No Such Thing as Official Siri for Android App

January 2, 2012
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Due to the strict competition between Android and iOS, Apple has no plans of letting other platforms use Siri. Siri is a voice-activated virtual assistant that was recently introduced along the launch of the new iPhone 4S. Because of its features, many Android users have been hoping that Siri will also be making an entry for them. As a result, Android developers have come up with their own Siri-like apps. Google has even been reported to come up with Majel, an app believed to be a strong opponent of Siri.

Just recently though, a new app has been making heads turn—for both Android and iOS users. Even with Apple’s decision, there are some developers who have not adhered to this. Last Wednesday, an app publisher known as ‘Official App’ launched ‘Siri for Android’ on Android Market. Many thought that this was an official Android version of Apple’s highly successful virtual assistant. However, it was actually a shortcut that launched the built-in Voice Actions of Google.

Because of this, more than 1,000 Android users started to download and install the app on their device. When they launched the app, many got frustrated. Even though the developer of the app made an honest description on Android Market:

Siri, now for your Android device! This application is a Siri icon that opens ”Google’s Voice Actions” app.’

Many, however, failed to read this description and have given the app a low rating. This is a precautionary method to stop the app from reaching the Featured apps in Android Market.

Another app has been seen to fool Android users into thinking they have found an official Siri app, called Fake Siri for Android. However, this app did not really respond to any voice commands or even perform any task. This was something its developer, Kelvin KYChan did not fail to point out in writing ‘This app is created just for fun!’ The app simply copied the interface and says nice things about Android with a computerized female voice.

Moreover, there has been a fake Siri app reported to have sent ‘free iPad’ spams to the user’s notification bar after installation.

Again, the stability and security of Android Marketplace is being questioned considering the fact that Google does not provide a verification step on apps and their developers. It did not even prohibit such apps even though they clearly prohibited some trademark/copyright applications. Is it time for Google to re-evaluate their Android Marketplace?

 

To date, there are some commendable apps such as Vlingo and Speaktoit Assistant. But for the meantime, it’s better to avoid downloading apps that claim they are ‘official Siri’ Android versions.

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