BlackBerry's Intelligent Assistant app looks to actually be powered by Maluuba

By Bla1ze on 27 Jun 2014 01:30 am EDT
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As we now know from BlackBerry 10.3 OS leaks and developer builds, BlackBerry is working on improving their voice recognition app on BlackBerry 10 to bring it more in line with the likes of Siri on iOS, Google Now on Android, and Cortana on Windows Phone. Early versions of it have been built into BlackBerry 10.3 but rather than it just being a simple reskinning of the voice recognition system already in place, it looks as though BlackBerry has tapped some fellow Waterloo residents to improve the system on the whole.

Maluuba began as a research project started in 2010 by University of Waterloo graduates who received $2 million in funding while they were in the University of Waterloo Velocity program. Since then they've launched the natural language personal assistant, Maluuba, on Android and Windows phone. The service offers up such things as searches for restaurants, movies, events, and businesses along with scheduling of alarms, reminders, and meetings as well as voice dialing, texting, and emailing. It's a really nice package.

So with Maluuba offering something BlackBerry really needs to improve upon and them being right in the Waterloo area, it makes sense BlackBerry would reach out and see if they could come to an agreement, and one can speculate that's exactly what they've done. What's not speculation though is the fact that in the developer build of BlackBerry 10.3, there are several references and configuration files that all point to the probability that BlackBerry is using Maluuba for their BlackBerry Intelligent Assistant and Maluuba's own Manager of Developer Relations, Phil Tregenza, alluded there's something already in the works as well.

Personally, I'm not sold on the whole personal assistant thing. I find none of them really live up to what I expect out of them but that's just me. I know this is something a LOT of people were hoping BlackBerry would do a better job at so this is one sure way to make that happen. Team up with an already proven company, work together to offer something great, and everyone all around wins. What do you all think? Looking forward to giving it a go or is it one of those things you'll never really use but know BlackBerry needs to offer it for those that will?

161 comments

Goldthorn

Sounds good. I'll give it a try

 Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

Nemzy

Hmmm ok but how will it be differentiated from the Ios and Android versions?

HaberNik

At this point it does not have to be different or even better; it just has to be as good. The current voice control drives me nuts! If you ask "would you like to call_______?", but don't take "yes" as an answer, something is seriously flawed. (you need to answer "call"). This is the same with most of the responses. It is very unnatural.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

DraganCelan

I just tried it and you're absolutely right. It's so weird when she asks you "Do you want to call _____ now?" and you say "Yes" and she says "The voice command wasn't understood." Very unnatural. I hope this is addressed in 10.3.

Posted via CB10

Schmurf

Actually, I use it a lot when I'm driving as I can simply push one button to activate the process. It has accepted "yes" as a response from me. The internal system on my car (QNX powered) requires me to say "call" or "dial". BTW, it is okay in Alberta to use your device while driving if you're only pressing one button.

BlackberryFan777

"Hmmm ok but how will it be differentiated from the iOS and Android versions?" Thank you for asking that question. I hope that everyone from Chen down starts asking that question in regards to just about everything about BB's device offerings.

There was a time when BlackBerry had 70 - 80 million active, engaged subscribers and their primary challenge was to make sure those folks were not tempted to move to iOS or Android, so they felt the proper response was to give them a BlackBerry that's more like an iPhone or Sammy device. But, today, Android and iOS devices are the default next device... unless BlackBerry offers something different and better... some kind of unique benefit. The days of BB10 being an effort to say, "we can do that, too" should be over.

inurear

One word: Integrated.

incongruent

Still will be useless because it won't recognize what anyone says. badly misunderstood translation.

Posted via CB10

peter0328

Hopefully it works offline!

Posted via CB10

slagman5

Most likely not. Most of these programs have to be connected to work. I think IBM has one they're working on that's offline, so it's much quicker. Not sure about this one though, but chances are the answer is no...

Brutal Efficiency

I think an offline version would take a LOT of space as everything would have to be stored on the device, rather than on a massive server.

Quality Poultry - Channel PIN: C004B64D1

Dave Bourque

Hopefully you don't understand how software works !

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.3175

ofutur

Voice Control allows you to orally dictate text and/or give commands to your device, and have results provided to you (e.g. convert your spoken words into text) ("Responses"). When you use Voice Control, your voice instructions ("Audio Data") will be recorded and used to process your requests and to provide and improve the products and services available to you. In order to accurately recognize and process your requests, Audio Data, information about your contacts ("Contacts"), the names of applications and songs in your music playlist(s), location information (where available), and device-related information (collectively "User Data") may be sent to servers of BlackBerry Limited or its subsidiary companies and service providers ("BlackBerry"), and is subject to BlackBerry's Privacy Policy available at BlackBerry Legal Notices - US. Your Contacts will be sent to BlackBerry in encrypted form, but for performance reasons other User Data and Responses may be transmitted in an unencrypted format. Please review the Settings menu on your device if you wish to adjust applicable controls for location information or Voice Control.

Dukun

...and that's why I've not used it yet, lol.

shiftymagoo

Anything would be better than:

"what would you like to do?"

"Read last message..."

"Would you like to search the Internet for - read last message? "

Groan!

Posted via CB10

crackbrry fan

Actually my assistant Veronica does a good job of all that :-))

Posted via CB10

farmwersteve

Yeah, but does she give hummers?

Posted via CB10

mjdimer

Lol this

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Have_a_nice_day

LOL, good one.

Posted via CB10

Camelhmpz

+1 my friend!

Posted via CB10

ARWestenberger

Haha absolutely, the voice control sucks.

Z10

Michael Magliocchi

It's funny how Maaluba now operates out of what once was RIM 21 which is literally the first building I see every time I walk out my front door. There's always something being worked on at Maaluba

ARWestenberger

But what kind of a name is that?

Z10

moonfalle

I always find voice systems lacking but always open to product enhancements. Thanks for info interested more in this company now.

Posted via CB10

Brutal Efficiency

Agreed. I don't use them at all, but glad that I will have improvements, as it is one step closer to be usable!

Quality Poultry - Channel PIN: C004B64D1

THBW

Yup, Glad to see them working on it but voices assistance irrespective of the platform is always a bit limited and disappointing. Just the other day, a friend of mine was showing me how it works on the iPhone and it was all a bit of a joke in the end. After 3 minutes of shouting into the phone, it finally produced the soccer score. All a bit sad actually.

Posted via CB10

Mayor McCheese

I find them useless too, but then again some people like em, or rather might need them (visually impaired).

BlackBerry Strong

tekware

I'll be willing to try it. Whatever they were using when I first got my Z30 has been turned off to Voice Dialing Only. Whenever it was turned on to full voice recognition, it made voice dialing into argument with my phone.

jcarlos100

They should just buy them out

Posted via CB10

Bla1ze

Maybe they will, Chen did say he planned on making 'a few key acquisitions'.

witting

And then renaming their current ios & andriod apps to something like blackberry boice assistant yes please!

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Prem WatsApp

BlackBerry Boys assistant? ;-)

Sign me up, Bro!

Pasted via CB chen

SuperionMaximus

I'm also with you witting that if BlackBerry did buy Maluuba that it would not be a bad idea to keep the cross platform apps going but rebrand them to BlackBerry apps.

At this point, having great apps on other platforms like BBM is a good way to show users that BlackBerry makes some neat stuff to get their curiosity about the brand peaked to the point they might look at a BlackBerry phone in the future

SuperionMaximus

Agree.

BlackBerry has 3 Billion in the bank and looks to be on the way to profitability within 8 - 10 months. They really need to buy a few super talented startups like Maluuba to enrich the BlackBerry 10 software experience. The key this time though would be to retain the top talent post acquisition.

FirstBerry101

Only thing I use voice for on bb10 is. 'wake me up at 5am' or "wake me up in an hour'

Posted via CB10

just_luc

That's primarily what I do with it at the moment too.. because that's what it does well. But I look forward to doing more.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

DenKlomps

Never thought to try that, thanks.

Posted via CB10

Vorkosigan

I had no idea it could do that. I quit using it when it didn't know who The Leafs were. Lol.

I'll have to try that out. Thanks. :)

Posted via CB10

Searchy

"Set alarm for ____ " or "Set alarm for ____ hrs/mins" also works.

Carbon Fiber Z10 w/Leather Holster

Doggerz

Looking forward to giving it a shot.

Z30 / STA100-5 / 10.2.1.3247 / T-Mobile USA

just_luc

I agree that up until now voice assistants have been lacking. But I look forward to a day when they work well.

I'm not the type to just walk around talking to my phone but I spend a lot of time in the car. It would be handy there if it worked well..

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

CecilTsunami

It's cool for those who use it but I always feel weird asking my phone to do something, especially in front of people.

Plus I don't want to be like my brother, who might be one of the few who talks to Siri about 4 times an hour.

Posted via CB10

1raygin

I will definitely give this a shot. The current version of voice recognition is lacking.

Posted via CB10

LamarStarr

Maybe if there was a dedicated button...

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Bla1ze

Remember dedicated BBM buttons?

slagman5

Or the phone with the dedicated facebook button, lol.

slagman5

There is, if you hold the play/pause button, it actually brings up the voice command thing. I'm sure if this is made into the default voice assistant it would work the same. Me personally, I don't believe in announcing to the world what I'm doing or looking like an idiot talking to my phone, I rather just do what I need to do, but I know this is another one of these "Cool" gimmicks that are easy to market, so it definitely could help BB's public image if they have this working smoothly. So I'm all for this being true and it actually working well.

VLinSD

Actually an effective voice command function would be great when driving, particularly to call and text. I find it useless now to even make a call because it cannot understand anything I say. If this assistant app improves voice recognition then it's a useful plus.

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slagman5

Well, personally I wouldn't want to text at all while driving, and I understand the voice command would read it and I can dictate, so I'm not reading and typing, but I would still want to verify what it typed was right, even if it is 99% accurate, I don't want that 1% to be something really vital in my text reply. So I'll end up looking at the screen anyway, which is unsafe. But phone calls, sometimes I can't avoid needing to make calls if I am in a rush to pick someone up I don't have time to waste to call beforehand or to pull over first. And for that, I have all of my frequent contacts set in homescreen speed dial thanks to my Q10's keyboard, so I can speed dial them without looking at the phone or calling up voice command, and it's 100% accurate. :-P

Prem WatsApp

It would be pretty useful if they got that working properly.

I don't trust the Google Now bot thing. The two .... uhm ladies, to put it nicely, are voice-profiling you too, Siri, Cortana...

No idea what info the could essentially extract from that, mood, health (cold?), accent, gender, age, ethnicity, etc. ??

Pasted via CB chen

Flip4Bytes

You guys do realize that this isn't "just" a voice assistant.. right? That's one feature of it. BlackBerry's new search will have this built into the phone. e.g. you can click the search button and type in "remind me to buy milk tomorrow" or "remind me to call mom in an hour" and it creates a remember task for you that goes off in an hour. I've already tested it with the 10.3.0.7xx leaked bars and it works pretty damn well.

Utilizing BlackBerry 10's "Instant Actions" you can do things like this (you can type it or say it, doesn't matter):

Also tried things like "wake me up at 7am" and it sets an alarm;
"website meeting tomorrow with bob at 4pm" and it sets a calendar appointment;
"Play blink-182" and it opens up the music app and starts playing the album;
"Play" or "Play song" or "Play the song" and it shows you a curated list of all of the songs on your phone which filters as you type additional characters or you can just type a song name and it plays it.
"BBM ____ are you going to be home soon?" and it sends them a quick BBM message.
"Who is the president?" and it pulls up Wolfram Alpha, etc.

This is MUCH more than just "a cool voice assistant thing". With BlackBerry's "Instant Actions" and Maluuba tied into the phone's search functionality, I have a feeling that MANY of us are going to be utilizing search a lot more for absolutely everything. Remember, you do not HAVE to speak to your phone, you can type to accomplish the exact same things which is SO much quicker than opening up an individual app like the calendar to add a quick appointment, etc.

Check out this video here of them showing of Maluuba at CES 2014 and what additional cool features it can do that other voice assistants don't do. It's very natural and they don't totally crash and burn on stage like most of the big players when trying to do a demonstration (starts at 3:15, right after he turns off the wifi so it connects to mobile network because of course wifi sucks at big events): http://youtu.be/IRdn2dK-ojQ?t=3m15s

HaberNik

Thanks for the link. That looks very good. I knew about the "wake me up" command. It works right now on my Z30. Very cool.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

Flip4Bytes

Yeah, my point was that you will be able to type in "wake me up in 30 minutes" or whatever on 10.3. The only way to currently do it on 10.2.1 is by speaking it (aka many people never use it). The MAJOR difference here is that Maluuba has invested a lot of time and resources into the text route in addition to just spoken actions, an BlackBerry with Instant Actions. So Maluuba paired with BlackBerry's instant actions you can do every type of command and more via the basic search functionality of the phone and that's the exciting part.

Right now BlackBerry has a voice control app and then a separate search app that utilizes some instant actions. Imagine both of them combined into one app and 10x better than what they are currently. That's intelligent assistant (aka what the basic search button will bring you to upon clicking it).

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HaberNik

Interesting and I'm looking forward to getting it in my hands. Still, I am one who actually appreciates the voice control ability as I like to pay attention to my surroundings not the phone; typing still takes eyes from that which is in front of you.

Funny thing to try: when driving and linked to car system, tell the voice controlled to "go f**k yourself;" the response is classic. Yes, I get frustrated with the current version a lot and this usually makes me feel a bit better :)

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

Vorkosigan

Well this sounds promising. :)

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espaca

I tried typing those commands and the only one that worked was the music one, nothing else worked and brought an Internet search instead :(

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espaca

Oh is that supposed to be what's going to do when 10.3 is released ?

Posted via CB10

slagman5

Well, duh, lol. :-P

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

slagman5

If I can type it, then I might use it. I don't like talking to inanimate things. Like even those automated phone systems now, I hate the new ones where you have to say the commands rather than press the number of it...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

rdgroulx

Motorola got the concept right. Voice has to always on and always live. If you have to fiddle with the phone, hold buttons down and then prey whatever girls name they give the thing hears what you said and actually "understand" it then might as well just do the thing directly yourself.

Yeah some people say it's nice while driving but honestly those things score pretty low and hardly help out. In the end better wait to arrive.

We only use this because it's a cool gadget that reeks of futuristic movies but I honestly have never seen anyone on any platform actually use this for real. It is always for demo or to entertain themselves hut never for work.

The reality is that those novel features are used for themselves, not for what they deliver but rather merely to fascinate the few who discover it for the first time. We toy around then to see their mechanic at work, not because we actually expect to get shiz done that way.

Z30 Vivo Brasil

spikesolie

Well I never used siri and I wouldn't use thus but it's good it's there. I find it good when I'm in control of my destiny. Not relying on something hearing me and comprehending me respectively.

On another hand I do love using my Z10 so that might be it

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jorgkbzas

Thanks for the news of today!! Really appreciate
But be carefull.. with your health , also dont get us used to read 10 news for a day.. we understand your enthusiasm but go to sleep..

Hope tomorrow stock grow up with your efforts..

Thanks again Blaz1e you just gain a new fan . #respect

 BBLatino

slagman5

Well, maybe he stays up late but wakes up late, so in the end it's all good and normal. :-)

TheBirdDog

I do miss my old Google search that allowed me to command Google to find whatever I wanted with just my voice. I don't see a need for having everything else connected by voice but hey, why not?

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Vito B

Yes it should work offline

Via CB10 on Z30

Prem WatsApp

Yes, I don't like being voice-profiled. BlackBerry Voice command is indexing contacts, too.

Pasted via CB chen

D gray

I'm running 10.3.0.296 and the assistant runs unusually slow. Hopefully it will work correctly in the upcoming builds.

My Z10 has a Flow

Bla1ze

That build is old as dirt. The app isn't even the same any more as what's on that version. Its changed both visually and at the core with new additions.

xBURK

It would be great to have an assistant that actually works like the video you just posted Blaze. Unfortunately, I have little faith after being suckered into apps such as Sayit . After a few days, they end up sitting as little more than an icon.
Even still, I'm all for BlackBerry teaming up with experience in this field. It has to end up being perfected at some point? When and if that finally happens, I definitely want BlackBerry to benefit if possible.

Oh yeah, whatever happened to "Viki"? Worst personal assistant on the planet.

"BB POWERED " C001C1D66

raydogsboarder

I don't mind what it does now, except for the fact that it seems to understand I want it to send a text, who I want which sometimes I don't know how cause it doesn't recite it back the same way I say it for some of my complicated contacts, gets my message completely right, and then f#!$ing fails to understand the word yes 12 times when asking me would you like to send your message now. That blows my mind completely especially when I use the word yes in the message body a few times. So damn enraging I've punched my phone multiple times in its face!!!

Z10 via CB10

Prem WatsApp

Aussie accent? I'm having some fun...

(Scottish? Geordie? ... probably even more fun... )

Pasted via CB chen

HaberNik

This is where it is totally screwed up. You can not respond to its yes no question with a yes or no; you must say edit(=no) or send(=yes). Worst design ever.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

dguy123

Pretty sure that's not by design. Just using a poor asr solution. 10.3 is using a completely new recognizer.

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keypad

Looking forward to testing this out. Thanks for the info Bla1ze

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

bbdodgersdude

Hopefully it will work great. Can't wait for 10.3!

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frewtygal

I have yet to try out voice recognition on my Z30, but my hubby uses it to make calls. At least he tries to. He gets annoyed with it, because it screws up names, more times then not. I'm sure if the new version works well, he'll be much happier.

androidphanatic

I can dig it.

Posted via CB10

Rob1S

If BlackBerry voice control works without Internet ... like turn torch on, take picture, find my note or play music is possible where you don't have Internet. that is good USP isn't it?
BlackBerry always useful, it is not just a phone or another Internet device.

Nice weekend everyone.

Posted via CB10

spantch101

Don't use personal assistant on any platform. Not something I would really use

Via My z10 and CB10

dikku11

Can't wait for 10.3 but hell bla1ze take some rest or you might get sick.

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nightridah

If they just could improve the voice recognition for hands free driving. That would be cool!

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3175

CDM76

Although I don't like the who voice activated personal assistant thing, I'm glad they are finally catching up to the other players. Let's update the BlackBerry Maps app and keep moving.

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glrobita

I'll use it.

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Allwyn John

I usually use it, not for dictating texts, but other tasks like 'set the alarm for" or "google" etc. Though I have to fake an English accent for that.

Black Z30 STA100-2 (early bird), Android convert

gng11

I'll use it to find some good restaurants or coffee shops when I need it, for sure it will come handy. Especially good when you need it in a new city where you're the tourist or looking out of place. ;)

gariac

I'm kind vote shocked people think Siri is good. I will admit the Google voice search is decent. Not perfect, but an order of magnitude better than Siri. It isn't even a contest.

I use one feature of the BlackBerry voice recognition system. I wear a BT headset to listen to podcasts and I will use the accept/decline call feature. The BlackBerry keyboard on the Z10 is good enough that I don't need to mess with voice.

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cia_man

India go for BlackBerry... now with the z3 you have a cheap door to the BlackBerry world of 5 zoll phones... I hope BlackBerry can grow in countries like India ;)

Prem WatsApp

Zoll? You mean inches...

Mixing languages?

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cia_man

right ;) sorry... :)

rickster2611

It's all about supply and demand.

If you can't or won't give me what I want.

I'll find someone who will.

BlackBerry needs to start evening the score.

A battle is won, the War continues.

BlackBerry...Get it done!!!!

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farvardinzad

I'll use it only if it workes flawlesly, i.e. Better than Siri.

iPomps

Star trek has ruined my appetite for voice recognition, anything less than that won't work..am I too early for that?!??

MadMarti

Definitely! :) Until something like IBM Watson has enough power to cope with millions of user interactions and semantically understands what you want it takes at least another decade I would say (based on gut feeling) .

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GRojasHruska

I bought one of those thingies off BB World in the early days, it just kept fudging up my camera buttons and volume thingy or something, also it never had any idea what I wanted, if this is anything more like what is advertised, I AM DOWN.

toy4mud

You can download maluuba through snap client.

Posted via CB10

Sinnaz0790

They need to ensure that it recognize different accents n languages seeing that it's being pushed in a lot of different countries.

Posted via CB10

jojon2se

Figured I'd give this a try and fetched it using Snap. First thing it did was ask me what Google account to use with it...
Just how much does these guys piggyback off Google's services

Allwyn John

I hope this is isn't an ominous revelation of the future and just bad pronunciation
I dictated "BlackBerry Z3 in India" (Z the British way) and what came out was "BlackBerry is dead to me in India "
Not cool, BlackBerry.

Black Z30 STA100-2 (early bird), Android convert

HaberNik

Lol.... let's hope not, but I would have got a chill.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

celticmagick

I hope we won't need a button press to activate it. I hope it's ready to go with a key phrase or some other quick action.

Can't wait to see it in action in 10.3

emPowered by 

IggyBlue

I like the key phrase idea. Works great on my Garmin GPS. You name the device whatever you want. When you say its name, it asks you to say a command.

Posted via CB10

HaberNik

For that to work it means it is always listening. Not sure I like that.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

Halifax Guy

I can't see it being of any use for me.

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Xadion

None, iOS, droid or wp are usefull. They are nice party tricks but their use is lacking and almost always needing a QC so that destroys any actual time saving.

Posted via CB10

Bowlegz

Hopefully it really works.

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pcguy514

Tangible return on investment in Education in the loo area.

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wincyUt

Sounds great...a move in the right direction

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bbfanboi

Blaize, it is not about being sold on it. It is desperately needed for hands-free operation on the device. Currently, none of the competitors products is 100% foolproof, but this isn't what folks are demanding. They want something rather than nothing at all. Of course, the better it is, the more rewarding the experience too. Many of us can't use our devices in the car, especially while driving. This isn't an area BlackBerry can afford to ignore, especially if they see themselves as a business platform. Work has to be done and folks can't be unavailable just because they're behind the wheel. We need powerful options!

ChipMonkCS

I am almost always in the car so I am looking forward to this feature the most.

Posted via CB10

captflonk

Don't use them personally, but a feature that's nice to have for those that do.

Posted via CB10

deremi

Their ad is long but entertaining

DSS900

Hmm, I've had voice activated control features in my vehicles since 2010 and never found them to be quick enough or intuitive enough to really get into using them. Same goes for all my digital devices that have the feature.

The finger is faster and more accurate than the voice. It would be awesome for BlackBerry to change that.

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glenn_8

It should have a name

Posted via Awesome Z10

seemsixty7

I'm not a huge fan of the talking to your phone thing either, but I do have fun with my sisters iPhone every now and again talking to Siri, mostly to change her how Siri addresses her. LOL Sometime its funny to get some repsonses from Siri. The humor and sarcasm part is fun at times. I would love something like that for my phone, but I typically would not use it. I do see more people using Siri to actually get some things done on their phones though and Siri has gotten a lot better.

Genghis2k3

What I need is the ability to have all incoming email, text, BBM, etc messages converted to voice automatically. This should be a function that can be toggled on/off, but otherwise there should be no need for interaction with the device for text to voice conversion. The app VLingo (now owned by Nuance) was flawless at this, although it was limited to email, text, and PIn messages. I'll keep preaching the need for Vlingo's functionality until it's built into the OS.

The current voice assistant works for me, for things like notes, reminders, opening apps, alarms, and even calls when you learn the proper formatting of the command. There's more and I suspect many people have no idea how much you can do with the voice commands since 10.2.

ranjanclandad

I have mine set to give feedback on bluetooth. In the car, I can tap my earpiece and dictate a BBM, text. Or email and it reads it back to me before sending. It is nice. I do hate not being able to say yes and having to say call. I am disappointed that I can't say call mark at work - it still asks me which number I want to call. Also I used to be able to say schedule a meeting for 5 pm on Tuesday title meet James location tim Hortons, and it would figure it out. now it shows everything I said and asks the title. Frustrating to lose functionality.

Posted via CB10

blackberry artichoke

This is what BlackBerry needs! More collaboration with companies that have proven track records!

Posted via CB10

nadashalou

I would definitely use it. I have to set reminders a lot. I hope it works right in the flow of everything.

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willyq711

Well I support going to the Cardio Surgeon for heart issues or the Rolex to make me a watch, meanings that there's nothing like bringing in someone who is a specialist in their field or in that specific item. You will get amazing and better results for the actual service, method or item that way, but at the same time it's still an outside source and I wonder how Blackberry will control it's use within their BB10. In other words, will it be theirs to control, a licensing agreement, partnership..... I just see lots of "team-ups" and outside parties coming in (granted, a great move for the underdog to blow it up, and perhaps the only move that makes sense!). BB10 will be slave to 3rd party entities forever. Again, no biggie, just that I see it's becoming a thing with BlackBerry to operate in this fashion, but honestly I think it's a great move and train of thought to get back in the game with the big boys.

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iNeoEon

let's hope it! I use voice assistent a lot for SMS, email, bbm messages and scheduling of appointments and yes: it needs to be improved in BlackBerry!

 does it better!

mjnrite

Would be helpful while driving

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IggyBlue

A digital assistant has lots of advantages. The more I use it, the more I realize how it could improve. For starters, it needs to get faster. There are lots of ways to improve. One idea: when you're dictating, it would be nice to be able to say "Over" (the old two-way radio style) to speed up the process instead of waiting.

Posted via CB10

IggyBlue

Also, if the assistant could still listen to you while it's doing playback, it would be nice to be able to interrupt it to say "Send."

Posted via CB10

IggyBlue

Voice shortcuts: I should be able to set nicknames in my contacts and voice call them directly. Example: "Call Tanya." Voice Assistant: "Calling Tanya mobile." Dials number without waiting for verification. If the assistant was intelligent enough to continue listening while dialing, you could say "Cancel" before the first ring.

Posted via CB10

IggyBlue

A bit off topic. (Maybe a fun discussion). If BlackBerry were to pick a celebrity voice for a future digital assistant, who would you like it to be? I vote Kevin Spacey. Just think of the media buzz this would create for BlackBerry! Digital assistant must improve greatly first though or it would be a big disappointment. So, what celebrity would you pick?

Posted via CB10

niss63

This is the future. Make it work well.

Posted via CB10

willwnet

Would love to be able to launch the Intelligent Assistant from a letter on the Keyboard rather than the Mute key. Find the mute key is hard to hit when driving. Z would be a good key to launch it with.

Posted via CB10

IggyBlue

I have the voice command icon on my home page, top right. Easier than physical button.

Posted via CB10

IggyBlue

Okay. I'm done. I had too much caffeine this morning. LOL.

Posted via CB10

hvacdon

You can try the android version of Maluuba on most android phones available for free on the Google Play Store. It works incredibly well on my Samsung and has had great reviews. It does not work on BB10 as google services are required....I have tried sideloading it. I assume that if it is adapted to BB10 maluuba will work as well or better! If you happen to have an android phone, give Maluuba a try!

atribecalledx

Considering BlackBerry's target market, they should present the BEST product available for this feature.

Posted via CB10

erikkherras

It's good! =))

Posted from my Z10

jackwaldon

Sounds good and I'll give it a try. Great if it helps BlackBerry meet peoples' expectations.

However, personally, I am not big on personal assistant or voice recognition. I wish I could completely disable it. I find it incredibly annoying when it engages accidentally. I was recently in a meeting where someone's iPad's siri kept turning on. Very annoying.

buccaneer54

But does it speak southern y'all?

Posted via CB10

jstirtzinger

That video is hilarious!

Dat Gui

I would like blackberry to upgrade their maps app first because it is bare bone compared to competitors l, gets the job done 95% of the time but I would like that to be 100%

BerryRipe

Awesome!

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

inurear

The Windows Phone demo over at WPCentral is impressive, it actually takes in commands more naturally than cortana. If this thing becomes integrated, this is going to produce some really kick ass results.

However, I would name it something more cheesy - like - "BeeBee" for the purpose of branding and facilitating voice activated tech like, "Ok Google" with new androids. That would make so much sense with the BlackBerry philosophy it's nuts

CrackedRosco

I have a human personal assistant and they are a waste of time...

Hammered out with my White Q10

Nicholas Westgate

I think that Nuance actually makes the best voice control app/integration currently but that's just my opinion. I think personal assistant technology is important to have on a mobile device and even more important one that works great and is fully integrated with the OS and apps. Right now it's a developing technology but although the concept behind the movie "Her" might be strange what's not strange is humans interacting with computers which we've been doing for decades. This is just a way to do so more "naturally ". Love Blackberry and hope they do a good job of updating this software.

Posted via CB10

semime

The current voice assistant is horribly inaccurate, painfully slow, and embarrassing to use in its present state. Its probably the most disappointing aspect of my otherwise great phone.

ThunderShock2005

Yeah, I think that siri shit is dumb and useless. But it's nice to see them try to match it. The current voice recognition thing is meh. Haha

Posted from my BlackBerry Q10 on AT&T

m3mb3rsh1p

I just love BlackBerry corporate policy right now. Hanging in there with these monolithic corporations that tend to swallow small firms and stifle their work.

BB's QNX-inspired microkernel approach is very refreshing. Keep BlackBerry sensibility at the core and augment it with modular systems. I LOVE this sort of open cooperation.

darkehawke

I think it's an area blackberry really need to improve on and this is a nice start but by no means enough. They need to focus and improve on this.
Google now has become quite valuable for me in my day to day life and I want blackberry to offer an alternative

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

3Dee

Google Now is absolutely incredible, it integrates Google's voice recognition service and is the front end for much of it, but it's so much more.

To be able to have Google Now open, ask it (without touching a button, just saying 'OK Google') to remind me to buy something next time I'm at x shop, and for it then to use my GPS to remind me when I'm next at that shop - whenever that may be - to buy it is just great. The integration with all of the capabilities of the phone is just amazing.

The tinfoil hat brigade, the rightly concerned, and the cautious hate that Google is invasive, but if you use Google Now you'll be blown away by how awesome that invasiveness is!

Posted via CB10

AOAJ007

I may give it a shot, but it's not a priority! If it works great I'll definitely use it.

Posted via CB10

bidagreat1

Every update BlackBerry's intelligent assistant received I find myself trying to figure out if it's useful or how to make it useful, but always get disappointed. I know that BlackBerry is a working progress, so as long as they're still trying, I will keep supporting!

Bidagreat using the magnificent Z10

bbafdad

I don't currently use it, but can't say I never will, especially if it gets improved. And it's definitely something that BlackBerry needs to improve upon for the enthusiasts who do rely on this feature.

Posted via CB10

Omnitech

@Bla1ze, probably the reason these personal assistants don't live up to your expectations is because you're using the BlackBerry ones. :P

Because so far, the BlackBerry ones (and 3rd-party efforts) are pretty darn poor, I agree.

But Siri is not bad, actually. Especially when compared to the BB alternatives. I have friends who use it regularly to take notes and set alarms and so on.

It doesn't help that the most promising voice tech vendor on the BlackBerry platform (Vlingo) was taken over back in the pre-BB10 days by their formerly bitter competitor after years of intellectual property disputes, and then basically shut down.

Hopefully this Maluuba tech will be the Next Big Thing.

Hope springs eternal, as usual. :D

Z10pack

When I'm driving I use my BlackBerry Q10 with my blackberry visor mount 605 Bluetooth. If we can finally get a built in app for voice command that would be awesome. And dialing would be effortless

Posted via CB10

IamTheHost2

Please BlackBerry, Please!!!

Posted via CB10

ciaoenrico

So glad to read this. Voice recognition is strangely weak on the BB10 - even compared to my old 8530!

Posted via CB10

sheldonbk

Thanks. Interesting article. I use voice dailing a lot and noticed that it was a new world with 10.3.0.296. I hope it improves considerably. It's accurate but slower than molasses

Posted via CB10

ojaninoa10304

An I get it for 10.2? Sounds really good.

Ojani Noa

BlackberryFan777

I really liked the search functionality in 10.2.1 with instant actions and such. How does that work with the Intelligent Assistant?

Posted via CB10

gibsoje74

I actually like the format of the voice recognition currently in use. I compared it to my moms siri. I ended up finding her in the app store looking for apps to do some of the things my blackberry voice recognition could do without 3rd party apps. I just hate BlackBerry doesn't understand a lot of words.

Hopefully they keep some of these native features plus more and make the recognition part recognize more of my words.

Posted via CB10

tyronesmith

Can someone do a video on it or it against voice control

Posted via BlackBerry Z10 #loveBB10

coffee-turtle

The best VR will be when it's as seamless as the computer on TNG. ☺
But in the meantime, Maluuba will be a welcomed addition.