Having a personal assistant is a dream most people have, and the latest influx of Android personal assistant apps are an attempt to realize that popular dream. HTC’s U11 boasts a new and improved personal assistant app dubbed Sense Companion, and while it may be a new addition to HTC’s long list of great features it is by no means new in the Android app world.
There was a time where artificial intelligence was something out of a Sci-Fi movie, and what was considered high-tech was the ability to order food online or place bets from your tablet. The pace at which technology is moving forward is unprecedented, and personal assistant apps are being produced by every leading software developer in the word including Google, Microsoft and, more recently, HTC.
Not considering hardware and software mashups like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, the most well-personal assistant software is Google Assistant, and it is what many agree to be the best in the market. Considering the vast amount of personal information Google logs about its users, this does not come as quite a surprise.
The key to the success of Google Assistant compared to, for example, HTC’s Sense Companion, AIVC a.k.a. Alice, and Cortana among others is that it is virtually glitch proof. Or, at least, Google updates the app so religiously that no bug survives for long enough to upset users. As the new and improved version of 2012’s Google Now, Google Assistant has become a lot more user friendly.
The latest preview of Google Assistant’s potential can be found in the Google Allo messenger app. The app allows users to adjust their calendar, device settings and filter through information from various accounts on Google. Simply put, the integrated Google Assistant can learn about you and provide suggestions while you are in a conversation with friends.
The Google Allo app essentially offers possible answers to questions written in the chat, something like a third-party listener offering expert advice. Instead of sifting through the best casino resorts in Vegas, or the top restaurants near you, Allo suggests in while you are having your conversation. A solid idea since it helps users skip an extra step of going straight to Google. But how well does the concept work on personal assistants created by other software developers like HTC?
HTC released their own PA app; the Sense Companion along with their latest line of smartphones. Much like Google Assistant software in Google Allo does, the HTC Sense Companion offers useful suggestions for restaurants, traffic warnings, weather forecasts among other helpful features to keep your settings and battery power in check. It also tracks just how much you use your phone and gives out usage warnings. What it does not do, however, is give suggestions on what to do instead like Forest or UnPlug.
The key advertising points for Sense Companion was that it is always learning about you by retrieving information from third parties; namely Google. Therefore, the revolutionary feature depends on an information bank that has its own highly customized personal assistant. While still useful, Google’s personal assistant remains to be one step ahead of HTC, but time will tell who will come out on top of the AI race.