BlackBerry Assistant to take on Siri, Cortana

BlackBerry will soon be launching the 10.3 update for its smartphone operating system, and now the personal assistant from this update has been briefly shown off in images by the company.

A post on the Inside BlackBerry blog has revealed information about the inner workings of the personal assistant, which will be part of BlackBerry's updated operating system. This personal assistant is simply known as BlackBerry Assistant, and it aims to keep the users "organized, informed and productive."

All the major mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, feature a personal assistant with varying capabilities powered by self-learning algorithms and accumulated data from the users. The feature has become a must-have for most smartphone users in recent times, and it seems that BlackBerry doesn't want to lag behind the competition on that front.

The initial interface of the BlackBerry Assistant is similar to Google Voice Search from older Android models, with the added view of pre-defined tasks. Most interactions described in the blog post, such as reading out text messages or performing web searches, have been shown off numerous times on other platforms and are expected to work in a similar fashion on the BlackBerry as well. Without actual videos or hands-on interaction it's hard to say whether the BlackBerry Assistant offers anything different from Siri, Google Now, or Cortana.

BlackBerry will be launching two new smartphones in the company's traditional form factors soon, and the company will also provide more information about the 10.3 update and BlackBerry Assistant.

Source: Inside BlackBerry | Image via BlackBerry

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So all blog headers and news headers mention "Siri & Cortana", but why "Ok Google" is not mentioned? that means OK Google is the worst of all world?

Google Now is just a voice recognition for their search engine... the others are more like assisting you in you daily life or using your phone

what does it do that typing the same into the search windows does not do? I was talking about the talking part rather than the "analyse your behaviour" part

The same as the others, or have you not seen the various "cards" it shows you? It learns your habits, pops up traffic news when your daily commute is due, keeps you up to date on weather, your sports teams, pretty much anything Siri or Cortana does.

It doesn't really talk back to you much, apart from responding to direct queries about the weather and stuff, but at the end of the day, it's functions aren't really much different to the others.

Edited by FloatingFatMan, Jul 17 2014, 10:17am :

acido00 said,
So all blog headers and news headers mention "Siri & Cortana", but why "Ok Google" is not mentioned? that means OK Google is the worst of all world?

I see Cortana as being very different to Siri and Google Now. Cortana is very much a PERSONAL assistant whereas Siri and Google Now are VOICE assistants. Having said that Google Now is more of a cross between Siri and Cortana in that you can input your interests but voice interaction isn't contextual.

Where the BlackBerry Assistant will sit is anyones guess?

-adrian- said,
what does it do that typing the same into the search windows does not do? I was talking about the talking part rather than the "analyse your behaviour" part

Lets see...locates your vehicle automatically, gives you traffic reports, finds entertainment in your area, sports scores, TV shows, weather, checks travel time to work, gets package shipping info for you, etc. That is just off the top of my head (it offers more), and I didn't have to say or type a single thing.

neo158 said,

I see Cortana as being very different to Siri and Google Now. Cortana is very much a PERSONAL assistant whereas Siri and Google Now are VOICE assistants. Having said that Google Now is more of a cross between Siri and Cortana in that you can input your interests but voice interaction isn't contextual.

Where the BlackBerry Assistant will sit is anyones guess?

Google Now has voice assistance, but that is a fraction of what it does. It isn't even its main purpose. It would be inaccurate to classify it as a mere voice assistant.

adrynalyne said,
Google Now has voice assistance, but that is a fraction of what it does. It isn't even its main purpose. It would be inaccurate to classify it as a mere voice assistant.

Reread my post, I did state that Google Now is a cross between Siri and Cortana, however Cortana is by far a more personal assistant as it gets to know you as the user.

neo158 said,

Reread my post, I did state that Google Now is a cross between Siri and Cortana, however Cortana is by far a more personal assistant as it gets to know you as the user.

You also called it a voice assistant. That is a feature of it, but it is far more expansive than you let on. Google Now also gets to know the user, just as much as cortana. Have you really used Google now extensively?

adrynalyne said,
You also called it a voice assistant. That is a feature of it, but it is far more expansive than you let on. Google Now also gets to know the user, just as much as cortana. Have you really used Google now extensively?

I have as a matter of fact and the fact that it can't handle context or have people reminders doesn't make it as personal as you think it does!!!

adrynalyne said,
Then you know you are being disingenuous by calling it a mere voice assistant.

PS--it has reminders too.

Maybe I am, but that's the way I see it. I'm not saying that Google Now sucks though, far from it.

The reminders that I mentioned are something that only Cortana can do at the moment, Cortana can remind you based on contact with a person e.g. If I set a contact as my sister then I can ask Cortana to remind me that I have something important to talk to her about the next time I'm contacting her, when she calls me or I text her then Cortana will show a reminder. Not sure if my example makes sense though.

when will BlackBerry die?.
The only thing that i like from them it's BBM. And in android at least it's... kinda ugly..

Why would you want them too? Less competition is -always- a bad thing, and it's really not very nice to wish unemployment on the 1000's of people working for them...

this brings hope to windows phone that it will never die first. if BBM can make it with no backing from any other source of income, then windows phone will as well with backing from Office, Xbox, OS, and many others.

"...and it seems that BlackBerry doesn't want to lag behind the competition on that front." It's a little late, isn't it? Siri was introduced almost 3 years ago, Google Now was introduced 2 years ago, and Cortana was introduced recently.

Yeah I'm just confused. It has Microsoft style tiles, but then the screenshots are also square? Neowin must have cropped it or something. Like who would actually have a square screen. That's nonsense.

Then the other two screenshots look like a bad Android app. So is this Blackberry trying to put their services on other devices like they did with BBM?

Enron said,
Yeah I'm just confused. It has Microsoft style tiles, but then the screenshots are also square? Neowin must have cropped it or something. Like who would actually have a square screen. That's nonsense.

Then the other two screenshots look like a bad Android app. So is this Blackberry trying to put their services on other devices like they did with BBM?

Yes. Google has their apps for all OSes available such as Google Now for iPad, iPhone, etc. So, this time, BB will release BA app for WP, Android, Apple devices, etc.

shozilla said,

Yes. Google has their apps for all OSes available such as Google Now for iPad, iPhone, etc.

Supporting just Android and iOS is a far cry from ALL.

Like Apple's iOS has Siri, and Microsoft's Windows Phone has Cortana, BlackBerry will have it's own assistant.

This isn't a service that is from BlackBerry going to other platforms (like BBM)..

The square screen is a new product that BlackBerry is releasing called the BlackBerry Passport.

Do note that this is beta still and hasn't been released yet, and its not an Android port (app).

Enron said,
Yeah I'm just confused. It has Microsoft style tiles, but then the screenshots are also square? Neowin must have cropped it or something. Like who would actually have a square screen. That's nonsense.

Then the other two screenshots look like a bad Android app. So is this Blackberry trying to put their services on other devices like they did with BBM?


Umm, BlackBerry has a square phablet phone. It's a possibility that's where they took the pic from.

Enron said,
Yeah I'm just confused. It has Microsoft style tiles, but then the screenshots are also square? Neowin must have cropped it or something. Like who would actually have a square screen. That's nonsense.

Then the other two screenshots look like a bad Android app. So is this Blackberry trying to put their services on other devices like they did with BBM?

The new BBOS 10 was added to new devices like Q10 and Q5 which have 1:1 720x720 display sizes, sporting trademark QWERTY BlackBerry keyboards. There are also the Z10 and Z30, together with the budget Z3, with "full" display sizes this time. They announced both display type devices for the future.

BBOS 10 is a fantastic one and the BBOS 10.2 already has the capability to run Android apps, while BBOS 10.3 is said it will support them even better. To note the Windows Phone OS team is also working at supporting Android apps.

But all this is old news to anyone keeping up with Neowin posts :) BTW you're doing a great job Neowin! Thank you!

itmitică said,
The new BBOS 10 was added to new devices like Q10 and Q5 which have 1:1 720x720 display sizes, sporting trademark QWERTY BlackBerry keyboards. There are also the Z10 and Z30, together with the budget Z3, with "full" display sizes this time. They announced both display type devices for the future.

BBOS 10 is a fantastic one and the BBOS 10.2 already has the capability to run Android apps, while BBOS 10.3 is said it will support them even better. To note the Windows Phone OS team is also working at supporting Android apps.

But all this is old news to anyone keeping up with Neowin posts :) BTW you're doing a great job Neowin! Thank you!

Regarding Android apps on Windows Phone, Microsoft have said nothing and until they do it's just rumours and speculation at this point.

rfirth said,

Supporting just Android and iOS is a far cry from ALL.

Yup, should have said supports most the of the mobile market instead.