Despite their limited use cases, conversational personal assistants such as Siri are becoming more and more popular for smartphone users. Personal assistants rely on a wealth of transcription information, and one company that has excelled in this arena is Nuance, whose Dragon Speaking software is the de facto standard for voice transcription services on computers. It is only natural, then, that they would venture into a conversational personal assistant application for smartphones, and today they have done just that.
Dragon Mobile Assistant has come to Android devices running version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, and will soon make its way to the iOS App Store as well (pending Apple approval). Dragon Mobile Assistant builds on Nuance’s Dragon Go! directed search application, and offers much of the same functionality featured in Siri and other personal assistant apps. Some of the features Dragon Mobile Assistant provides include:
- Make a call – “Call Ashley on her mobile”
- Send a text message – “Tell John I’ll be there in five”
- Create a calendar event – “Set up a meeting with Jake Barnes tomorrow at 2pm”
- Update Facebook or Twitter – “Sent out a new Tweet, What a finish to the game!”
- Use maps and find directions – “What’s the best way to Portland, Maine?”
- Find restaurants and make reservations – “Find brewpubs in Boston”
- Check the weather – “How’s the weather look this week?”
- Look up local businesses and points of interest – “Fenway Park”
- And access content and information from over 200 websites with the Dragon Go! search carousel
The service also includes a “driving mode,” where users can activate the assistant by saying “Hi Dragon,” which is sure to turn a head or two should you find yourself talking to your imaginary dragon in public. All social awkwardness aside, Dragon Mobile Assistant promises a comprehensive personal assistant application which should mirror or even surpass some of the functionality offered by Siri, and is certainly worth a look for you Android owners. Of course, Google may soon render the program useless with an expanded Google Now, which will likely venture into conversational personal assistant territory in the near future, but for now the program from Nuance is worth checking out for yourself.
Dragon Mobile Assistant is now available for free on Google Play, and is likely coming soon to the iOS App Store as well.