For years , the mobile phone sector has set itself the goal of making life easier for us . Progressively, improvements and updates have been incorporated into our terminals that have turned them into smartphones , that is, into smartphones .
Experts agree that, although technological development began much earlier, true intelligence came to our mobiles with the incorporation of the first virtual assistants , those applications , which usually have female voices such as Siri or Cortana, which help us in the realization of different tasks .
Call your contacts, send text messages or emails, set alarms, search websites, find answers to questions, organize the calendar, learn your tastes … the list of skills of a virtual assistant is very extensive and it is expected that it will increase with the technological improvements.
So that you are up to date if you already use them or so that you know them if you are one of those who only remembers that they exist when they are activated by mistake, today we bring you a list of the best virtual assistants and their main features.
Siri is probably the best-known virtual assistant . It was originally developed as a standalone application, but its rise to fame came from Apple, when, in 2011, the technology giant incorporated it comprehensively into its iPhone 4S .
Initially Siri offered a limited set of answers to basic questions, was able to contact a small group of web services, and could even make a restaurant reservation. Nowadays you can already read notifications and emails, write messages and even Facebook and Twitter posts, help us with our agenda, etc.
Although in general Siri is a great virtual assistant with great synchronization with other applications , it has disadvantages compared to other current assistants. The most obvious is that it is only available for Apple devices : iPhones, Macs and Ipads.
Secondly, it seems that Siri does not have the learning capacity of our personal tastes with which other assistants are endowed. Finally, we cannot forget that Siri, unlike Cortana or Bixby, only allows conversation by voice , thus hindering its usefulness in situations in which we cannot speak.
Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant . It is inseparably integrated in Windows 10 and is also available as a standalone app on iOS, Android and Xbox systems . In addition, recently, automotive groups Nissan and BMW have announced that they will incorporate it into their new generations of vehicles .
Cortana is generally very similar to Siri in its functions, but it has some advantages. The most notable is that the system has a specific section in which it collects your personal information : places of interest, news sources that you like or even the times when you do not want to be disturbed. Later you can modify the collected data yourself and, depending on the situation, the assistant will automatically present you with tips and suggestions .
Another advantage of Cortana is that you can not only give it voice commands, but you can do it with the keyboard, making it easier to use in places where voice recognition would have problems working, such as very noisy environments.
The only point where the Microsoft assistant falters against the Apple assistant is the synchronization with other applications on the device, which is less .
Google Now is Google’s smart assistant . It is different from Siri and Cortana, since in Android it is available within the Google Search application . However, it also has an iOS application accessible through Google Chrome.
Although we can think of Google Now as an extension of Google’s search capabilities, in practice it can carry out the same tasks as Siri or Cortana. Also, if you allow it, Google Now will use your search history to personalize your responses . This means that, for example, if you ask him to show you what is happening in the world, he will show you the articles that he assumes you will be interested in.
The main advantage of this assistant is that it is integrated with Google , the most used search portal, so if you use it, it can be very useful. As a disadvantage , some users complain about security flaws due to privacy issues , since Google usually has a lot of information about the user.
Bixby is the last virtual assistant to join the list. It has been recently developed by Samsung and is currently only available on the company’s latest mobile versions, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
It has been presented with the intention of differentiating itself from the rest of the audience, since its fundamental principle is “that everything you can do by playing, you can do by speaking”. In this way, the assistant is able to rotate photos with the voice or apply a filter to them.
In addition, it can also carry out the other functions of a virtual assistant, such as organizing the agenda, showing you suggestions or answering your questions.
But not everything are advantages. The main drawback is that, at the moment, it is only available from Samsung and, furthermore, it can only be found in English and Korean .
Alexa is the virtual assistant with which Amazon has deployed all its artillery. It has been developed with the intention of becoming an essential help for the home and daily tasks, which is why it is the first one that has a physical format .
The device that hosts Alexa is something like a cylindrical speaker that has been called the Amazon Echo . The main advantage is that it can be placed anywhere in the house , being able to solve doubts and carry out tasks without anyone approaching or pressing any button. Every time she hears her name, Alexa will turn on, and you’ll be able to ask her for things like turning on the bedroom lights or starting the washing machine.
Alexa is having a lot of success in the United States and there are many brands of household appliances, cars and other devices that have shown great interest in integrating it. In fact, this year Alexa is scheduled to land in the mobile ecosystem from the hand of Huawei .
At the moment, the biggest disadvantage of this assistant is that it is only available in English and German . We will have to wait for Amazon to develop it in other languages.
Despite the large number of virtual assistants, they still have a lot to improve; They are not yet those robots that we see in science fiction movies capable of carrying out any activity. What is clear is that all of them are increasingly present in our day to day and that they can make life easier for us .