BlackBerry steps into the virtual digital assistant space

Microsoft has Cortana, Google has Google Now, and Apple has Siri. The industry’s favorite whipping boy, BlackBerry, has been left out of the personal digital assistant game until now. The company today announced BlackBerry Assistant, which will be available with the upcoming BlackBerry 10.3 release.
Like its competitors, BlackBerry Assistant responds to voice commands and can perform simple, everyday tasks. According to BlackBerry’s Donny Halliwell, BlackBerry assistant adapts and learns from your inquiries; similar in concept to Microsoft’s Cortana (which is enabled in Windows Phone 8.1).

“Just this week, I used it to remind me about a car appointment, a vet appointment and my anniversary,” Halliwell explained. “Then, it helped me send an ever-so-romantic BBM note from the car on my way home (all hands-free, of course). It was also my go-to when I needed to find the lyrics to ‘Soft Kitty’.”
BlackBerry Assistant can also send emails, mark an email message as “unread” or even perform simple commands such as “Turn on the flashlight.” Speaking that last command to an iPhone will result in Siri saying, “Sorry, but I’m not able to do that.”
BlackBerry’s upcoming 4.5” square Passport smartphone will support BlackBerry Assistant right out of the box, and older BB 10 devices will support the functionality as well once they are updated to BB 10.3.

Source: BlackBerry

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