BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha shows Siri-like voice control
BlackBerry 10 developer build features a Siri style voice control tool
The new beta version of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, a version of RIM’s next operating system under preliminary testing by developers, contains a voice control tool remarkably similar to Apple’s Siri.
A video of the feature in action on a BB10 developer handset was posted on N4BB.com. It shows what seems to be a relatively early build as although the voice control recognises commands such as ‘text’ and ‘call’ it doesn’t have an address book to refer to for contact names.
The tool can currently perform searches of the device, the web and BlackBerry App World but it can’t yet directly answer questions in the way that Siri can.
Interestingly, the tool’s digital voice seems to be identical to Siri, leading some to suggest this may be RIM licensing the technology from Nuance, the same company which provided many of Siri’s capabilities to Apple.
RIM is putting all its eggs in the BB10 basket so it needs to impress when it launches next year. However, whether it’ll get anywhere with copycat tactics remains to be seen, Google Now on Android Jelly Bean 4.1 has already shown one way of producing something better than Apple’s Siri, which certainly has its flaws.
BlackBerry 10 was originally scheduled to arrive towards the end of this year, but ongoing problems and restructuring within RIM have caused it to be delayed until sometime in 2013.