Best Smart Assistants
Watching personal assistants to the superrich in movies, you might have wondered how it’s like to have someone take care of all the “little details.” Questions erupt in mind, how productive these people would be, how easily they can remember the important things, and how easy it is for them to remember birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Fast forward to 2019; if you have a smartphone or a laptop or an IoT home device, you can have a lot of advantages of a personal assistant from these devices. Thanks to the best smart assistants, you can schedule tasks, set reminders, play music, pay bills and make a lot of other everyday tasks faster and easier.
Welcome to the realm of Virtual Assistants.
What is an Intelligent Virtual Assistant?
A virtual personal assistant is a software agent that can take actions such as performing tasks and services based on vocal commands and questions. There are several applications of virtual assistant programs. The most common of these applications are Voice Assistance apps and online chat programs called “chatbots.”
This GreatBuyz post is about the best voice assistant. A voice assistant can interpret human speech and respond to queries via synthesized voices.
While hiring personal assistants is a costly affair, you can download the best voice assistant app free of cost on your mobile device. There’s a high probability that your android or Apple device came preloaded with a personal assistant, more specifically either Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri. According to one study, 42% of Smartphone users, i.e., 71 million people, use Artificial Intelligence-based personal assistant app regularly.
While Siri and Google Assistant are the most familiar smart assistant apps, they are not the only options available. Check out the best smart assistants available in 2019.
Note-While we have done our job to handpick the best smart assistants for you, practically they are more efficient when combined with robust hardware. This is why to experience the full potential of the voice assistants, devices running them at the core are recommended. This is why we listed the appropriate device for top smart assistants.
Top 10 smart voice assistants
1. Google Assistant
OS-Android, iOS, Chrome OS, iOS, Linux
Smart Devices-Google Home
Arguably the best voice assistant app for Android devices, Google Assistant, now also supports iPhones. With a lot of features under the hood, using Google Assistant, you can do a lot of stuff like making calls with voice command; it automatically anticipates your needs, Google Now on Tap, and much more. You can even hook it up with smart home devices like Philips Hue lights.
Google Assistant can:
- Control smart home devices
- Find information online, such as directions, restaurant bookings, news, etc.
- Play content on Chromecast
- Open apps and make calls
- Control music
- Run timers and reminders
- Make appointments
- Read the notifications
- Real-time spoken translations
Not only Google utilizes the best of engineers to make the app an undisputed champion, but it also keeps updating it with security patches and new features. If you are an Android phone user, then you most probably already have Google Assistant installed, activate it. And, if you still haven’t experienced, then it’s time that you try.
Experience Google Assistant With Google Home
2. Amazon Alexa
OS-Android, iOS, Linux, Cortana
Smart Devices-Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick. You can buy Fire TV Stick from Amazon here.
First released with Amazon Echo, Alexa soon became of a widely adopted virtual voice assistant. However, unlike Google Assistant, it can be difficult to get a hold on Amazon Alexa unless you are using it with an Echo device or Firestick. As an app on your Android or Apple smartphone Alexa is mostly a controller for other Amazon smart devices.
Amazon Alexa is designed to be a personal assistant with a human touch. With Alexa, you can converse using commands such as:
- Alexa, tell me the news
- Alexa, what’s the weather?
- Alexa, tell me a joke
- Alexa, play the song…
- Alexa set a 10-minute timer
Although designed to be robust, Alexa’s device restriction is the biggest flaw that keeps it from becoming the best voice assistant.
Find what Alexa can do with Amazon Echo
Supported Devices: iPhone, Apple iPad, iPod touch, Macintosh, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod
Siri was the first voice assistant that made iPhones even more popular. Introduced in October 2011, Apple’s Siri has come a long way. Made to allow iPhone users to live their lives hands-free, Siri can:
- Answer questions
- Place calls
- FaceTime contacts
- Send texts
- Give sports updates
- Set alarms and times, etc.
Unlike Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Siri is strictly restricted to Apple devices and not cross-platform compatible.
Watch Siri in action with Apple HomeKit
Supported Platforms: Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8, Android, iOS, Amazon Alexa, Invoke smart speaker, Surface Headphone, Microsoft Band, Xbox One, and Windows Mixed Reality
We agree with some of the critics that Microsoft needs to work a lot more on Cortana, but still, we include this virtual assistant in our list as there is too much potential in Cortana to be left off. An answer to Siri, Microsoft seamless, integrated Cortana into Windows 10 for cross-platform support. Among its ability to control many functions of the Windows Operating System, with Cortana you can also:
- Call people
- Send text messages
- Take notes
- Send emails
- Track packages
- Add events to the calendar
- Search the web and get answers from Bing using voice commands
You might find Cortana a little rough around the edges, but it is still one of the best voice assistants around. Plus, the active development by Microsoft ensures its improvement over time.
Harman Invoke designed for Cortana
Supported Platforms: Samsung devices only
Samsung was not going to lag in the virtual personal assistant war. To take on the competition, it introduced Bixby, Samsung’s personal assistant app. Only available for Samsung devices, Bixby is surprisingly decent, and this is the reason it is list as one of the best smart assistants in our list.
With Samsung Bixby, you can:
- Do web searches using voice command
- Set alarms
- Manage daily tasks
- Even it can ask for dinner recommendations
- Auto-update flight status
- Translate vocal statements
Samsung’s Bixby supports a variety of apps as well as smart home tech. Released in April 2017, Bixby is still young but better than most other options. In the future we expect Bixby to get more versatile and support more devices, till then if you own a Samsung device, try this smart voice assistant, you will love the experience.
Price: Free / Up to $4.99
Supported Platforms: Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Moving out of the big league players, DataBot is a personal virtual assistant app that is above average the competition. A cross-platform app, with DataBot, you get the most basic personal assistant stuff along with customization and a chatbot. There are various modules available that you can use to customize this voice assistant.
Available modules are:
- BASIC Module-speech dialogue, identifications, flashlight, counter, timer, chat, etc.
- DICTIONARY Module-meanings, synonyms, etymology, etc.
- 8 THEMATIC Modules-to create presentations, do a web search and answer questions
- HEALTH Module-health monitoring tools such as BMI Calculator
- JOKE, RIDDLES, QUOTES Modules
- SECRETARY Module-reminders, alarm clock, shopping list, voice search, etc.
- HOROSCOPE & NEWS Modules
- BRAIN TRAIN Module-math exercises
- SOUND & MUSIC Module
Not in comparison to Google Assistant, Alexa, or Cortana, DataBot is a decent try to offer the best smart assistant that’s not from a big tech brand.
7. Lyra Virtual Assistant
Supported platforms: Android, iOS
A cloud-based personal assistant app, Lyra is a multi-platform voice assistant that can be used on Smartphones, tablets, and computers. Focused on making intelligent conversations possible, you can expect Lyra virtual assistant to find:
- Best restaurants and bars
- Get weather reports
- Quickly find locations on Google Map
- Translate in 70 languages
- Content with social media
- Provide general knowledge
Making use of the material design, this smart voice assistant looks good but lacks in offering features that can compete with the big guns. With no ads or in-app purchases, Lyra is a free app best suited for those who do not want extra features in a personal assistant app.
Supported Platforms: Android and iOS
An upcoming personal assistant app, Hound, is a product of SoundHound. Released a couple of years ago, Hound is keeping its pace towards growth steady. With all the basic stuff that most AI assistants do such as making calls, browsing the web and setting reminders, Hound has some advanced features as well such as mortgage calculator, integrated Expedia support for hotel bookings, Yelp powered local search, Uber cab bookings and the SoundHound Now app.
Available for only US residents right now, Hound is still buggy at times.
Supported Platforms: Linux, Picroft, Android, Windows, macOS
The only open-source voice assistant on the list, Mycroft, is actually a Linux-based OS that uses a natural language interface. Think of it as Windows OS just without the keyboard. All the functions are controlled using natural language processing.
Mycroft AI is most suitable for developers who want a voice assistant for their applications but are restricted by the limitations of Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Microsoft Cortana. All of these virtual assistants are not open-source, have privacy concerns and are limited to only a few hardware. Mycroft overcomes all these limitations.
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android
One of the original ‘Siri Challengers,’ Robin has been around for quite some time now. The developers are careful about what features they release in the final product, which is why even after so long, Robin as a virtual assistant is still in beta phase. Designed to be a minimalistic voice assistant, this apps offers:
- Voice In, Voice out-natural voice recognition to operate your phone
- Hands-free messaging
- Parking guidance
- Personal traffic updates
- Local search and navigation
- Personal social radio-listed to your Facebook and Twitter updates
Although requiring some more work and improvements, Robin is still a decent voice assistant to be part of our best voice assistants list.
Worth Mentioning-To do list apps
Price: Free / Varies
Supported Platforms: iOS and Android
If you have read all descriptions of every best voice assistant we have listed, you can easily make out that they have a common set of functionalities. These are-setting reminders, scheduling tasks, making calendar entries, and adding notes. The To Do List already has these features and you add a weather app and Google Search to the mix, you get the same basic experience. You might be lacking smart features like voice-activated calling and smart home integrations, but if you are not looking for these features, then apps like TickTick, Gtasks, and Todoist are good choices for you.
If you are ready to make your life more organized and easier, we have the best voice assistant apps that act as your personal assistants just without the fuss or added cost. While there are dozens of smart assistants available, GreatBuyz has picked the best voice assistants that are trusted by millions of users and are optimized for your personal and business use.