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Google's Siri-Killer Packed into Android Jelly Bean?

By - Source: TechCrunch | B 26 comments

Google may introduce "Assistant" by the end of the year, possibly as a feature in Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean."

We've seen numerous Siri clones arrive on Android Market both legit and utterly fake, but most of us are still waiting on Google to churn out a true competitor to Apple's Siri. Unfortunately, that may not happen until the end of the year, as Google "Assistant" (or Majel) could be a part of Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" when it's reportedly unleashed before the end of 2012.

According to TechCrunch, Google has been fine-tuning voice technology for ages thanks to Mike Cohen. But Google has also signed on search engineer Amit Singhai to help the Android team push well beyond the boundaries of Siri's current limitations, and introduce a competing service by the end of the year for Android consumers.

Naturally Assistant will be integrated into Google services like Gmail, Google+, YouTube, and Google Maps. But the service will also be extended out to developers via an API so that they can add Assistant-based features to their apps. There's even indication that Assistant will find its way into next-generation Google TVs, matching Apple's rumored Siri-powered iTVs that have yet to be officially announced.

According to anonymous sources, the Assistant project is broken down into three parts. First, the team aims to get the world's knowledge into a format a computer can understand. Second, to create a personalized layer taking notes from Google+ and Google +1 data. And then third, to build a mobile, voice-centered "Do Engine" that's focused on accomplishing real-life goals rather than retrieving search results like a virtual dog. This "Do Engine" will be what Google focuses on in 2012.

Assistant is likely the product discovered in a Google patent just weeks ago. The patent describes a Siri-like user interface for Google TV. It will also go beyond searching for specific TV shows and movies, citing examples such as the following:

"The provision of the query to the television may occur when the user is within a set distance of his home also (e.g., by determining with GPS functionality on the smartphone that he is within 1/4 mile of the home), and the television may be turned on automatically as he approaches the home, with the television tuned to a channel that is determined to be most relevant to the query…"

Naturally Google has yet to make any official announcement regarding Assistant, but we do know something is in the works, spanning multiple Android-based form factors. We're hoping to know more about the project during Google I/O this June.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    ohim , March 6, 2012 7:10 AM
    why would anyone want a siri killer ? , i find siri totally useless
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    ohim , March 6, 2012 7:10 AM
    why would anyone want a siri killer ? , i find siri totally useless
  • 6 Hide
    toastninja17 , March 6, 2012 7:22 AM
    I'd love if siri could open apps...and a lot of other things...
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2012 7:50 AM
    hey, keep that siri for my mental illness cousin please. they both understand and get alone with each other pretty well.
  • 2 Hide
    virtualban , March 6, 2012 7:54 AM
    Now Apple lawsuits are the only thing that can save humanity, and prevent development.
  • 4 Hide
    fuzzion , March 6, 2012 9:14 AM
    Lets hope the siri killer knows how to curse like a drunken sailor :) 
  • -3 Hide
    house70 , March 6, 2012 11:02 AM
    I doubt the functionality of anything Siri or Siri-like, but if they come out with this, they better keep their word in making it available for other developers, as well. I would hate for this to be an "exclusive" product (read: locked-in to certain OS/device), like Siri is.
  • -5 Hide
    dimar , March 6, 2012 11:03 AM
    The only siri killer would be if the app could read your thoughts, or do brain analysis to find the stuff you need, before you could think of it.
  • 0 Hide
    keither5150 , March 6, 2012 1:42 PM
    I find siri entertaining when someone is trying to demostrate it. Watching people try to speak clearly into the phone is funny. It is also funny when I tell them that " they may be holding it wrong". Having used both, Google's voice recognition software is far superior.
  • 5 Hide
    keither5150 , March 6, 2012 1:42 PM
    Siri doesn"t need to be killed.
  • 2 Hide
    fulle , March 6, 2012 1:52 PM
    Most of the people I see who are impressed by "Siri", are in reality impressed by "Wolfram Alpha."
  • 4 Hide
    el painto , March 6, 2012 3:43 PM
    keither5150Siri doesn"t need to be killed.


    I tend to agree. Even if google's assistant turned out to be way better than Siri the concept of killing it is just plain dumb. There will still be people who buy apple products, and they will still want a voice interface. Even if those types of services are not great now, they will keep getting better and more useful.

    Other than that, I found this article very interesting...
  • 0 Hide
    keither5150 , March 6, 2012 3:56 PM
    Can you imagine.
    Man checks favorite porn site before heading home.
    Man's phone automatically turns the tv and orders a porn pay per view.
    The wife's church group spits out their tea and are convinced that the TV is possessed.
    I am sure that Google has already thought of this.
  • 4 Hide
    Nightsilver , March 6, 2012 5:42 PM
    People who label things "killers" are inevitably disappointed.
  • 2 Hide
    whiteodian , March 6, 2012 5:46 PM
    Still waiting for ICS...
  • 1 Hide
    blackened144 , March 6, 2012 6:10 PM
    keither5150I find siri entertaining when someone is trying to demostrate it. Watching people try to speak clearly into the phone is funny. It is also funny when I tell them that " they may be holding it wrong". Having used both, Google's voice recognition software is far superior.

    Thats odd.. My buddy at work has to say things to his Galaxy S like 5 times for it to register.. Even more if we are out at lunch or something..
  • 3 Hide
    BT , March 6, 2012 7:10 PM
    Majel? As in Majel Barrett of Star Trek computer voice and Gene Roddenberry's wife.
  • -1 Hide
    ericburnby , March 6, 2012 8:38 PM
    Didn't Andy Rubin say that Siri was just a gimmick last year? And now they're possibly going to update Voice Actions to be more like an assistant (Siri)?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2012 8:56 PM
    For those that can't wait... Everfriends, an app I worked on, is the highest-rated Android virtual assistant right now
  • -1 Hide
    motheninja , March 6, 2012 9:56 PM
    lol, another prime example of Google and Microsoft trying to play catch up to Apple. But honestly Siri is pretty useless....
  • 2 Hide
    zahnster67 , March 7, 2012 12:08 AM
    Android has had voice control for a long time...Long before Apple & Siri. Everyone I've talked to about Siri say it's just a novelty toy and quickly forgotten. I've used Android voice heavily for a long time and it's fantastic. Why all the talk about Android catching up with Siri?
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