Hands-on with BlackBerry Assistant

By Bla1ze on 21 Aug 2014 04:12 pm EDT
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As most CrackBerry readers know by now, BlackBerry has introduced their BlackBerry Assistant app and a lot of folks are looking forward to actually using it. That said, aside from some early demos of it the app itself has never really been shown off, even in some of the BlackBerry Passport leaks. So with BlackBerry OS 10.3.0.1052 having now popped up and offering a mostly function version of the app, we decided to take a look at it as many have been asking to see it in action.

The app has certainly grown from early versions and it's now fast, really responsive and even handles some rather complex tasks with ease. It pulls in info from all corners of BlackBerry 10, especially the native apps as well as Wolfram Alpha, various search engines, location data and much more. Although BlackBerry has never confirmed the cooperation, it would seem as though Maluuba is powering the app and if that is indeed the case, it's a great thing because it works amazingly well. Check it out yourself.

Reader comments

Hands-on with BlackBerry Assistant

205 Comments

???????

It doesn't sound at all "machine like" to me. We must be listening to different videos.

I have lots of Iphone friends who don't use Suri at all. I'm not sure many BlackBerry users will use this either, after the novelty wears off. It's impressive and I might use it to play around with, then likely revert to the old way. There is something weird about phone personal assistants. But I guess it's good for some people and a modern OS has to have it I guess.

Posted via CB10

True, and that's why the hype around these assistance is rather overblown.

The power is in the Assistants like Google Now and Cortana which can do predictive stuff, which Google and Microsoft can find tune very well because they own the entire user experience on their devices from Search (Google/Bing) to Productivity (Office/Drive) to Communications (Hangouts/Skype) to PIM (Gmail, etc./Outlook.com), Apps(Play/Windows Stores) ad infinitum.

When you allow the user to consolidate almost everything to your own ecosystem, you can end up with a system that is very good, but Apple and Blackberry aren't at that point - yet. Apple is a bit closer, but Blackberry I'm not sure will ever really be able to get to the point where they can leverage that amount of information to provide a competing service to Now and Cortana, or even Siri since they cannot bridge the user experience across form factors, either.

Why are you negatively commenting on every post lately? Are you here from iMore? Most iPhone users I speak to say that Siri is crap. BlackBerry Assistant sounds much better than the old voice control, that really did sound like a robot, I was quite impressed by the more natural sound of the voice in BBA. Also, it is a phone don't forget, it's better for it to not sound completely natural, would be a little creepy.

Agree and this new voice assistant is way way better than the current 1 lol

Posted via my awesome communication device BlackBerry Z10

Bla1ze, can it understand more natural talking instead of these set functions, such as just saying "wake me up in 8 hours" or "wake me up at 0900" and "remind me at september 15th at 0900 to buy a birthday gift for my wife" instead of this step by step stuff??

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

He probably should have shown that off, because the things he did in this video is not very impressive. I can do all of those things the manual way much faster than it is shown in the video...

I think setting reminders can wait until I'm done driving...

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

Ok, so based on one specific situation, it is not necessary to improve the system so that you can state the event in one sentence so it'll be faster than doing it manually...

With customers like these, no wonder BB's previous CEO's didn't feel the need to innovate and improve their devices...

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

You still don't understand my point. My point is, why wouldn't you want the voice commands to be FASTER? Even if it being slower is still useful, are you ready to settle for mediocrity? Bla1ze already uploaded videos showing that the new assistant is capable of doing the commands more streamlined like what I'm saying it should be so it's not actually slower than doing it manually...

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

People, please tell me, am I speaking a language nobody understands? I see myself typing in English but perhaps I'm losing my mind...

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

I think Bla1ze needs to make an entirely new follow-up video showing more fluid and advanced examples. Also, why not throw it questions like "How are you?", "What's your name?" and "Is Robin Williams alive or dead?". I'm curious to see if it has any ability to handle general questions like that.

This post sort of sums up the whole software to me. Those are questions an apple user would ask. There's not really a need for this with BB. When I need to know my name and when I haven't seen the news for a couple of weeks to know a household name has passed away then i'll get an iphone.

Posted via CB10

i tried it today :)
the french version has a male voice but a lot of functions are missing
"how are you" doesn't work at all

Has many of us I'm wondering if that assistant support any other language then English.
..if so how effective it is (Personally looking for French assistant)?

If it is only in English that will became almost useless for me.

BlackBerry Czech just posted on FB, that voice dictation is smooth for Czech. So I am also curious how all the voice features will work, coz for example Siri is absolutely useless in my country and language.

Looks interesting! I wonder how hard it would be to tell your "Assistant" to send a message at a certain time. Say for example, you think of something at 9:00am and want it sent at 2:30pm without having to go in, remember what you thought, and send it.

Posted via CB10

Compose message and save but don't send. Set reminder in calendar to go off at 2:30. Send from Hub. But, I know what you are saying, maybe something to look for, to add a control element so you can send a message at a given time in the future, but not before.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Doesn't really seen that great. A step up by isn't up to par with the others.

Posted via CB10 on the Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.3175

How do the others improve upon what Bla1ze showed? The examples shown seem pretty straight forward. Unfortunately Bla1ze didn't show more generic questions, or retrieving much information from the internet.

Jeez quick to defend. Calm down. Personal assistant sucks as do you.

Posted via CB10 on the Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.3175

Um, I was asking a legitimate question and not defending anything. I guess it took all of 2 message for me see exactly what you're here to do... Have fun trollin' hater.

I get what he's saying. It should be able to do everything by him simply saying "Remind me to watch doctor who season 8 at september 8th (forgot the actual date) at 9am" instead of this step by step, which is slower than just doing it manually...

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

Yes, the way Bla1ze showed it makes it look slow and cumbersome. But even on the current BlackBerry Voice Control you can say an entire command like "Remind me to go shopping on September 10th at 7pm" and voice control will create a calendar entry on the 10th at 7pm with the subject "go shopping". All in one step. I personally find this far quicker and easier than manually entering calendar appointments.

I swear the current voice assistant does everything that Bla1ze just showed off. The UI is nicer but the example was old, slow, and boring.

As someone else commented here, Bla1ze did it the long way. You can say everything you want done in one sentence instead of step by step. It is so annoying to her the assistant repeat and ask questions over and over again.

BlackBerry needs to add more Flow to the assistant. And her voice is kinda slow and annoying.
Needs work....

Give me a male, business-like voice any day.

No sexism - some of the female voice assistant sound tacky and cheap...

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

OK, I am going to go on a rant here.

I read through all of the comments below and to me everyone sounds like iSheep
"soooo amazing"
"New and cool"
"Way better than the current one"
"Ten times better"
*reminds me when David Letterman showed people the New iPhone (which it wasn't) and people said those exact comments.

IMHO what Bla1ze showed off in the video is all able to be done in the current version of our BB10 Voice Control. Nicer UI and a little faster but not good enough. Bla1ze also took the long route to accomplish things with the new Voice Assistant.

Possibly the Voice Assistant has more really cool and awesome feature that weren't shown off but not in the video Bla1ze did.

Don't harp on me for being a downer. Just stating my thoughts on the Assistant and on other people's raving comments on here. Sorry people its not that good (as per video) and really needs a lot of work. YES I know it is not the "final version", so BlackBerry had better pull up their pants and get their sh!t together to get out a competing product by release date.

Love you BlackBerry that's why I am honest with you.

+1 I hate when people think when you're critical that means you are trolling BB. But it is in fact because you wish they would improve so the competition wouldn't have too much ammo to shoot us down with...

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

Thanks slag. I honestly thought (and was expecting) the first comment to be hating on me with pitchforks out.

I have high hopes for BlackBerry and wish them the best. But they need to be better than the competition (I know they are leaning towards enterprise) and need to meet deadlines with the OS's completed!

Brian, I hope you get an email notification from this reply. Check out the post again, he did add a bunch of videos showing the more advanced commands. :-)

You don't need to do step by step.
You can say "change the subject to working late"
Instead of: edit. Subject. Working late.

Posted via CB10

If that's true, then Bla1ze needs to take this video off youtube and redo it now. Because this actually looks REALLY bad for BB if people start thinking that this is the revolutionary BB assistant that's in the "future" when it operates like something from the past...

Geez, it wasn't a freaking review. Hell, it's not even official yet lol. -http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-10-os-f269/more-blackberry-assistant-videos-954022/#post10745807 and no, that's NOT entirely true which is why I didn't show it off because sometimes it has a hard time with it and others it goes through fine.

As it's still not complete, it throws a few 'Sorry, the voice request was not understood' if you go outside of the boundaries of direct orders that are set within it and everything I showed, was based off of what BlackBerry used as examples.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMVTQNP0iDE <-- For example

If you're not inside of an action, it works like that and much better but if you're already into something you can't just yell random actions at it, you have to wait for some sequence of events.

"Geez, it wasn't a freaking review. Hell, it's not even official yet lol."

Very true. I think everyone has just become super paranoid of the perpetual BB-bashing sites like BGR that will find the worst example and make a front page article entitled "This is the most complicated thing you can ask BlackBerry's Voice Assistant" (or whatever).

Thanks for the videos btw. Much appreciated. This was one of the 10.3 features I was most curious to see.

No need to be defensive. The point is, if you are going to make a public video about this, it has to be explicitly clear that this is not the extent of its features if it's not complete. And not just stated once in the beginning but stated throughout the video. You can't look at this from the point of view that "we should know" since we frequent CB, you have to look at it from the point of view that there are probably plenty of Samsung and Apple fanboys sharing your video to show off how simplistic and inferior our future BB assistant app will be... Sorry, but it's true, unless you dummy proof it, there will be plenty of people who will take advantage of that fact to throw your video out of context. With BB in its current situation we all need to go out of our way to ensure we do not supply the competition any ammunition...

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

Hey, just saw the videos you added. It looks great man, that's all I mean, that's what we need to show to show this feature off. :-)

I think mainly because other mobile platforms have this feature and with the release of this 10.3 version, it brings feature parity for BB10 in this area.

Via CB10 on Z10 | T-Mo | 10.2.1.2156

Well at least is much better than the current offering which blows

Z10 the mighty... until BlackBerry comes out with a 64bit

I disagree. The current voice app can do almost everything shown in these videos. For example I can ask the CURRENT (10.2) voice assistant

- "How tall is taylor swift?"
It will reply that she is 1.8 meters tall. I can then ask

- "How many feet in 1.8 meters?" and it will convert it. I can ask

- "How far away is new zealand?" and it will use my location to get the distance. I can ask

- "Send an email to <contact name>", and it will go through all the same steps as the new 10.3 assistant, including allowing me to edit the subject, message, and recipients. However, if I ask it

- "what's the weather like?" it bombs. You have to ask it "what's the temperature". Also, it doesn't do the twitter trending. If I say

- "where's the nearest starbucks?" it will map me the location of the nearest one, but not give a list nearby starbucks or plot directions.

If Maluuba is powering the assistant, it's a grt app, I use it on my android also, really good, plus you can use it in one step, if you tell it set an alarm tomorrow at 8.00 am, it schedules it straight away.

Posted via CB10

I kind of thought "Smarty" would make a good name. Being able to give it a custom name and trigger it using only your voice would be the absolute best though.

Hmmm. I thought it was odd that after asking if he wanted the message sent now and Bla1ze said no, why did it not offer to save a draft to send for later along with the other available commands?

Send now or save for later.....

I'm sure the option is there, but why not have it offered as one of the verbal choices?

Or is that just how 10.3 functions? I haven't used 10.3 yet to know for myself.

Posted via CB10

Looks good and I am excited for it, but I don't think it's something I am ever going to actually use. Still might play around with it for the first few days though.

I agree. Doing it yourself is still more efficient then by voice. It doesn't matter if your using BB-A, S-V, G-V, Siri, or Cortana

Posted via CB10

I don't think I'd use it while driving either. It's just the whole process of saying it, getting it to understand what you are saying (say if composing a message or email for someone who doesn't have a typical name like Bob or James), and then making sure it has the correct message (reading it back and if not then correcting it). If it is something urgent I just call the person using bluetooth or if I need to send an emergency email (which has never happened) I'd perferabbly pull over. That being said, I might just not be used to it and it may work very well for others.

Posted via my love powered Q10

It might be ok, as we haven't seen it all yet. So far I think unless both my thumbs meet with a terrible accident I will only use it in the car or when my hands are too involved in an art project.

Posted via CB from "Z" best

Much better than what we currently have....its terrible as is, but I'm still kinda meh about this feature. good that they improved it though

Posted via CB10

Funny that you say that. My feeling is that everything that Bla1ze showed off can be done with the current voice assistant. There are other newer features in the new one that Bla1ze should have showed off.

Except the current voice assistant is soooo bad, that when you say eg 'send an email to John' it will reply 'calling doctors', or something else utterly unrelated to what was asked. It's like a bad auto-correct on crack.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

I have a feeling that it still won't be able to understand you. They hyped the current one before it was released. Although the video was not meant to be an in depth review, everything can be done with the current one, other than maybe "what's trending on twitter"
It would be nice if you said "remind me not to miss (name of show)" and it could find the start date and time on the Internet and automatically set a reminder. I need to see how it handles mire complex commands and not in a library type environment.

Posted via CB10

Google Now does that, and it's great. Even better, you can set geo-specific reminder. So if I say 'remind me to buy x at Walmart, the reminder will appear the next time I pull up at Walmart (regardless of which one I visit) etc. Awesome.

Posted via CB10

I could see the app being useful to replace some easy search functions but that is about it. I have never been that excited by the voice command idea although it does have a niche. Hope it is better than Siri which basically blows chunks if you happen to be outside or in a car with background noise.

Yes & ironically the car is the only place where you realistically could really use voice control lol

Posted via CB10

Thanks Blaz1ze. I'm very impressed with the messaging possibilities with this assistant. I can see it handy while driving or for when my hands are covered in chicken wing sauce. Great job with the video.

"BB POWERED" C001C1D66

Seems like it would take longer to recognize me speaking than it would be to press the apps icon. Not trying to be a jerk or anything.

Posted via CB10

I don't see myself using it for anything more then novelty, but the basic functions outlined in the video seemed like 90s tech compared to the latest windows phone commercials. I hope when it releases it's much more refined.

Posted from my phone no one cares about on a network no one cares about.

With all the "improvements" made, I would have liked to see...rather hear the voice not be so mechanical. Maybe that will change, but a more natural voice would be nice.

nice either way. looking forward to the release.

Posted via CB10

sounds robot needs more improvement also need voice activation for opening assistance like google now(OK Google)

They could make that an option to opt-in, sure, but better not make it opt-out. As Q10Nutter points out, that would mean it's always listening for an event. Not only is that a privacy concern, the additional process is a potential source of battery drain.

Via CB10 on Z10 | T-Mo | 10.2.1.2156

That is such a next level feature with Google Now - you'd be surprised how much more you use a voice assistant with it.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Not with that exact phrase, it is not as intelligent with the upcoming version. Gotta have some flexibility with different ways of saying the same thing.

Based on Bla1ze's demo, it seems to meet my expectations for a first iteration. I'm on record here as saying I'm a big fan of Google Now and frequently use it on Android. I'm a terrible glass typer so that's the main reason I like voice when it's practical!

BLACKBERRY ASSISTANT IS ONE GOOD ADDITION TO BB.....it really works like charm and it does all the work...TEXTING...ALARM SETTING...REMINDER SETTING...CALLING....AND MANY...IT EVEN RECOGNIZE NOT SO GOOD ENGLISH TOO..I don't know if it can be opened via voice command, else add that too...
And the new leak is pretty awesommeeeee !!!!! :)

Nice but I don't think that I will ever use it, it's always quicker for me to just type what I want.
More, I don't like to look like a fool speaking to my phone when there are other people around...

Sent from my Z 30

I think you will be in good company with many more fools talking into their phones, as AI and natural language routines become more common place.!!!

If indeed it is Maluuba, it has much more functionality than demonstrated in the video. It appears that BBRY has done an amazing job in implementing this natural language API. The Maluuba app in android is very precise, accurate in multi-language speech recognition, and shines in artificial intelligence routines. Maluuba has received numerous excellent reviews in many forums. It appears to be carried over to BB 10.3 with even more features. I look forward to the official release.

Maluuba doesn’t do speech rec. They do nlp.
Good asr with a crappy nlp = crap.
Crappy asr with good nlp = crap.
Good asr with good nlp = awesome.

Posted via CB10

Yes thanks for the clarification and I would put it in your third category: "awesome". When you use the android app, it doesn't appear to the user to differentiate between speech recognition, AI or natural language processing (nlp)....it just works!! However, the Maluuba web site is clear that their focus is nlp. Google playstore describes the android app as a "natural language voice assistant".

CAN I just small throw it out there that it should be called Barry, and have Barry White be the voice? At least as an option.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

I can already say "Create a reminder to buy toilet paper tomorrow at 9am" on 10.2.1 and it works. I never use it, but it currently works without 10.3.

Then you're lucky. Asr in 10.2 is not very reliable. If its recognizer can't recognize what you say then it ain't gonna work. It doesn't recognize what a lot of people say.

Posted via CB10

Seem to be pressing the screen a lot for a "hands free" voice controlled application

Posted via CB10

I'm sure it's awesome :) if it could create a Facebook event and invite people to said event, I would be blown away. Can't wait to load this leak up... have it download but I got stuff to-do :(

Posted via CB10

Looks like it's working great. From the comments I'm guessing it handles things pretty well. Not a feature I use in any of my phones but definitely nice to see it implemented in the OS giving BlackBerry users more features. Keep it up!

Posted via CB10 on my Q10

Seems to work fine, but it's slow....cortana is several times faster and ahead in my opinion. Hope BB develop that, don't care about if it doesn't answer to stupid questions, but needs to be faster. Also Maluuba is faster on other platforms so :/

As noted this needs to be much more fluid and organic, and not step by step like it was done in the video.
However someone said you can do that so I'll wait and see.
But so far, at least from this video it doesn't look that exiting, plus the A.I. (or whatever you want to call it) seems bland and lifeless.
But I guess we'll see.
But as is, it looks like siri and cortana have a light year leap on this

Posted via CB10

Yea I'm not a big fan of any voice assistant apps no matter the platform; the time that it took to send an email was very poor in my opinion.

No More Music!!!!! No More Videos!!!

I can see this being useful in the car.

I'm pretty excited about the 10.3 release. Blackberry continues to actually improve BB10, while Android and IOS don't really seem to be adding much in the way of innovation.

I'm not a serious tech head, and tell me if I am wrong, but I just get the impression that IOS can't go on much longer in its current state. At some point Apple is going to have to put out a new version of IOS that, like the move from BBlegacy to BB10, will require an entirely new app ecosystem. I know that transition will be much easier for Apple to achieve, but I am confident that when that happens, people will give other platforms, especially blackberry, another look.

Complainers complains when they realize that in the market there're better and faster assistants....thats a fact. anyway i hope for the official release it will speed up. Because this os deserves a first class assistant

Nice! Excited to get it! I hope it will come soon to my #BlackberryZ3 here in Makati City, Philippines.

#Blackberry is catching up fast to other OS. Certainly the best mobile OS for me - #BlackberryOS10!
#KeepMovingForward ! #BlackberryForever !

Most people who don't see the value of this either don't drive or at least they don't give two hoots about safety. I'm driving around for a good portion of my day and it is going to improve efficiency hugely to be able to get more things done hands-free.
Is the assistant also able to recite received messages? That would be perfect!!

ॐ Posted via CB10 on my ‎Z30

It's a big jump for BlackBerry! It's still not a Siri, Google Now, or Cortona killer though. Personally, it ran a little slow but it might get faster for the official launch. I don't care for all of the jokes and crap like Siri does. I want this assistant to be faster than Google Now or Cortona for doing tasks and stuff. After all, BlackBerry is the best for getting stuff done and the voice assistant should be the same way!

Posted via CB10

Someone give her a cup of coffee already :)

These apps generally work for the stock set of instructions in a dead quiet room fairly well. How about taking it in the car or in the office where you are more likely to use it and show us how it works then Bla1ze. That would really show it off.

From my understanding you can speak more fluidly and the assistant will recognize the commands. For example, you won't have to go step by step for alarms/reminders or sending messages.

It was good to finally see the assistant in action. Thanks, Bla1ze!

emPowered by 

I wish the assistant would work without the Internet. I understand that I could search and execute only limited tasks, such as "call", "execute app" and similar. But that would be awesome. At some stage the assistant learned my voice and does not need the Internet to translate my words.

You can already do all this stuff with your Z10, whether Crackberry knows it or not. Glad it's getting better in 10.3, but the demo did not show any improvement, on 10.2.1,

"Nobody wants to wake up at 9 am" ha ha ha :) what can I say, my alarm is set to 7 am :( If the BlackBerry users will use it or not it's everybody's choice, but that's a nice thing to have it on your phone

Q10

What I would love (and would give me a reason to actually use voice commands):
Choose from various, natural sounding voices, accents, languages

Assign a name to the Assistant, and be able to use that name to activate it. Completely hands-free.

What I wouldn't give to have an old, British manservant named Beverly existing in my Passport.

Posted via CB10

And here's another genius suggestion. Something that no one else is doing. Downloadable voice packs, right from Blackberry World. There's a revenue possibility right there. I would gladly pay for a bunch of em.

Posted via CB10

Seems to be better than current system blackberry uses, but no game changer. While driving for work, I will use it, hope it works quicker than in video on z30 though.

Posted via CB10

Okay. After reading all the comments about how it is supposed to do more, decided to put it through test, and it is AWESOME. Below are the commands I tried:

1."Is Robin Williams alive" and it worked well giving search results without needing me to fake the accent.

2. Not sure if I'll be using it for sending messages, but it can surely be used for alarms. Works pretty well.

3. Set up a reminder "remind me to pick up kiddo from School at 1pm", and works perfectly fine with this command too.

4. "Find out all the Ice-cream parlours near by" and it fetched a list pretty darn quickly.

5. "Book tickets for Guardians of the Galaxy" and it fetched a summary of the movie with a trailer button, and the nearest theatre playing the movie.

Will play with it a little more, but I am liking what BlackBerry have done with it.

P.S: I have never used a Siri or a Cortana before, so totally susceptible to the naivety of using a assistant for the first time; but, still happy with how it works.

Posted via CB10

So many people asking for things they won't use....haha. it's pretty much basic, just as siri is as well and I guess that's cos if woukd be used mostly for basic things. I only have one question, does it only recognise native BlackBerry apps? Or would it launch android apps on request? I doubt it would though.

Thank you for updating your videos and showing some of the more advanced features. It's working great. I can ask it "did the Nationals win last night" and see that they won their 10th in a row in yet another walk off. Freakin sweet!

The navigation is working faster as well. "Take me to CVS" and then "First one" will launch you right into the navigation without having to hit Start or anything. It also is far more accurate than it's ever been. And integrated into the magnifying glass icon. Search is search is search... with voice!

Here's one I wish my phone would do now - "Play (insert title of song here)" where the song exists in your music folder.

Good videos. As others have stated, though, the current voice assistant can do these things. UI is improved and a couple of minor details bit, otherwise, these capabilities are there today. I don't understand those saying this is way better than what we have now but, to each his / her own. I would like to see some uses of this that we can't do today.

I like functionality like this for driving. I haven't tried it yet to see if it works now, but I wonder if selecting contacts can work by nick name. That would help for contacts with unusual / uncommon names that are difficult for voice controls to understand.

I would use the voice assistant for real assistant type tasks. "If anyone calls me over the next hour, send them a message saying that I am in a meeting and will call them back afterwards." // "When I get to Harris Teeter, remind me to pick up some more detergent." // "When I leave work, remind me to stop by my brother's place to pick up some paperwork." // "On (whatever date) post a message saying 'Happy Birthday, I hope you enjoy your special day' on (contact name) Facebook page."

And so on. Actual tasks that one would have a secretary or real life personal assistant do. I would also love it if the assistant could be initiated with a voice command that we set up (say whatever word or phrase and it activates), with an option for this to be disabled when the battery life gets a certain percentage or lower (if desired), or automatically be set up this way if the device is plugged up.

I don't know how far we are from such enhancements but, these are things that would have me utilize such functionality more. Lastly, to those acting like Siri is all that, I'll buy the hype when I 1) actually see Siri work as it does in the commercials; friends I have today always have issues with the simplest things and 2) when Apple stops getting sued over false advertisement for how effective Siri is supposed to work. No hate; just saying.

Posted via CB10

I find it does most if not all that was just demo'd in 10.2. I use it frequently to set reminders, find businesses, add to task lists etc.
I love it so far and am looking forward to really diving into the 10.3 update.
Z30 Rocks.

The Range Rover

I am not trying to offend anyone, but to all those whinging about the assistant, think of those BlackBerry lovers with a disability. Isn't this something they would surely use to navigate the device easily. I think that sometimes we have to make comments beyond our own noses!

Posted via CB10

Nice addition and update. If you've been around BlackBerry, you already know there will be updates. My concern will be battery usage.

With Siri I found I could speak very casually and issue all the details of my request in the initial sentence. For instance, I could say " Siri, remind me tomorrow at 10:00 am that I have an appointment with john." Siri would then create the reminder and infer what the title of the reminder should be.

I wonder if BlackBerry assistant will have the same dexterity. The guy in this video broke all the requests down to single steps ("set an alarm"...) and waited for the assistant to ask the next question and so it's hard to tell. It made for a slower execution than I'm accustomed to with siri. Still this is a good start.

Another thing: I find it helps when the assistant has a human name because it subconsciously gets you to talk and frame your thoughts in a natural way. When you just start into a request I find it a bit of a self- conscious act and it makes me fumble my words. Maybe that's just me though.

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mines doesn't give an audio response it responds in text, Z10.
Ok, got it working with a couple restarts. And it's awesome, even recognizes my thick West Indian accent. loving it

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.

How come myBB don't have full function of assistant. just can make phone call\play music and open apps. when I say something else,like send a message or email, it respond: the voice request wasn't understood. And shows device's policy was restricted!what does this mean?

I've been running a leaked 10.3 for about a week now and over the past three days while driving started to utilise Assistant. I'm 54 years old and I have to say that this facility has the potential to change my productivity like nothing else before. I can't believe the ease and accuracy with which it recognises my instructions - unlike any other voice recognition I've tried before and believe me - I've been through many like Dragon, an old IBM programme back in the late 90's, Siri on an iPhone 5(that I dumped for my Z30) and so on. Those of you who have not tried Assistant really have to give it a go. I'm creating appointments, text messages, emails so easily its not true! Thank BB........

If BlackBerry could use the always listening like Google Moto X does but with privacy for the device owner it would be PERFECT.

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Looks good specially considering that it's the first version! But in my opinion, this feature is not really crucial for many users. I would have liked much more if BlackBerry had improved other apps like Maps, Camera or even the Phone app. Or maybe added new things like a Passbook app that uses NFC.

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