Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, and Bixby are the complete virtual assistants that we can find in Android.
Virtual assistants are no longer a pantomime and are truly integrated into our day to day thanks to an increasingly efficient voice recognition system and greater integration with external services. At present there are several companies that try to dispute the cake in this inhospitable terrain that throughout 2017 has been established as a useful functionality for any user level. Android is one of the platforms where these services are most influential, so we are going to list some of the most important virtual assistants and highlight their most relevant aspects.
As these Google Trends data show, at the level of media coverage, everything is more than disputed between the four main players: Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and Bixby. Others have stayed on the road, such as the recently abandoned Facebook M, but not all have a knowledge base like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and, to a lesser extent, Samsung.
We start with the most known and “affordable”. The virtual assistant of Google that was born from the ashes of Google Now is integrated into the operating system of Google (specifically in the Google application of the system), so that any Android terminal with Android 6.0 or higher can make use of it . Best of all, throughout 2017, many other languages have been located, including Spanish.
In terms of its features, there is no more than stopping a moment to think about all the services offered by Google to understand its scope. From queries indexed by your search engine and as specific as asking what is the main distribution of a movie to inquiries that cross the information that we provide ourselves as the reservation of some tickets or the shortest way to get home. The degree of humanization of the system is such that we can practically ask any question with a natural language without the answer being out of place. Another thing is that we want to be all day talking to the phone.
- Languages : English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Hindi, Japanese and Korean.
- Requirements: Android 6.0 or higher.
Amazon has gone free finding its own niche thanks to an integration with external devices closer to home automation than the mobile virtual assistant itself, although in the end that ends up being the path by which all go. That is why to use it we will need external hardware such as the Amazon Echo family, as well as many other companies that are joining the car to be integrated with lighting systems, televisions or air conditioning systems. What’s more, CES 2018 has just announced the arrival of Amazon Alexa to Windows 10, land where Cortana has all the lose by having many fewer features. Your Android application is restricted by countries where there is official support, but we can install it via APK without any limitations if we want to take a look.
But what does Amazon Alexa really do? Well, in broad strokes, all the good of a standard assistant that filters and humanizes indexed searches added to the interaction with many of Amazon’s own services (your store, your music platform …) along with the possibility of interacting with physical elements such as the lighting or heating of the home. Obviously, for these kits we need to buy specific devices compatible with the system, but given the brutal integration of this virtual assistant in many homes, it is becoming more affordable. Of course, as long as they do not include other languages, we are bad, because at the moment they only understand English, German and Japanese, even though they are working on their internationalization process.
- Languages: English
- Requests: Android 5.0, Amazon Echo or similar external hardware.
We will not deny that Microsoft is doing very well to move their services to the Android platform now that Windows Mobile is no longer with us. The virtual assistant born to the shelter of Windows 10 made the leap to mobile devices several months ago, although its form of “preliminary” version and the few attempts of the company to try to find a space in a market covered by Google did not do much for its expansion. Luckily, little by little they are taking big steps, their integration with the own launcher of Microsoft, or intesperated agreements like their insertion in the very used CM Launcher of Cheetah Mobile.
Although the market share never played in their favor, the communication between the PC and our mobile terminal is still an ace in the hole that only Microsoft knows how to use. The native applications of Windows are the best excuse to resort to Cortana, and a possible exit to the duplicity of calendars, mail accounts and agendas that we usually carry in front of those who carry the Windows / Android dichotomy in our lives. That yes, to see if the batteries are put and locate the app to other languages. At the moment, Spanish is left out in its Android app until further notice.
- Languages : English (in app).
- Requirements : Android 4.4 or higher
The market share of Samsung terminals is enormous, as demonstrated by our 2017 report on the use of Android applications, in which we affirm that 38% of Uptodown visitors use brand devices. That’s why it makes all the sense in the world to create an own assistant, premiered next to the launch of the Galaxy S8 line. And the other point in favor? What Sooner or later it will arrive in Spanish.
Bixby uses Samsung apps to offer a basic package of search functions, consultation, and interaction with our own content, whether they are contacts, geolocation by maps or photo game. In addition, external devices are beginning to emerge that will also integrate it. In CES 2018, a new line of televisions has been presented that will make use of the assistant, in addition to many other sections of the home that are to come.
- Languages: English, Korean and Chinese.
- Requirements: Android 4.4 or higher
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