Apple Has Siri, Android Has Cluzee

As an Android user, I have managed to not have iPhone envy, at least not until Apple announced the iPhone 4S with Siri. Ever since I first heard about Siri I found it desirable, and I was very disappointed when Apple bought the company, sealing its fate of only ever being available for the iPhone. Still, while I think Siri is very nice, it’s not enough to make me switch to the iPhone, therefore I have been on the hunt for an equivalent for Android.

Cluzee is the latest app to take a crack at filling the voice control void for Android and you will find this free app in the Android Market. Is Cluzee as good as Siri? The screenshot to the left tells you the answer, what you see on Cluzee’s home screen is a list of example commands that Cluzee understands. If you see a list of specific voice commands then you are seeing something that is not as good as Siri.

The real magic to Siri is that it doesn’t require the user to remember how or what to say, you can simply ask it a question or tell it to do something in whatever manner you naturally think of and it does a remarkable job of accurately interpreting the command. Those who claim that Android’s voice actions or Windows Phone’s TellMe voice control are as good as Siri don’t get the magic of Siri.

It’s not about what any of these voice command apps do, it’s about their understanding of what the user asks it to do. Cluzee is able to do a lot of different things, read your meeting schedule to you, make a phone call, send text messages, and open applications. You can also use it to track your diet, book hotel reservations, call a cab, and update your Facebook status.

Unfortunately, I have seen more Force Close messages running Cluzee than I would like and I have found it to be a tad slow in starting. I am also surprised that Cluzee does not include a widget, to start the app you can tap and hold the search button or add a shortcut of the app to the home screen on your phone.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment I have had with all of the Android voice control apps to date, including Cluzee, is that they don’t interact with the calendar and contact apps on the phone. I would like to add appointments to my calendar or open a contact using voice commands, but so far none of these apps provide such functions.

Fortunately, Cluzee is free, so it won’t cost you much to try it out. I am anxious to see how quickly the developers add new features.

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