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BlackBerry reveals its own Siri-esque virtual assistant

BlackBerry reveals its own Siri-esque virtual assistant
During the summer of 2012, before BlackBerry 10 was launched, there were rumors about a Siri-esque virtual assistant that would be making his/her way to BlackBerry users. While nothing ever came of it back then, we can tell you that today, at long last, the manufacturer has revealed BlackBerry Assistant. This application can comb through your email and calendar, and tell you what is trending on Twitter.

The more you use BlackBerry Assistant, the more he/she becomes familiar with how you do things. And by reading your email to you while you are behind the wheel, the voice activated virtual assistant allows you to focus on driving while still keeping you up to date. You can even ask the Assistant to mark an email as being unread, so that you can read it again later, with no distractions. Furthermore, you can set up a reminder without leaving the current page that you're on. And if you're expecting an important call, you can ask BlackBerry Assistant to notify you about phone calls only.

Of course, we expect BlackBerry Assistant to handle many of the same tasks that Siri, Cortana and Google Now can do with their eyes closed. BlackBerry Assistant will apparently be available starting with BlackBerry 10.3, which means that if you're holding out for the BlackBerry Passport, you will also get a chance to work with BlackBerry Assistant.

BlackBerry hasn't yet released a list of BlackBerry Assistant's features, but we're sure that will be coming down the road as we get closer to the introduction of the BlackBerry Passport, and the next build of the BlackBerry 10 OS.


source: BlackBerry via Engadget

51 Comments
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posted on 16 Jul 2014, 13:08 1

1. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


Picture two looks like tiles?

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 13:39 2

4. Jinto (Posts: 436; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


BBRY loves MSFT design
look at cortana's halo and how they put that here
and the tiles in pic 2

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 13:22 4

2. Finalflash (Posts: 3228; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Siri like? As in barely works and when it does its largely useless?

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 13:37 2

3. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


True

Cortana and Google is better

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 14:07 2

5. Finalflash (Posts: 3228; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


I am just kinda miffed that they have to reference back to Apple in almost every single thing they can for some reason. As if the user base of this site wouldn't know what a "virtual assistant" would be so you have to allude to Siri. If I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it is because the BB service is closer to Siri than Google Now or Cortana, then I assume it shares the same reputation as Siri.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 15:33 2

11. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2228; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


They are referencing Siri because it was first, and because it has more useful functions. Google Now is still getting functionality added that Siri has had for a while. There is a lot more to virtual assistants than just intense data mining to fuel predictive behavior.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 18:08

17. o7o (Posts: 111; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)


Such as?

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 22:18 1

25. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2228; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Siri allows for more complex dictation ("Call x and y on speakerphone" instead of "Call x."), handling a series of consecutive, related queries, and toggling system settings and settings within apps.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 06:55

33. o7o (Posts: 111; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)


Actually, it's the opposit. If you ever saw demos and comparisons of the two systems, you'd have known that Siri doesn't understand follow-up questions, you ask her something, and if you wanted to ask another thing related to the previous question, you can't, for example, you can ask "Who is the president of the USA?" and it'll answer "Barack Obama", but if you then ask "Where was he born?" she won't understand who is "he" in that sentence and what does it refer to, and she will treat it as a new question altogether instead of tying it with the previous one.

Cortana on the other hand, has this contextual conversation, you can ask her a question, then she'll answer you, and you can follow that question with another one, and she'll understand it and reply accordingly. Siri might have be doing some more things right now, and it's expected considering Siri has been here for almost 3 years and Cortana is still in beta form, but Cortana as a system is much more powerful than Siri, and will be able to do much more things over time (and it can already do things Siri can't) such as contextua conversation, geofencing, inner circle notifications (where she'll know who, for example, your sister is and you can ask her "The next time I speak with my sister remind me to ask about mom", and she'll know who your sister is, and whenever you contact her, be it calling or texting or whatever, she'll remind you to ask about mom), 3rd party apps integration, among others.

So, yeah, Siri might be doing some more things right now, but that's just evolution because of age, not because it's better or more powerful.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 23:19 1

26. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4492; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Actually Vlingo came before Siri. It came preloaded on the Galaxy S2 and the Nexus S. IIRC it launched in 2010 and Siri a year later.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 00:42 1

31. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2228; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


And Voice Control, which did a lot of the same things, was on the iPhone before Vlingo, which was just an app, hit the market. Siri was integrated into Apple's Voice Control, but the app was on the iPhone in 2010, a year before the SGSII launched (2011). I can do this all day and night long...

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 14:29

6. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Looks interesting. Need to read more on it. Hopefully, more info will be available soon.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 15:09 1

7. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I think that this BlackBerry Passport phone will not succeed as it happened with BlackBerry Z10.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 15:13

8. Jinto (Posts: 436; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


I, for one, wouldn't mind this I want a decent qwerty with premium specs

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 15:26 1

10. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I understand that there is people who likes Qwerty keyboards but Qwerty keyboard is only one aspect of this phone.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 20:24

19. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)


will you willing to pay for the premium price for nothing? Maybe you will, but how many person willing to do that

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 20:27 1

20. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


And who says it will be for nothing? You? The opinion of a TROLL is worthless.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 08:25 1

34. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


here you go... wow! you made my day wahuyahoo... I just come on blackberry's post to see whether you commented something negative about blackberry or not?

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 15:25 1

9. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


The Passport is NOTHING like the Z10. It has far more power, features and innovation. This Passport will definitely succeed, ESPECIALLY in the enterprise and healthcare sector. It also doesn't hurt that there has been HUGE "consumer" curiosity about the Passport.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 16:02 1

12. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"This Passport will definitely succeed, ESPECIALLY in the enterprise and healthcare sector."

You say so just because back in days BlackBerry was a status symbol the same stupid trend as it happens with iPhone and other Apple products.

"It also doesn't hurt that there has been HUGE "consumer" curiosity about the Passport."

I don't think that there is a such huge curiosity from potential consumers as you would wish that it was. ;)

There is few main reasons why I think that BlackBerry Passport will not succeed:

1) BlackBerry is no more in the spotlight as it was back in days. Now only minority pays attention to BlackBerry.

2) BlackBerry OS compared to other OS lacks support.

3) There is people who likes Qwerty keyboards but in my opinion there is much more people who likes to have bigger touch screen than only 4.5 inches.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 17:06 1

14. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


"You say so just because back in days BlackBerry was a status symbol the same stupid trend as it happens with iPhone and other Apple products".

First: DO NOT lump BlackBerry together with Apple. That's blasphemy.
Second: You are absolutely WRONG in that ASSumption. I say this because there is TRUE INNOVATION in this device. It's not the sea of "me too" devices that's out today.

"I don't think that there is a such huge curiosity from potential consumers as you wish that it was. ;) "

Do you read tech info from anywhere other than P.A.? Because if you do, then you would know there have been MANY sites reporting this very thing...from CONSUMERS. I can provide links if you need them.

Here are a few main reasons why I think the BlackBerry Passport WILL SUCCEED:

1) BlackBerry has been nothing if not in the spotlight. Whether it's been positive or negative, EVERYONE has had an opinion about BlackBerry, thus putting them in the spotlight. Lately, the "spotlight" has been very rewarding for BlackBerry in terms of positive news. John Chen has been working wonders with BlackBerry. This company is watched HEAVILY.

2) BlackBerry 10 May not have the support iOS or Android does in the CONSUMER market, but it has PLENTY of support in the ENTERPRISE market. Also, with the Amazon deal in place, BlackBerry doesn't have to worry too much about "support" from developers because as long as Amazon has the support, BlackBerry has the support by relation.

3) Qwerty phones are more well liked than you believe. Just look at the comments here on PA or on other sites. The commenters love a qwerty keyboard! And a 4.5 inch phone that has so much screen real estate, along with that drool worthy, innovative keyboard is a phone that many want, and at the very least, want to try. And I've seen it and read about it so many times: Once you've tried BB10 for a good amount of time, you either love it or you have to have it! ;)

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 23:25 1

27. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4492; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Blackberry had the same status symbol image and cult following in it's heyday that the iPhone does today. Before the iPhone, Blackberry was associated with celebrities and politicians, and around my parts it was a big deal to own one. Probably due to the higher cost of the plans required for service. But they still seemed to have more of a cool factor than other smart phones like WinMobile.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 23:39 1

29. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Yes, but it just feels wrong to put a smartphone like a BB10 device in the same category as a feature phone that's essentially an app launcher with a great camera.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 08:47 2

35. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


No! PhoneArena.com is not the only source where I'm getting info. I read info from a lot of different sources. Also I'm not only read tech news, I also read tech literature.

Talking about statistics, I don't want to see any fake statistics! The simplest way to prove that BlackBerry is not popular and that there is no big interest in new BlackBerry Passport phone is to go through many different tech sites and look how much comments has articles about BlackBerry and how much comments has articles about other manufacturers. After that it should be clear that BlackBerry is no more popular and that there is no big interest in new BlackBerry Passport phone.

Talking about QWERTY keyboard popularity, there still is people who prefers physical Qwerty keyboards but such people is now MINORITY. The best proof for that is the fact that phones with physical QWERTY keyboard is almost gone in our days, almost no one manufactures them, there is no phones with latest specifications and physical QWERTY keyboard. Why? Because there is NO DEMAND! That's why in evolution phones with physical QWERTY keyboard was push out from the market by fully touch screen phones.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 09:33 1

38. apiskula (banned) (Posts: 578; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


You are right on. Great comments!

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 18:19 1

49. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Nobody cares, troll.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 10:19

39. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)


That's right.
Back in the days that Nokia release the new Symbian^3 devices, I was assigned to do some symbian development work, and from the download report I got, QWERTY is out.
From the 4 symbian phone, N8, E7, C7, E6. Nokia E6 only represent about 3%, and E7 about 7%. The rest were touch screen with no QWERTY hardware.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 18:10 1

46. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Stop lying. You've never had a job.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 12:35

42. ablopez (Posts: 231; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)


PhoneArenaUser, wahooyweenie, apiskula:

Okay, you've stated your opinions (over and over and over again) and, in some cases, reasons for your opinions. But to put someone down for choosing Blackberry is wrong. This is our platform of choice. If it goes down, it goes down. But while it's here, we're choosing it. Why do you guys insist on trying to convince everyone not to use Blackberry? There is interest in the Passport. If you can't respect that, then please stop commenting and go to the articles that talk about your platform of choice. At least you'll have a chance of having your opinions respected there, because you guys have zero respect here.

posted on 17 Jul 2014, 18:02 1

44. meanestgenius (Posts: 13104; Member since: 28 May 2014)


You say there is no demand for a qwerty phone? Read this:

“BlackBerry’s square-screened phone to free us from our ‘rectangular world,’” went the headline of Andrew Cunningham’s piece in Ars Technica, one of many pieces that propelled the Passport near the top of industry news aggregator, TechMeme

The Passport’s boundary-breaking design and oversized 1,440×1,440 screen resonated with many writers. “One of the obvious reasons for BlackBerry Passport’s square form factor is the need for innovation,” wrote Softpedia’s Cosmin Vasile. “In a market where design matters a lot, BlackBerry found out that there weren’t too many square handsets available and has decided to go for it.”

TechCrunch’s Darrell Etheringon agreed. “BlackBerry is at least taking a different approach to the smartphone/tablet/whatever-mobile-computer, the design of all which has been largely normalized over the past few years.”

So did Jon Fingas of influential gadget blog, Engadget. “They’re interesting ideas, and the unusual form factor might just work for BlackBerry’s suit-and-tie audience.

Even BGR’s Brad Reed was moved to write that “the BlackBerry Passport wasn’t designed for iS***p and Fandroids who want to play Candy Crush all day — it’s for people who want to do real work, and that means having a physical keyboard that can fire off emails like no other phone.”

Predictably, some publications took a cautious approach to the Passport’s innovations, opting to defend a status quo dominated by an endless conveyor belt of entertainment-driven, homogenous devices.

But when everything tastes like chicken, maybe it’s time for a different flavor.

Clamoring Consumers

Besides the media coverage, the number of reader comments indicated the strong interest. BGR’s post drew 170+ comments; the Ars post drew more than 240 comments, while Engadget’s blog drew nearly 380 comments. Let’s not forget the 120+ comments at our blog as well as the combined 800 comments at CrackBerry!

These comments tended towards the passionate and insightful.

“As a matter of fact the touch-sensitive physical keyboard is certainly far more inventive than anything Apple or the Android camp so far managed to pull up when it comes to text entry,” commented one reader of The Register’s piece.

So what BIZZARO world do you live in? These were all QUOTES from tech sites and consumers alike that ALL have a genuine interest in the BlackBerry Passport, a QWERTY KEYBOARD PHONE. We don't see many qwerty phones out today because NO ONE can do them like BlackBerry can, so they don't even try. By the way, this is the link for the article:
http://blogs.blackberry.com/2014/07/blackberry-passport-previews-ignite-consumer-interest/

You say you don't want to see any fake statistics, and yet you provide NONE to back up your claims of "no big interest in new BlackBerry Passport phone" and "NO DEMAND!" for a physical keyboard phone? I have just proved you WRONG on BOTH COUNTS!!

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