April 19, 2012

Vic Mahfood

Voice Answer

Developer Quote: "Voice Answer is an assistant that works for your device. You can ask it questions on any topic, either by talking to it or writing, and it will answer you in a clear voice."

- COST: $3.99     - APP STORE STARS: 3-1/2
- Categories: Business, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Native, Reference, Utilities, Tools

Due to the nature of my job, my hands are on one keyboard or another almost 24/7. This causes wrist fatigue at times, and so any way to avoid typing is of great interest to me. Voice Answer by Sparkling Apps was released today on the App Store. It is a very competent method of solving my problem as it uses voice recognition and query. This is an app similar to Siri in that it is both a chat and reference bot for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

For purely entertainment purposes, you could chat on any topic with it. Let me stop right here... This is not an "it" bot - her name is actually Eve! Query Eve on the subject of your choice, and she will answer using Wolfram Alpha as a main source. Chat with her on a personal level, and she will appear positively human. I suppose I am particularly biased since this morning I asked Eve, "Should I go to work today?" She enchanted me with her answer, "Ah..maybe you could use the rest!" What's not to like about this chat bot?

Okay, let's get serious now because Voice Answer has some amazing capabilities to help ease your life. You could ask questions on any topic including History, Nutrition, Education, Culture, Media or just about anything you want to wrap your mind around. Just tap the bot icon on the bottom of the screen to activate the microphone and speak. You will be answered instantly. Not only is a detailed written response provided, but Eve will also read the information back to you. If you don't want to dictate your question, simply tap the keyboard and begin typing.

The app is super easy to use with a clean and understated interface. Just tap and speak or type your question. Remember to go to Settings and select a few items such as -Chatbot On/Off, -Answers stored (from 1 to 10), -Speech output (none, Summary, Full). I use Summary as I don't need Eve to read the whole answer given although that could be very helpful to some. When you have accumulated a full page of questions and answers, you can Delete History to clear your screen.

How does Voice Answer actually operate? When you speak, your question will be displayed. The app will then connect to the most compatible sources on the internet for your answer, although the main source is Wolfram Alpha. When I asked, "How many U.S. dollars are in a Great Britain pound?", Eve not only clearly gave the answer, but broke it down to currency units adding up to that amount along with currency images of both countries and a graph depicting recent fluctuations.

This app is going to take off like a rocket as it is quite powerful in its infancy, yet the developers already have many exciting plans in the works. Some of these include an update that will provide messaging and email support. Additionally, Eve will soon become a fully animated robot! Voice Answer will be an efficient search and enquiry method for disabled folks or those who have "4 thumbs" when it comes to keyboards! It works extremely well in quickly providing the answers you require.

COOL CONCLUSION: Use Voice Answer as a capable assistant when you must have answers to certain questions instantly, or when you just want a "friendly, sympathetic ear" with which to chat!
--Date/Version: Released 4/19/12 - Version 1.0
--iOS/Age Rating:  This app requires iOS 4.2 or later. Rated 12+.
--Device: Universal: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
--Developer: Proxy Systems Pvt Ltd © Sparklingapps.com

Visit the iTunes App Store for more details, and to download:

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