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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: 3339; 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: 3339; 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: 2236; 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: 2236; 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 16 Jul 2014, 23:19 1

26. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4618; 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: 2236; 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 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, 14:29

6. meanestgenius (Posts: 14187; 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, 15:25 1

9. meanestgenius (Posts: 14187; 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, 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, 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: 14187; 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, 17:28 2

15. BobbyDigital (Posts: 2057; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Hey meanest, his name is 'Phonearena user", OF COURSE he only gets his news from Phonearena. Only an iDiot would get their news from just one source, and lo and behold, here he is.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 17:58 1

16. meanestgenius (Posts: 14187; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Rotflmao!! You are absolutely correct, Bobby D!

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 20:24 1

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


The problem might be because power user will prefer android/iOS compared to passport. The passport might be not bad, but it doesn't have target market.

Currently all bb user is the low end user, the cheap user, such as bb Jakarta, or Z10 @ discounted price of US$ 250. or some old bb7os @ US$120.

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: 14187; Member since: 28 May 2014)


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

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 20:38 1

22. meanestgenius (Posts: 14187; Member since: 28 May 2014)


You and this low end CRAP. Where YOU LIVE there may be a bunch of low end users. Here in the states and elsewhere we use Z30's and Q10's. Not low end at all. And a POWER USER will prefer a BLACKBERRY. BlackBerry's are BUILT FOR POWER. The WORKHORSE uses a BlackBerry. Those that are constantly on the go and need to get things done long after little boys like you have gone to bed, tucked in by mommy and daddy. THAT'S BlackBerry's target market with the Passport, not whatever BS you're saying. And PLEASE do not try and say that all Android and iOS users are power users. Android has a PLETHORA of CHEAP PHONES in circulation, ESPECIALLY where you live, which outnumber their high end brethren. And iOS is not for the power user AT ALL. It's a CHILDS OS with a PALTRY BATTERY TO MATCH. The only reason why misinformed individuals like you think it's a premium device is because of the OVER-INFLATED price tag.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 21:23 1

24. ablopez (Posts: 232; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)


Wow, your attempts to talk down about BB are really sounding desperate. And your obsession is really showing with every post you make. Really, I'd be embarrassed for you if I didn't think so lowly of your opinions.

"...power user will prefer android/iOS compared to passport"???? Where are you getting this? And why do you think so? Based on the specs, power users will want this phone. I can't wait to get my hands on one!

Doesn't have target market? What about governments and healthcare and others in enterprise? BlackBerry clearly has a target but your obsession is blinding you.

"All bb user is the low end user, the cheap user..."??? This statement doesn't even make any sense, both in English grammar and content.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 23:25 1

27. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4618; 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, 23:38 1

28. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4618; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


While I disagree with his statement for the most part, here in the states you can't deny that BBs aren't selling anywhere on par with the other 3 OSs. I talked with a rep at the local cell store, and he said they'd sold around 30. And that was around 3 months after they launched the Z10. I had a couple family members who used to use BB (Bold & Torch) and they've converted to iPhone. Which is a shame, having more competing OSs forces everyone to up their game.

I almost picked up a Storm2 but the rep guided me to Android. I wasn't even considering them, I thought BBs Surepress was a much more accurate implementation for touchscreens, but that was due to a bad experience with an LG Dare. And I didn't realize there was a difference in touchscreens at the time (capacitive & resistive). I still kinda wished I could've given BB a chance, but hopefully they can mount a decent comeback.

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 23:39 1

29. meanestgenius (Posts: 14187; 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 16 Jul 2014, 23:45 1

30. meanestgenius (Posts: 14187; Member since: 28 May 2014)


True, BlackBerry handsets do not sell well to consumers here in the states. They sell much better overseas. BlackBerry needs to increase their virtually nonexistent marketing so awareness of BlackBerry 10 and what it's capable of increases. I will admit, however that I'm not too concerned with BlackBerry excelling in the consumer space beyond meeting their goal of 10 million handsets a year. I'm more interested in what BlackBerry does in the enterprise space, where they still hold the lead over the competition.

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?

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