Siri has gone from strength to strength since its initial launch on iOS two and a half years ago. Since then the idea of a virtual assistant has gone from a futuristic, if slightly unnecessary, bonus feature to a must-have for any operating system. Google Now for Android has arguably eclipsed Siri in terms of functionality, and just yesterday we wrote of Cortana’s arrival upon Windows Phone.
As is often its way, BlackBerry has arrived late to the party. However, it has most certainly arrived, with the introduction of BlackBerry Assistant. It’s a new feature to be introduced in the impending BlackBerry OS 10.3 launch, which will also time nicely with the release of the BlackBerry Passport (you know the one – the square phablet).
The features should be immediately familiar to anybody who’s used any one of the other similar services before. You touch and hold the small Assistant icon, voice your request or enquiry to your handset aloud like some sort of crazy person, and results are automatically and intelligently fetched for you.
As well as the ability to search the net, BlackBerry Assistant is also able to carry out a range of actions on your BlackBerry device. It can send BBMs, check BlackBerry weather, search within your BlackBerry Hub, and just about anything else you would want to do hands-free on your phone. There’s no word on third-party app compatibility yet, although it will work with bluetooth-connected devices with no extra fuss.