The majority of users can't wait for the BlackBerry Assistant

BlackBerry Assistant
By James Richardson on 20 Aug 2014 12:49 pm EDT

A few days ago we ran a poll asking how excited you are for the BlackBerry Assistant that we'll get when BlackBerry 10.3 gets released into the wild and also comes pre-installed on the BlackBerry Passport.

To be honest, I wasn't quite sure which way this one would swing. I know that iOS and Android users have been rocking Siri and Google Now for some time - and Windows Phone has just got there own assistant with Cortana, but traditionally us BlackBerry users are workhorses with our thumbs.

As you can see below it seems that decent voice controls are very much wanted by team BlackBerry. Sure, we have limited options with BlackBerry 10 anyway, but if you've used it I'm sure you would have found it quite hit and miss. The BlackBerry Assistant aims to fix that, but also give us full 'assistant' capabilities so we'll be able to not only ask it to perform tasks for us, but also answer questions.

Bring it on BlackBerry. We are ready.

Reader comments

The majority of users can't wait for the BlackBerry Assistant


Well I used it once and was not impressed so I hope it's worth the wait, I'm on Z30 last used it at 8310Bold

100% BlackBerry

Nothing strange, I presume. We want more and more new useful features. There are People in the big world who talk BlackBerry will have less than 1% of market share in 2018. Everything ought to be done to show them they were wrong. Assistant is just one of must-haves :)

[...] first ever London smartphone story powered by Z10 keyboard:

That depends... Today's low share doesn't determine the one in the future. But those assessments talk about wrong strategy of development and this is quite bad market making for BlackBerry and BBRY, as well.

[...] first ever London smartphone story powered by Z10 keyboard:

0.5% of world smartphone market or US market?....America doesn't represent the whole world!!

 experience the power of BlackBerry 10 

Simply a false statement. They shipped 0.5% of the phones last quarter, but they sold more to lower inventory. In addition, the actual people still using blackberrys are higher. If Ford sells no cars next quarter, does than mean they have 0 market share? Or do they still have cars in the market that they sold in the last 10 years?

Posted via CB10

Yeah, I will take your word over the WSJ because... I'm sorry who's your source again? Or are you your own source ?

Did you even read his comment? Other "reputable" sources have already said the words "blackberry is dead".That statement is actually just as true as saying "Apple is dead". The wsj is out to make people's pockets fatter. That's their top priority, not actual facts.

Posted via CB10

Really? Did you even read his comment? Everything he said is common sense! And as per shipping 0.5%... that comes from earnings reports...

Condescending douche.

With Great Swiping Comes Great Responsibility - CB10 on Z10, Bell, ON, Canada

I'm more interested and can't wait for BlackBerry Blend!

Join [URL="bbmc:C00123431"]my photography channel[/URL]

It's good when a company realizes that one of their offerings is lacking, and then goes to overcompensate...

Look at the BBOS browser vs. BB10 browser.

One of the worst vs. The best mobile browser!

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

I hope that it at least tells better jokes. It's the worst part of the current voice assistant!

Posted via CB10

Maybe if I can see it in ACTION, and actually see that it ACTUALLY works, then maybe I will be excited for it.

I regularly use the BlackBerry Voice Control through Bluetooth while driving to read and compose emails, BBM, and texts, dial calls, etc., but I have to speak very deliberately and carefully and occasionally it is problematic.

I had better success with the SayIt app, but it appears to be no longer supported and I don't see it in BlackBerry World any more.

If the new Assistant brings a higher level of functionality and accuracy, I will be all over it!

Q10  The Other Crackberry Pirate  Z30 | via CB10

I use the present iteration a lot too. As good as the virtual keyboard is on my z30 sometimes I just don't feel like typing, and I really value it in the car.

How do you get it to read emails?

Actually, they should take it one step further. Why not let me name my own assistant? None of the others allow that either, but I like how it works on my Garmin GPS.

Posted via CB10

However, I'm not sure if the BlackBerry assistant can be opened by voice as that could be a security issue due to password protection.

Posted via CB10

How does" BERRY" "B.BOSS"or"BOSS" Sound? Make up some BS what it stands for and your good to Go. Maybe a Male Voice for a change.

Isn't the small Waterloo based company's name Maluuba?

Wouldn't hurt to include that in the product name. Sounds kinda African and very exotic...

(Yes, apparently an Android and Windows Phone version is available with the same name... )

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

On a previous thread I suggested that I would grab the g/f's Android and Google Now something like "how old is Julia Roberts" when we're settling a 'debate', rather than use the awful BB10 'voice control'. But I was chastised a bit and someone told me that they use it and it works fine and it told them how old Julia Roberts was and it was all wonderful.

So I tried it.

Me: "How old is Julia Roberts?"
BB10 Voice Control Search: "Hello Julia Roberts"

Yeah, no thanks.

If the new assistant is anything like Google Now, I'm there. Otherwise, we have a problem Blackberry.

Just tried it. It worked for me on the first try. I have a rather vanilla voice though. LOL.

Posted via CB10

I tried it just now and it came through okay. Maybe it understands my Canadian accent though.

Posted via CB10

I just gave it a try and it worked for me on the first try. (to my surprise, as I hardly ever use it)

www. carm. org

I know the other phones don't seem to require it, but if you add the word "Google" in front of your request, the internet is used for the search. I used your example and the first entry says she is 46.

I tried "Where is the closest In-N-Out Burger?" and it opened the BlackBerry maps and showed blue pushpins with all of them around me and the closest one as the top choice.

It can be useful, but unfortunately you can't just casually ask questions, they must be in a certain format or it gets confused. Perhaps the new iteration will solve some of those problems.

Worked for me first time. I use it here and there and it works. Could only get better.

Photos captured using BlackBerry devices - C00016D81

Excited but ONLY if it works and jumps somewhat ahead of the pack. I see QNX as an advantage. Anything less than brilliant will be indicative of real trouble at BlackBerry. I am holding my breath with fingers crossed.

Posted via CB from "Z" best

I think it needs a lot of work. I'd use it if it works.

I asked it what the time was and got nothing back.

Now maybe I don't know how to use it and need a 101.

For the person on the move - BB10- /442 + Pebble

So it will not be released for anything lower than the Passport right now with 10.3, right?

Posted via CB10

This was another one of you stupid biased polls. Why the hell won't you ask the actual questions. A- I'm very excited! B-I am a little excited.. C-not at all I prefer my thumbs! D- I think it is going to suck..

There you go James that's a poll not that crap you've been doing recently.

Posted on my Z30

Little harsh don't you think? It's just a poll. Not the end of the world. There are much more important things in life than a poll on Crackberry, let it go.

I know it's harsh but any poll this guy has ever posted has always been biased he needs to find a new career... being a pollster is not for him lol

Posted on my Z30

@ HigherThanMars

You're right. It doesn't really matter. But it gets the conversation started, and that's all that counts...

(that's also probably all they (CB folks) are using it for, so "we"can attach some comments underneath, and one gets to be first, and Quickie chimes in... LOL)

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

I can't wait for them to get a option to disable the voice control/blackberry assistant!!!! At least s option!!!

Posted via CB10

What really impressed me with Maluuba for Android was searching a blue ray player...Maluuba checked products and availability and reserved one a few blocks away at Bestbuy. So will BlackBerry Assistant offer shopping like this, integrated into big box stores? Imagine asking a mobile on wheels, a connected car, "what do you suggest for Christmas for my grandchildren?" and the car does my Christmas shopping in 25 minutes, like Maluuba does. That's what I miss on this z30, plus the other (closed) categories of Maluuba for Android.

If you're willing to "ask a car" (or a phone) what gift to buy for anyone, well... you're doing something wrong.

Scenarios that come to mind:
.hardworking developers at startups who have no time to shop
."Robin Williams " stereotype of busy M&A lawyer always on his phone, in movie "Hook"
.Wall Street workers
.buying for someone of different generation and unsure of what is popular
.some 20,000,000 to 100,000,000 items are available and almost need machine learning to optimize shopping

With respect, some people think inside very small boxes and young people, by definition, have limited life experience which greatly limits the value of their opinions.

I'm excited for it, as long as it will actually understand me. I've tried so many times with the current voice control and it's complete crap most of the time.

Is that the love child of Cortana and Cartman? How great would an assistant be that sounds like a South Park character...

Posted via CB10

Considering SayIt stopped working for me some time ago and the developers are either gone or ignoring me, anything is better than the "default" assistant.

Posted via CB10 via Z30STA100-5/

Humm...I feel a new contest in the wind. New name for ' BlackBerry Assistant ' win a Passport, Classic, z20, z50... etc. How bout it Blaze!?!?

Posted by my FABULOUS z10..THANK YOU 

I wonder if it works well in noisy work like construction or factory. Voice only good if you are always in quiet place which I'm not. I never worked in an office before :-P


All good for a good assistant, i just wish they take care of viv, which is à program about 10x clevier than siri. Made by one of his creator. Better do something really high levelled in BlackBerry side. And don't forget that we are not all speaking globish.

Posted via CB10

In the near future I would like to see an in-app purchase option in BlackBerry Assistant for different personalities, including celebrity voices. I'd pay a few bucks for Kevin Spacey to be my digital assistant! (Referring to his role in "Moon.")

Posted via CB10

Not a fan of talking to a phone unless I'm driving but i do not trust it to be any groundbreaking considering that Siri, Cortana and Google still lack big time

Posted via CB10

I would like to see in action a leak video or something to figure what it is actually

via, Zeddicted 10

I was more of a "meh" but voted yes, so I am curious if others like me slanted the results. I do think it will be moderately useful, probably very useful for some, but personally I doubt I'll use it more than some initial testing things out. I would rather it be there than not, but it would be a big stretch to say I'm "excited" or "can't wait."

Used both SIRI and Google Now. Both have their uses but i don't find myself using these voice tools that much,

Q10 and Z30 user

Ha, Cortana. Real original thinking there Microsoft, why not get Master Chief to narrate the commercials.

Posted via CB10

As much as I dislike Microsoft, I actually have to give them props for naming their assistant Cortana. I just wonder if it is actually like the AI Cortana or if the name is as close as you get. And for the record, the only Halo game I truly enjoyed was the Halo.

Posted via CB10 Z30STA100-3/

I would love a virtual assistant if it functions properly and conveniently. I miss being able to press the middle button on the side and hold it to initiate voice commands while my phone is holstered. I only used it for simple things - time, weather, short simple messages, etc. It was fine for the most part. If it could do stuff like what I see on TV for Cortana and Siri (except actually, it would get a lot of usage from me.

Posted via CB10

Will totally be great to use. Besides the keyboard, I often use voice commands to dial contacts when on the road.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Yes!!!! Bring it on!!! New and up to date with all the New Features!! What will BlackBerry assistance name will be!!!!

Posted via CB10

I haven't used voice control in quite awhile because it barely recognized anything I said. Just tried "how old is Julia Roberts" it got on the first try. I am impressed because I tend to run my words together.

Must have been the software upgrades that the Q10 has had in the past year. If voice control is recognizing words this well I will most definitely use voice assistance when it comes out.

I am more interested in the performance of android apps!

The glam is good but I am surprised how BlackBerry can get their act together! The voice commands in BlackBerry 10.2 was atrocious.. it just didn't understand whom to call... so I have very little confidence in this new assistant blackberry is putting forward.

Posted via CB10

I am looking forward to this. I have been going through 3 different phone platforms for my work phone in the past year and a half, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 8, after spending considerable time with each I just bought another Z30 and am staying with it. For my purposes the Z30 works the best, I still carry an Android phone for my personal phone but nothing beats my BlackBerry for a work phone.

It's about $@?! time. Come on; QNX + car entertainment systems + BlackBerry? Hands free should have been one of the top priorities for OS10 from the beginning.

Okay, I feel better now....sorry for the rant.


STL100-4 /

No one I know uses voice assistant both on iPhone and Android. People talking to their phone is simply strange.

I do however like Google Now and its features like where did I park my car and how long does it take to drive home, weather forecast and the like. But I don't need voice contract at all.

Posted via CB10

I just tried voice control on my BlackBerry Q10 and I said "How old is Julia Roberts?" it said " 46 years, 9 months, 23days!


They fixed the bugs as we speak...

CB is being monitored live, OH NO can't believe it! - it gets live improvements as we post...


 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

I have never understood the hype over siri and similar products... to me they are just waste of time and effort :)

Posted via CB10

I've used some voice recognition apps over the years, including Siri, and I've been generally underwhelmed. Once the novelty wears off there's not much left to keep me interested I'm afraid.

Posted Using a Z30 Via CB10

Will BlackBerry Assistant have the following categories for popular interest and more:
.application launch

I suppose it would exclude proprietary, enterprise, government, military and similar databases. But what about banking and loans and medicine and areas which are sort of public?

And will BlackBerry Assistant be the only secure NLP in the world? What about ASR.. .as good as Android?

@gravit8er...thanks for the link,it looks great but has only 624 views with 1 comment made 1 year ago.I'm sure the count will rise soon,lol

Let's just hope they get it right this time. The assistant, and say it was absolutely horrible.

Posted via CB10

i type faster than i talk also ppl talking to their phones look like pricks lol. imho these voice assistants are one of those inventions that were invented to do something but pretty useless in real life

Used it on the early 10.3 build and found it to work but very slowly - if it was quick with the the actual 10.3 than we have a winner

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry really missed the boat on this one. Productivity is what I like about having my Z30, but the voice command features have always been less than acceptable. IOS has the edge on voice command productivity. Sometimes letting your fingers do the walking just doesn't cut it. Let's see what 10.3 brings on official release!

Posted via CB10

Title should read "Majority of Crackberry readers..." because of course Blackberry enthusiasts want more software.

Anyone who speaks positively of the current voice assistant is insane. I can mumble stuff to Siri and knows exactly what I'm saying.. it takes me 2 seconds to find out from Siri if it's going to rain later... the BlackBerry Assistant has to think for 20 seconds, ask me to repeat.. then take another minute to say "rain.".. It doesn't even reply properly. I don't see how anyone with the intention of being productive could use the current assistant because it is beyond horrible. Probably the only real flaw I have with BB10.

Posted via CB10 on Blackberry Q5

Delete upon receipt.

That does of course depend on whether its one of those bundled pieces of crapware that BlackBerry allows the user the freedom of choice to decide whether they want it or not

Well, yeah!! BlackBerry users need workhorses that can do things while they busy with their hands. Many of us drive to and from work for hours! This is an important function for rmany.

I just saw a comparison between Siri vs. Cortana vs. Google Now and I was extremely impressed. If the BlackBerry Assistant can be at least as good as them, I will be "very" happy.

It is better than previous attempts. I wait in patience for the day this all becomes 100% hands free, if BlackBerry can get this right with the solution they have in place, then this will be something to talk about.