Voice recognition has been around on Android smartphones for a while now. It just wasn’t as developed or as smart at Apple’s Siri. Now Android is jumping in the game to take Siri head on with a new and improved software Iris, which is Siri spelt backwards.

Iris has been developed in record time by the folks over at Dexetra.com during a hackathon, which is a pretty commendable achievement on its own. The folks there are continually working at making it better, almost as good as Siri. Iris is available on Android Marketplace for users to download and install in their smartphones.

Since Iris is still in its nascent stages of development, it is not as smart and as quick as Siri. In fact, it is more like a voice activated search engine than a personal ‘Assistant’. Iris is the perfect software for people who want to run a search on Google but are too lazy to type a cue.

Iris understands simple commands that are spoken clearly and slowly. Even then, it misinterprets a few words sometimes. It recognises words individually and in a combination that makes up a sentence, but it still has a tough time interpreting a slightly complicated sentence. Even though its developers have spent time and effort to get it to answer philosophical questions with a sarcastic twist, it is as yet unable to match Siri’s wit.

What sets Siri apart from Iris is its intelligence and quick wit. Within the time it takes a user to blink, Siri runs a search and gets back with a quick witted answer. This is especially true for any philosophical questions that may be put to it. Siri as an interactive platform doesn’t have any trouble interpreting sentences spoken as they are in everyday life.

Above all, Siri addresses the user by his/her first name, truly personalising a conversation. The reason for Siri’s success is the fact that Apple has taken the pains to integrate it into the OS of the iPhone 4S. 

Iris will be able to take on Siri if it smartens up, develops a sense of humour and starts enjoying personal conversations. Till then, Android users will just have to be content with a copycat. 


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