First, SoundHound introduced the Hound Beta. And then Microsoft’s Cortana for Android Beta got leaked. For me, the era of using the same voice search app has ended. I used to Google app for all my voice related stuff 24/7 and now there are 3 voice search assistant apps which is kinda hard to chose from, but after assembling the pros and cons I have picked and arranged them. So let’s pick what’s the best, shall we?
The stock installed application that features the Google search, which you obviously know, is the greatest search engine in the world. Google app’s recognition from voice is currently the best. Personally, this why I chose Google as the best. All of the contacts are synced, so you can simply use Google to call them. In some countries Google can be used to identify music. The Google app can add reminders, set alarms and it can do a ton of productive stuff for you.
All of the features above are the pros of Google, but what about the cons? For one, I find it very depressing that Google Now can’t be accessed in some countries. There are a lot of countries in Asia that Google doesn’t give you Google Now. But fortunately, I wrote a post about getting Google Now on a rooted device. So if you feel like you are up for it. Just give it a try.
When it comes to being your personal assistant, Google doesn’t talk back to us like Cortana, if Google did, it’d be so much fun, wouldn’t it?
2. Hound Beta
The app itself is pretty good lookin’. Hound features material design, the blue theme and the tinted status bar sums up give you a beautiful app to look at on you phone’s display. I’m pretty sure that Google’s “Ok Google” feature is quite easy for you, because you can use it when the app is open without the need to press any button. “Ok Google” would also work in the Google Now Launcher as well. Much like the Google app, Hound features the “Ok Hound” voice detection to begin a search. So when you say “Ok Hound” you can search anything without the need to press any button. I also found that once you open the Hound app the screen stays on. Which is a nice feature, if you are using a laptop you can easily get help if your phone is close by. But what can Hound do? A lot of things. It’s been quite a short time since I have started using Hound, but so far, Hound has been really helpful. Hound can search for places, search for information in Wikipedia, it can search for music since Hound is owned by SoundHound, it can also convert units, calculate stuff, help you with translations, be your dictionary, search the web for news, music etc. And it can also play games like hangman or Blackjack. The voice recognition in Hound isn’t as good as Google but it’s better than Cortana for Android. Hound can also recognizes your contacts so, it would be easier to call or text with Hound.
3. Cortana for Android
Microsoft was planning to release the official Cortana app for Android but then, stuff happened and it got leaked. Firstly, I find Cortana very friendly, Cortana can really be your assistant. Cortana can tell you jokes, stories, facts, etc. I once asked Cortana for the “meaning of life” and her reply was “I have heard from a reliable source that it’s 42”. I immediately started laughing.
Since we have established that Cortana is friendly. Let us look at how good this assistant is.
Cortana doesn’t recognize your contacts. So if you ask her to text a person with a name that is not familiar to English the app won’t detect it. Cortana search is featured by Bing. Bing isn’t a bad search engine, but it’s not as good as Google. Either way the search feature is as good as it gets. Cortana cannot identify music. If you ask her “what song is this” she searches it online, so this is not a go. Cortana can’t convert all the currency types. I asked Cortana to convert “5 USD to MVR” and Cortana just searched it on Bing, which is depressing because it did work on Google and Hound. Cortana’s voice recognition isn’t as good as Google. But that is reasonable since it’s beta.
So, which one is the best?
Personally, I find Google the best at voice recognition and searching. But for me Google give me an official, “straight to business” kind of feel as an assistant. Google may not talk back to us like Cortana, but it does have some incredible and productive features.
I believe that Hound has potential, Hound can be a lot better compared to now, since it’s beta. Hound is really fun to use.
If you are really bored, you can always talk to Cortana. Cortana is really fun, and I find her a good companion to have in my phone. I don’t plan to uninstall any of these apps. I’ll continue using Google as my default search app. Hound will stay in my home screen and Cortana will always be in my app drawer.