Virtual personal assistant shootout: Talk the talk
Speaktoit Assistant test
Finally, it's time to see how the third-party Assistant from Speaktoit handles our test. Check out the video, highlighting the key parts of its performance below.What time is it?
The Assistant didn't experience any problems here, just as expected.What should I get done today? (What are my appointments for today? What is my calendar for today?)
At first, Speaktoit Assistant didn't understand what we were asking, as there weren't any real keywords for it to use. In the next question, though, it showed our agenda for the day, since it contained the word 'appointments'.Read me the news / Tell me something interesting
Wittily, our request was met with a list of result from Google News, although the Speaktoit Assistant is capable of much more. The third-party butler sports a feature dubbed "Briefing". which we already mentioned, and we hoped it would kick in, but unfortunately, it didn't. Oh, well.
Furthermore, the Assistant couldn't come up with anything interesting to tell us, leaving us to eat in complete silence.How's the traffic to work?
Here, the Assistant tried to get our location via the GPS and for some unknown reason failed to pinpoint it and get us the traffic. We believe it's a glitch in the software, which is going to get fixed soon.Do I need to take an umbrella today? (Is it going to rain today?)
Answering that question turned out to be hard for the Assistant. On the first attempt it thought we were asking it to add an event to our calendar. On the second one, things were better as it gave a weather forecast. Still, it failed to give a definite yes or no answer to the simple question.Show me reviews of The Dark Knight Rises
Strangely, the Assistant didn't place a Google search for reviews of said movie, but chose to show us images related to it.Who is the director of The Dark Knight Rises?
Just like Google Now, Speaktoit Assistant gave a short and precise answer with the search being powered by Wolfram Alpha, rather than Google. We liked the fact that the Assistant searched different sources and was flexible enough to provide the best answer it was able to find online.Who is Batman?
Both the Assistant and Google Now gave the same answer to this question. However, the former read it back for us, while Google Now preferred staying mum.Play Dream Theater.
The Speaktoit Assistant had no problems playing a song by the band of our choice.When is the next Barcelona football game?
Falling to its default state of searching Google, the Assistant was able to provide us with the team's schedule. Again, we would've liked it to read us the result in a human-like manner, but it seems it's not ready to do so just yet.Who is Lionel Messi?
That's more like it. Not only did the Assistant found a detailed information about the famous footballer, but it also read it out loud.Where's a fun karaoke bar? / Call a karaoke bar
The Assistant admitted it didn't know any fun karaoke bars and suggested to bring a map so that we could choose on our own. When we agreed, however, it suddenly forgot what we were on about and we were left with nothing.
Asking it to call a karaoke bar didn't lead to the result we were hoping for. The Assistant thought it should look for the bar phone number in our contacts book.Me and my friends want to get crazy today. (Find us a place to party)
We admit, that's a somewhat obscure question, but nevertheless the Speaktoit Assistant found the parties in our area for the current day. Kudos for that. Take me to the White House on foot.
When Speaktoit Assistant detects that you want to go places, it automatically opens the Google Navigation app. Unfortunately, it isn't as widely available just yet, but the functionality of the assistance in this area is top notch.How is Google doing on the stock market today? / Show me Apple stock. / Should I invest in Apple stock? / Show me Google stock.
No problems for the Assistant here, too. It placed a Google search and showed us the relevant results. In one occasion, when it wasn't sure which company's stock we were searching for, it was kind enough to ask us once again.What is the status of Lufthansa flight 130? / Did flight US Airlines 700 arrive on time?
One more time, the software relied on Google's help to display the result. However, when we asked if the second flight arrived on time, the Speaktoit Assistant was confused and didn't quite understand it.Call Batman / Call Dexter / Send Batman a text message "I am going to be late, meet me at the bat cave."
Those are the regular run-of-the-mill personal assistant requests and Speaktoit Assistant experienced no problems with the tasks.Tweet "I am so excited" / Post to Facebook "I'm so excited" / Update Google+ "It's worth it".
After acquiring permission to post on our behalf to the popular social networks services, Speaktoit Assistant fulfilled our request.You make me smile, thank you.
Who would have known that the Assistant could understand our feeling towards it and respond in a very kind manner. We were thoroughly surprised of its politeness.What's the time in New York?
While its colleagues didn't have any issues getting the local time in New York, the Assistant, rather strangely considering its good performance thus far, didn't manage to get it for us.What is 18.3% of 192?
Predictably, the Assistant relied on Google for the math question in our list.I am meeting John in two days. / Set an appointment in two days to meet John.
Speaktoit Assistant isn't just polite and kind, it also sports great appointment-making skills, just like a real-life assistant should.
The third party Speaktoit Assistant is certainly a formidable rival to the established services. It was second fastest and the second most helpful, but probably the one that was most fun. First because it's the only one to offer customization options, but also because it's pretty good at making us laugh (it knows some killer knock knock jokes).
The Assistant was also occasionally suggesting us a brain teaser, telling us random cool facts and asking us to guess whether they are true or false. Finally, we found its briefing feature to be quite a cool way to start your day.