Siri’s great, no doubt, but she’s not for everyone. Maybe you’re looking for a particular feature Siri doesn’t offer, or you’re just looking for something different in general. Regardless, iPhone and iPad users have many smart personal assistant apps to choose from, some designed with a particular slant, others offering a wide array of assistance features. Here are five popular options, Siri aside.
First up is an AI-powered personal assistant called Evi. With this, users can perform the type of tasks we’ve come to expect from personal assistant apps, such as answering questions about things that interest you. Evi has a built-in browser, as well, so web links can be viewed directly within this app.
This assistant app also has a database containing “nearly a billion facts,” according to developer True Knowledge, to provide tidbits of info when necessary. The assistant is designed to adapt and learn as it is used, assuming you rate her responses.
This app is hit or miss if you judge by user reviews. Some users swear by the Voice Assistant, while others report bugs or other let downs. Still, Voice Assistant may be worth giving a shot if you have a particular need the app says it can fill. First things first, this app supports 30 languages. It also has a strong focus on speech-to-text, automatically correcting grammar and other issues to quickly produce clean text.
Users can send text messages with Voice Assistant, and can also post messages to Facebook and sent tweets. Users are able to search both YouTube and Google with Voice Assistant, and to share spoken, cleaned-up text with various apps like QuickOffice, Evernote, Dropbox, and Pages. When used with iPad, the app supports landscape mode. This app is free, but note that it hasn’t been updated in a while, so your experience may vary.
One of the most popular personal assistance apps for iOS is 24me, a solution for managing personal accounts, taking notes, viewing calendar events, receiving reminders, and more. The app is notable due to its support for a variety of calendars, including ones from Google, Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, Yahoo, and Apple. 24me will automatically dish up reminders about things based on which accounts you connect, as well.
Content, such as tasks you have to do and events in the pipeline, can be shared with others. 24me also serves weather alerts when necessary, reminds you if an important birthday is coming up, and recommends a time to leave for your appointments based on the current traffic conditions on your route. Finally, the app also helps complete tasks by making it easy to get IRL personal assistant help, have errands run, send gifts, and do things like respond to emails and texts.
While 24me is free to download, there’s a pro upgrade that costs $3.99/month or up to $29.99/year.
You can get Cortana on both Android and iOS now, and it works in largely the same way between platforms. As far as Siri alternatives go, Cortana fits the bill, and it holds a high rating on iTunes to prove it. This app brings all the basic personal assistant features you could want, such as performing searches and telling you the weather.
The app also supports sending emails to contacts, opening up whatever app you’d like, making phone calls on your behalf (dialing, that is), and similar. If you use an Outlook email address, the app can also be used to get information found in your inbox, such as the status of packages you may have ordered. Cortana also gets smarter the more you use her, learning your preferences to better offer suggestions for things you’ll like.
This personal assistant is a little different than the ones above, focusing solely on your financial accounts. Personal Expense is billed as a full financial application that covers just about all the financial bases you could want, including creating and managing multiple budgets, viewing the status of those budgets using charts, archiving monthly budgets, viewing statistics on your finances ranging from daily to yearly, tracking bills, and more.
Users can add their financial accounts and manage/monitor them from a single destination, including viewing all inbound and outbound transactions. The app also offers features akin to what you get with Mint, such as setting limits related to your budget and getting notices when a particular budget is used up. The app is free to download.
Siri can do many things, but if you find that you need something a little more robust, any of the above apps may fit the bill. While some, like Evi, target the general personal assistant market, others like Voice Assistant and Personal Expense focus on more specific features, such as speech-to-text note taking and financial monitoring. All of the above apps are free, with the exception of 24me Pro, so give them a try!