Thursday, February 23, 2012

Intrigued By Siri? Try Skyvi On Your Android Smartphone [Android 2.2+]

Wish you didn’t have to spend so much time staring down at your Android smartphone? I sure do. In fact, I wish I didn’t have to attend to my phone so often and have it serve me whenever I wanted to. Virtual assistant software, such as Siri, might just be a step forward in converting our smartphones to smart personal assistants.
Are Android phone owners out of luck? Certainly not. Android developers have already been working very hard to bring Android fans Siri alternatives that can work in conjunction to Android’s built-in Voice Actions, which is unfortunately pretty underrated.
Today, we’ll take a look at Skyvi, an ad-supported app that’s currently free for a limited time only. It can help you read your social networking updates, find restaurants and answers, convert speech to text and more. Read on to see why else you should give Skyvi a try!

Find Establishments, Weather, Definitions & Trivia By Voice

Once you download and launch Skyvi, you can start dictating any actions after pressing on the bottom yellow microphone icon. You might notice that in order to get the most accuracy, you’ll have to speak more slowly and clearly. It might be best to try practicing a few times to get used to that slower mode, but that’s how it’s always been even with other speech recognition software Dragon Dictation.
My first couple of attempts to dictate “Find a pizza place” led to hilarious results, which are always entertaining, like this Siri video.
skyvi vs siriSkyvi definitely found some nearby pizza places after a couple of tries. Not only can Skyvi find establishments, it can also bring up a weather report quickly.
skyvi reviewYou can also find out random trivia just like you would with a Google or Wolfram Alpha search, except there’s no typing involved.
skyvi review

Skyvi & Social Networks

Your smartphone is probably not much of an assistant if it can’t handle your all aspects of your life, including your social life as well. That’s why Skyvi can read your social network updates in that female robotic voice as you would expect (though you can download a different voice if you wish). In the settings screen of Skyvi, you can provide Skyvi with access to your social networks by adding your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Here in the next screenshot, you can see that there are fast-forward and rewind buttons in case you’re interested in going to the next (or previous) update in Facebook.
skyvi review
If you’re interested in hearing the latest posts on, say, your sister’s wall, you can also have Skyvi read (insert person’s name)’s wall. You can also post a status to either of the networks by pressing on the yellow microphone icon like before and speaking clearly. Hitting likes and commenting on Facebook, as well as retweets are also possible with Skyvi.

Set Reminders & Notifications

Some neat things you can do with Skyvi is setting up notifications and reminders. By saying “tell me when I’m near Mom’s house”, you can have it say that exact thing out loud when you’re driving and nearing the specific person’s place, which you previously have to save as a Beacon with the use of your phone’s GPS.
skyvi android
The app’s being perfected as time goes on, so there are definitely more features that will be added to this great app. Used in conjunction with Android’s Voice Actions, Skyvi might just speed up your tasks, and be a great little virtual assistant. Go download it here and see for yourself!
skyvi vs siri
Know another awesome virtual assistant app for Android phones? Share your favorite app in the comments section below.