Siri here, siri there, Siri Siri everywhere is the apt comment for the situation a few weeks back when Siri stole the thunder of iPhone 4S. Well ever since then developers and other enthusiasts have been waiting for Google to come up with its “own” personal assistant.And thus Alfred was born, a concept developed in Android with Siri in mind.Alas, Alfred is nowhere close to Siri. Android owners looking for a fully-integrated response to Apple’s Siri will have to wait a little longer.
Google announced on Tuesday that it acquired a company called Clever Sense, the maker of the app Alfred, which serves as a digital personal assistant. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
One of the most un-Siri like thing is that Google that the Alfred app does not have voice-command capabilities. Similar to Siri, he does search the Internet and provide users with recommendations from restaurant suggestions to bar and nightlife options. Alfred also learns user preferences and tastes over time to make more targeted recommendations.
But Siri does that already, and can also answer questions about the weather, news and directions. It’s unclear whether Alfred can catch up.
And we are also unsure if the name of the personal assistant Alfred was named after Bruce Wayne’s confidant and butler in Batman or just a mere co-incidence. Clever Sense has said it originally picked out the name Seymour for the app.
“Today, we are excited to join Google and start a new chapter in curating the world around us,” Clever Sense said in a statement. “Together with the Google team, we will accelerate our efforts toward this shared vision. Google helps local businesses connect with potential customers, and its worldwide presence can bring the value of Clever Sense to a much larger audience.”
“Discovering local information is extremely important to both users and businesses, and the acquisition of Clever Sense will benefit both,” the company added.
Google isn’t yet poised to fully take on Siri, but Alfred is a step in the right direction. There’s a good chance Google has voice-recognition software in the works for Android — in which case, Alfred could well be the shell they put around it.
Anyway, now that Google has released the first of its kind, it shouldn’t too difficult for Google to move on with the project and provid all the Android users an Alfred far better than Siri. We will just have to wait for time to answer.