ended in a search for "paintball gear". Second try with a different person, I actually got the call through. Messaging and emails work the same - it gets the message most of the time but screws up on the names.

    Conclusion
    Unless all of your contacts are named John, Anna, Billy, or Steven, this particular voice-action is universally useless across all voice-apps.


    Maps, Locations & Navigation

    Finding addresses, locations, and getting directions.


    "Navigate to 714 7th Ave, New York, New York"

    AIVC
    Goes into the stock Navigation app

    Assistant
    Same as AIVC but with an extra vocal confirmation from the app.

    Dragon Go
    It goes into Maps instead of Navigation. But that's just a click away.

    Evi
    It took much longer than the previous apps and it searched for it instead. Even clicking the link takes you to the route planner. Useless!

    Google
    Works great with the built-in navigation app, provided that you get a quick lock-on on your location.

    iris
    It understood the inquiry perfectly but instead of actually doing any form of navigation, it responded with "Did you know you can download your own chat robot and create your own robot personality?" No, I did not know that! Nor do I give any **** about it!

    Jeannie
    Goes into navigation right away.

    S-Voice
    Straight to navigation as well.

    Skyvi
    Understood me perfectly and responded with "Do you try to stop people from fighting?" Beyond useless!

    Vlingo
    Google Navigation as well.

    Conclusion
    Since most apps use Google's Navigation, Google wins this round. The native app simply works, and works well.


    "Find Radio Shack"


    AIVC
    Well, it goes into Navigation, which I didn't really ask for. But ok, at least it found a few stores.

    Assistant
    Google search. No map. No navigation. No use.

    Dragon Go
    Goes into Yelp search by default. You can easily switch to the map tab, but it should've done so by default.

    Evi
    It couldn't "find anywhere suitable", so it presented me with a link to yelp.

    Google
    Goes into browser search. No map or anything.

    iris
    This one gave me the weirdest response: "what are you wearing?" What in the hell does this have to do with searching for Radio Shack?!

    Jeannie
    Browser search again...

    S-Voice
    Web search again!

    Skyvi
    I'm surprised there was no ed response this time! It presented me with a list of all Radio Shacks nearby, along with tabs to navigate or call each one.

    Vlingo
    Gives you a list of locations closest to you with an option to call the place. Clicking on any place gives you options to call, show in map, navigate to, and search the web.

    Conclusion
    For me, Vlingo wins this one since it found a closest place to me, and found it fast. As well as give you some options on further actions.

    There are more examples in my original post! Direct link to the post: WorldGoesBoom Appreciate any feedback.
    CardcaptorRLH85 likes this.
    04-28-2012 04:16 PM
  2. piizzadude's Avatar
    Nice write up, I am surprised you do not have speaktoit assistant in there.
    somerussianguy likes this.
    04-28-2012 06:54 PM
  3. somerussianguy's Avatar
    As you can tell from the tone of my post, I'm not really a fan of voice assistants in general. But I'll definitely update my post with more apps. Appreciate the feedback.
    04-28-2012 07:09 PM
  4. somerussianguy's Avatar
    Major update to this post and the original!
    06-03-2012 02:57 PM
  5. Quijana's Avatar
    Just wanted to say thank you for the amazing post!
    I love the Siri commercials and would love to find something like that for my Samsung Galaxy S3.
    Your post was very through and helpful. And funny. I appreciate the humor in your review
    At the moment, I am trying out S-Voice since it came with my phone and you made a point of saying your version was ported. But so far it has been less then impressive. (Got it to set an alarm, but could not, for anything, figure out how to get it to cancel the alarm. I finally just had to let it go off. Most frustrating.)
    I have seen some positive stuff regarding Eva/Evan, so will try to learn more about that option.
    But right now it does appear that the virtual assistants are not that good
    I will check out your website for more reviews and hopefully a virtual assistant update!
    And thanks for helping me find these forums! It was my search for reviews on virtual assistants that led me to this post in these forums.
    Thank you again!
    Darcy
    08-26-2012 03:15 AM
  6. moosc's Avatar
    Google now is awesome on my nexus faster and better then siri. S voice is a vlingo clone been around a while.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Xparent Cyan Tapatalk 2
    08-26-2012 03:33 AM
  7. SabraSkater's Avatar
    AFAIK, S-Voice was developed for Samsung by Vlingo (same company, apparently, that developed Siri).
    Vlingo was acquired by Nuance (which also acquired Dragon earlier).
    This is why the Vlingo Android app looks so similar to Siri, and why you observed that S-Voice was using Vlingo for some operations.
    04-04-2014 05:07 AM
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