SayIt for BlackBerry 10 updated - Ask it anything you like

By James Richardson on 26 Feb 2013 11:54 am EST
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We first got hands on with SayIt back in Amsterdam when we were at BlackBerry Jam Europe and even then it was pretty sweet. The app has just received an rather nice update (to Version: 1.4.0.26) and as well as fixing a couple of bugs and improving battery life the big change is with what you can now ask SayIt. The voice recognised personal assistant has now become much more like Siri that our iPhone friends have. You can pretty much ask SayIt anything and it will calculate your question and then speak and present you with the answer - clever stuff.

It seems to work pretty well. You just tap the speech icon to record and tap again to finish - easy. Clearly there are a tonne of other features within the app which you can see in our initial video but this latest update is a welcome improvement and I'm actually going to use SayIt on a regular basis if I need to find out a fact. It will certainly be easier than typing the question into a search engine.

SayIt is priced at $3.99/£2.50 and it could well be your new best friend on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

More information/Download SayIt for BlackBerry 10

Reader comments

SayIt for BlackBerry 10 updated - Ask it anything you like

45 Comments

My question about SayIt does your request go to a call center like RIMs voice command application does? Yes you heard me right, if you turn off your wireless and mobile connection and try using the BBRY(RIM) Voice Command it will tell you its unable to connect to the network, this is because RIM(BBRY) has people on the other end translating what you are asking the device to do! :)

Does SayIt run on your device by itself or does it require you to be connected to a network?

How could it possibly work if it had no data connection? It has to be able to use the internet to find and return the answers, and yes it needs a service to transcribe what you're saying...as does any similar system.

I would like to refine your question a little (if I may), as I can only see 2 different question types for these voice recognition applications: instructions for your existing phone applications, and data queries that require network connectivity: Your phone doesn't contain the data required to answer a real time mapping, or lyrics, or live weather question without the internet, but it should be able to update an appointment or place a call to an existing contact or new phone number or open an application without having to access a network, so IMHO, the question is does the application require a network connection to take action on local resources and applications?

Based on the calculated IQ your comment reflectes, it is pretty impressive that you managed to type 6 plus lines.

Bed and Blanket BlackBerry

I'm pretty sure SIRI has it's own servers hosted by Apple collecting all your inquiries. It's the only way to improve the service by catalogging your requests.

What about navigation type questions - or weather?

"Do I need an Umbrella?"

"I need cofee"

Saying this is competing with SIRI is kind of silly without it handling these types of questions flawlessly.

I tried f***ing siri once...got the answer "sorry, this service is unavailable in Canada" ...was trying to get some navigation info if I remember right.
Never looked at that piece of c**p again. Turned off the damned thing forever.
unfortunately I have to carry an ifone every day...company device. Hope they'll come to their senses soon and go the right way (get the zed)

Does this have access to other apps?
Eg. calendar, alarm, messaging, maps, etc.
If so, I may just have to pick this up!

True; I was hoping maybe CB had a dev version of it because of the posting. Oh well, just gonna have to wait and see! Thanks :)

WHAT A RIP OFF, I mean I hate apple But come on the last thing we need is people adding one more thing to say BlackBerry copied Apple, 1st they should have MOVED the button and not make it look like siri and also the sound sounds similar to siri. They could have made something similar but not ALMOST identical like what is shown. maybe hold the volume key to start it just something different. FYI who is Obama My answer would be the president of the United States not someone born in Hawaii.

If you hear the name Barack Obama (not knowing who he is) then what would make you ask the question Who is the President of the U.S.? ;)

RIMs-Pegasus-2012
arising from the ashes with a new song

Ask instead...who is the 44th president of the United States...

and try the others...

16th = Lincoln....

I agree with what the response should have been with regard to Obama.
You do know that this is a 3rd party app and not developed by BB?
BlackBerry didn't copy Apple here at all.

As stated by several others this is not a app that was created by BlackBerry...it is a 3rd party app created by a developer...now did he "rip off" Apple?...well if voice functions are a "rip off", then Apple ripped off BlackBerry. Because well before the days of Siri I was able to use voice commands all the way back in OS5 (I believe it was os5 that was installed on the first Bold 9000, someone please correct me if I am wrong). Yes the function was limited and didn't always work the best, but it was new technology at the time and worked as well as expected. So...to say that BlackBerry copied Apple is WAY off...because BlackBerry had this function first, just not in the current state...

Blackberry doesn't make Sayit...

And I don't think i've ever heard someone say blackberry copied apple. There might be stuff I'm forgetting though.

Ummmm I never said BlackBerry copied Apple what I said is features are showing up in BlackBerry World that are similar to apple. BlackBerry should have asked them to make the app not look like Siri.... WHO CARES IF ITS NOT MADE BY BLACKBERRY THE POINT IS ITS ON BLACKBERRY. People are not going to say oh its not a copy because it's not made by bb. What they will say is its a COPY regardless who it's made by... We need to distance ourselves from competitors. Siri in my opinion is useless, I say this because I have never seen someone talking to Siri in public and the only time I have seen it put to use was asking dumb questions like where to dump a dead body.

Thank's James. I have been somewhat waiting for a good review of this app. A more in depth look at the integration with native BB10 apps would be appreciated.

What's the difference between what this application offers and Voice Control that's part of BB10?

For those wondering why a data connection is needed - it's not because there are human transcribers behind-the-scenes.

Up until 2009 or so, most voice reco was performed on-device with small, limited grammars.
These days "say anything" voice recognition needs to access large compiled grammar objects, and a recognition platform. Providing this by remote service allows for centralized tuning and updates to grammar objects. That's how Siri, Vlingo, Voxeo and many others do it.

I am blown away by what he's done with this app. Can the forums here give some support and positive feedback to the app developers like this who are providing some really cool apps for the new BB10 platform. Sometimes the criticism in these forums is so petty and harsh. Does a guy need an app that not only makes your coffee but hands it to you to get a pass?

I don't have a bb10 device not yet anyway. I am still using my 9900. If sayit for os7 was £2.50 I would not hesitate to snap it up. But £5.00 is a bit pricey.

I asked it what was the 29th number after the decimal point in Pi and it froze my phone. lol just kidding, it didn't know but I asked it where I was and it revealed my ipv4 and ipv6 address and mac address to me, that I did not like.
But, I play a lot of Battlefield 3 nd it knew what that was, I asked when it was born(exact words) and it told me when, where, what time and by whom. I asked it what was the relationship between the distance from earth to the moon versus the distance to the sun from the earth and it started to cry.

btw whats an iphone and what the heck is siri?

RIMs-Pegasus-2012
arising from the ashes with a new song

I tested the translations and they seem good to Spanish, German and French.

BUT how do you get a "translation FROM" another language to English?

I don't see any operational setting to change source language...

Wouldn't it make sense to be able to have a conversation where the other party spoke back to you into the same device?
seems like a one way street...or am I missing something?

RIMs-Pegasus-2012
arising from the ashes with a new song

Asked:
Tim Hortons Restaurants near me ...

it listed the 5 closest restaurants and distances and NSEW directional...

also tried
Chevron Gas stations near me

same...and distances of 3km

Gas Stations near me

gave me 5 = Shell/Husky/Petro-Canada/Esso/Shell
all within 1 KM..one with closing hours...

This is useful...(but last one - distances were wrong...so a glitch as they were based on City Center..not my actual location)

Works pretty good but this bit is hilarious..... In text to voice, set language as French and type in text like " how old are you?" The system asks the question with a French accent rather than translating? Seriously funny.

Thanks to a quick app support answer I can post this FYI that proved most helpful: "The text to Voice is not translated. The purpose of text to voice is to convert text from a certain language to voice and save as mp3 file :)"
"In the next update I will add translation feature right at the Text to Voice and Voice to Text. Don't worry man :)"

I spent $5 on the sayit for playbook piece of ####. ZERO product support. This developer takes your money then vanishes. Just search "sayit" in the forums and read for yourself.
Sayit wont get another dime from me....enjoy my $5!

Nice, I may try it out BUT how do you really need to press the button in the middle all the time or can you assign a button for it to replace the current voice dial on the z10?

I hope when bb10 hits the playbook, we dont have to pay again for this app..........because the playbook sayit is horrible, and doesnt get updated anymore.

The developer already said PLAYBOOK owners won't have to pay for the app again and when the PLAYBOOK gets BLACKBERRY10 it will be able to run the above version.

I bought this yesterday, for me it doesn't work!

If it wasn't for James demoing it, I would have thought it has trouble with English. After three or four times of it coming up with random stuff after asking it to "Google fx Quotes" I gave up and just Googled the damn thing.

Note to self: if the Dev isn't willing to offer a small trial, the app probably isn't complete.

Rant over.

I bought this app couple days ago. I never thought i would use app like this one.voice recognition is outstanding. the more i use this app the more i like it. truly well done app.great developer