back to article Move up, Siri and Cortana: BlackBerry's new... 'Assistant' is here

BlackBerry has unveiled a voice-powered assistant due to appear on its BB10 devices later this year. Imaginatively named er, "BlackBerry Assistant", the speech software hooks into web searches, social media and basic phone functions, like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Now. We tried Assistant on a very early …

  1. Captain Scarlet

    Does anyone actually use these?

    I always find it annoying when someone uses voice stuff like this, the user also finds it annoying when you then randomly shout words to confuse it.

    1. sinfocomar

      Re: Does anyone actually use these?

      Sure, mostly when driving. Press the bluetooth speakerphone button, get a beap, "Call name or number" works perfectly.

    2. GregC

      Re: Does anyone actually use these?

      I do, occasionally, though not as a rule out and about. The one thing I find it genuinely useful for is reminders. I can't speak for the others, but Google Now has got the natural language parsing to a point where I can say something like "tomorrow at 4pm remind me to pick up Dave from the station", without using that "special" diction that used to be necessary for voice control, and it gets it right every time. It copes equally well with more complex, recurring reminders, and it's much quicker than setting a reminder the non-voice way*

      *This is, admittedly, partly because the non-voice way in Google Now is a somewhat tortuous experience....

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Does anyone actually use these?

      Siri appears to work very well for adding stuff to your calendar, genuinely faster than doing it by finger "when I get home remind me to make sandwiches for tomorrow".

      On my Lumia, I use voice only for "call 013...." or "call mum".

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone actually use these?

        Cortana is good for setting alarms & appointments. Sadly, it needs location to be turned on for it to work, so you end up with no battery left for the alarm to go off.

        Turned off now.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why does that screenshot look like Siri running on Windows Phone?

  3. James 51

    There are voice controls built into BB10 handsets but the reason I don't use them is the same reason I suspect I have never seen anyone, not even my most geeky friends and colleagues use one in anger (this includes Siri). The challenge of using it without compromising your privacy and looking/sounding like a complete git.

  4. RaidOne

    Google voice recognition is pretty good

    It does a great job recognizing my heavy accent. No other software that I saw until now (I haven't tried Siri) is as close as Google.

    On the other hand, whatever I say ends up in a Google server and stored for infinity.

  5. mi1400

    Desperate attempt to create controvercy/sizzle

    Perhaps they are trying to inject in subconscious the word BlackAss (from BlackberryAssistant) ... then there will all news flying on media about this slang... Alreg perhaps first in adopting it to earn cheap publicity owning the crown to this acronym ... Blackberry compassionately telling BB users of not using this term to further stir the sizzling ... BB stocks start going up because of this talk-of-the-town... I just peed in my pants... brb....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blackberry voice control

    I don't know whether it at all related technology, but the voice control interface on my 'old' BB OS7 phone works a treat as a handsfree dialer when driving. It recognises (or give me choices from a list of possibles) pretty much all my mumblings.

    I tried the Android voice dialer thing when I briefly had one a couple of years ago and it couldn't recognise jack shit, so that got canned.

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