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Holy free app! Robin could be an Android packin' driver's best friend

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Holy free app! Robin could be an Android packin' driver's best friend
Tucked away inside Google Play Store is a free app called Robin that could easily be mistaken as another Siri knock-off. The difference, though, is that Robin isn't supposed to be Siri, at least not yet. Designed for drivers, Robin is limited to navigation, real-time traffic, finding parking or the nearest (and cheapest) gas station, weather, telling jokes, reading Yelp reviews and there also is some Twitter integration. Because it is in beta, the app does misfire every now and then and forces you to repeat your request. We asked Robin to find the nearest gas station and it said that there were none nearby even though a Mobil station is less than a mile away. We saw nothing at all resembling the smooth running app shown on the official video. The developer, Palo Alto based Magnifis, says that Robin is a "student" and is not yet perfect.

Screenshots of Robin
Screenshots of Robin

Screenshots of Robin

According to the developer, Robin is supposed to be like KITT from Knight Rider as it will eventually be able to learn the driver's usual driving patterns and proactively report on traffic, navigation and speed traps. Robin will even learn the user's preferences in jokes and news as this functionality is added. Just keep in mind that this is not Siri or even S Voice for that matter. In fact, don't even try to ask Robin to do some of the things that Siri does. For example, we asked Robin to set an alarm and received a response that it was "pissed" that we asked because it is not yet programmed for such a task.

If Magnifis can work out all of the bugs, and keeps Robin's eye on the road, this could be a nice little gem of an app. On the other hand, if the developer gets caught up in trying to copy Siri, it could end up misunderstood and lost in a sea of Siri copycats. As it is, many reviews at the Google Play Store are negative as users try to compare Robin to Siri. For now, that is a battle that Robin is not going to win.

source: GooglePlayStore via Phandroid



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22 Comments
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posted on 17 Jun 2012, 07:04 2

1. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4167; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Holy unoriginal!

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 07:52 15

3. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


Just like your comments.
Every. Single. Day.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 14:22

13. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4167; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


u mad bro?

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 13:59 2

12. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


g.k, taco, mxy, strikercho, or whatever name it uses nowadays should form an apple love society....

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 14:23

14. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4167; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


This isn't about Apple. It's about being original.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 07:16 2

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5955; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


The fact that reviewers are comparing Robin to Siri is bad news for Robin. The developer has basically not been able to position Robin where it wants. The epitaph for Robin will be about how it couldn't be a better Siri for Android.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 07:52 9

4. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 642; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


Why do we always have to compare everything to Siri, and call them Siri copies, while these sorts of things hav b there for like, EVER?

It's not like Siri was the first VA. Let's all get a grip and life while we are at it. Siri is not the first VA, so let's stop comparing all Virtual Assistants to Siri, or call every VA a copy of Siri. Yes Siri is currently d best in its ranking but not the first.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 09:47 9

6. ilia1986 (unregistered)


It's hopeless man. Once Apple gets its dirty claws upon a product\service, and then markets it as its own - everyone suddenly start believing that they invented it in the first place..

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 13:58

11. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


the funny thing is that not as many apple iphone/ipad users use Siri as much as Apple would like to see, thus the update in iOS6. Honestly, if you have to update Siri so that it can tell you the score of a game, then something is not right with the program. It should be written to respond to nearly any command, ask for more input from the user, and once anaylsis has been completed, it should be able to actually talk to the user.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 16:20

16. D_Tech-tive (Posts: 104; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


Right!

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 01:17

20. Mitchel (Posts: 228; Member since: 25 May 2012)


True story.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 09:46 2

5. Birds (Posts: 1029; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


Thats a huge turn-on. Now I want an iPhone....

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 14:43

22. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4167; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Good idea.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 10:32

7. GP007 (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Apple gets ripped pretty regularly on its shortcomings or copy cat apps.

Apple has Siri, Android doesn't have an equivalent. Perhaps Robin will fill the void, perhaps it won't.

Apple upped the ante on this front. Will the Android community respond?

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 13:55 4

10. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


lol, it was apple who had to respond - Android has no need to respond to an inferior product - run along now, kid...mommy is calling.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 16:01

15. LionStone (Posts: 468; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


It IS hilarious...when apple 'just' finally catches up with Voice Actions, and now with with Maps and Navigation...funny.

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 16:40

17. paulyyd (Posts: 327; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)


@networkdood someones mad

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 20:39

19. GP007 (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Not a fan or user of Apple.

Regardless, your response is not really any different than that of an Apple fanboy who sensed some slight.

Where is Androids version of Siri?

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 01:20

21. Mitchel (Posts: 228; Member since: 25 May 2012)


Samsung Galaxy S III has its own voice assistant too..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKAZOJ5uJFc

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 10:40

8. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6740; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


THIS APP IS HORRIBLE

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 19:16

18. Blackhawk4 (Posts: 9; Member since: 15 May 2012)


Care to go into more depth about why it is horrible, or are you fine with just sounding like an idiot?

posted on 17 Jun 2012, 11:13 1

9. adi4u4882 (Posts: 135; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


When i just read the title,
I thought Robin was used for compiling Drivers for Android.

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