iPhone Siri Wannabe Apps

Apple's Siri voice recognition ushered in a whole new era in smart-phone technology. Now downloadable apps are trying to get in on the conversation.

Consumer Reports just took a look to see how some of the leading apps stack up.

Tyler Carfi loves Siri, Apple's much-acclaimed voice-recognition feature.

Carfi says, "I can just ask Siri where's the nearest coffee shop. It's really convenient."

Consumer Reports says two top examples of voice-recognition apps are Robin and Speak-To-It. you can download them onto your phone for free.

Mike Gikas of Consumer Reports says, "Speak-To-It is available on several platforms, including iPhone, whereas Robin is exclusively for the Android platform."

Both apps do well with some requests.

Mike Gikas says, "Navigate home."

Robin says, "Absolutely. Looking for directions to home."

Gikas says, "Show me pictures of the Eiffel Tower."

Speak-To-It says, "I found a few pictures of Eiffel Tower for you."

But both struggle with other questions.

Gikas says, "How much is three plus six?"

Robin says, "Let's ask Google for how much is three plus six."

Mike Gikas says, "Set up a meeting with Ann Burr Tenthoff at six o'clock."

Speak-To-It says, "I don't think I'm qualified to answer that yet."

Siri, on the other hand, has no problem with similar requests.

"I scheduled your event with Paul Reynolds for 4:30 PM tomorrow."

And Siri can add!

Bottom line? Siri remains the voice recognition stand-out.

Gikas says, "Siri is hardwired into your iPhone and has access to much more of your personal information. And that's and edge that none of the other apps can really compete with."

Tyler agrees.

Carfi says, "Where's the nearest coffee shop?"

Siri says, "I have found 14 coffee shops. Five of them are fairly close to you."

If you don't have an iPhone with Siri, Consumer Reports says downloading a free app gives you at least some voice-recognition capability. Speak-To-It seems to be one of the best so far. It works on both the iPhone and Androids.

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