GMA News Online

Meet Iris, Siri's Android counterpart

November 2, 2011 5:55pm

Tags: Google
Siri, the Apple iPhone 4S' voice-activated personal assistant, is no longer alone.

Developers for Google's Android OS are now at work on an interactive assistant that derived its name from one of the newest iPhone's most high-profile features.

"Iris ... is a direct play on Apple’s Siri. In fact, it’s an acronym for Intelligent Rival Imitation of Siri," said an article on Android enthusiast site

However, the app is still in its alpha or test stage, and may not be as polished as its Apple counterpart.

A description of the app on the Android Market said Iris makes an Android phone "talk on topics ranging from Einstein to Mozart."

"Yeah, Iris is siri in reverse. Inspired from the iPhone feature Siri, iris interacts with you in voice," it said (

With the app, an Android user can just "ask" Iris instead of "Google-searching" for information.

The developers claim Iris can talk on topics ranging from Philosophy, Culture, History, science to general conversation.

However, Android owners will need to have "Voice Search" and "TTS library" installed in their phones for Iris to work.

Among its features are voice actions including calling and texting and searching on the web, and looking for a contact.

It has also fixed crashes and problems with Android 2.1, and improved its conversation ability - "she remembers the conversations." said the app by Dexetra "works pretty decent, and it even has a bit of personality."

"You may get a few oddball responses but understand the app is still alpha. The real kicker of this story is that, Siri, the main attraction of Apple’s iPhone 4S announcement, was imitated on Android with a mere eight hours of work, according to the developers," it said.

Another article on said the work on Iris is likely to flourish rather soon "due to the large interest that was generated on this technology thanks to Apple’s marketing efforts." — TJD, GMA News
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Tags: Google

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