As an Android user, I have looked longingly at the Apple commercials featuring Siri. With big puppy-dog eyes, I have been waiting for the day I could speak to my phone and it would respond. Nice to meet you, Robin.

This past weekend, the eternal optimist in me tried Robin, the Android-based voice system from California-based Magnifis. While it only has a bit over 10,000 downloads, I am raise-my-eyebrows and wipe that frown off my face impressed. I realized how good Robin was when my iPhone-using friends wanted the same functionality. (Sorry 😉

–          “What’s the traffic like?” I asked.
It showed the accident on the nearby interstate and read me the details.

–          “What’s the weather forecast for tomorrow?”
Robin told me the forecast, highs and low temperatures and displayed the three day forecast. I don’t know the source of the forecast, but it was there. Pass and impressed.

–          “What is the weather forecast for Anchorage, Alaska?”
Rainy for Anchorage. Nice.

–          “Where can I go for coffee?”
It read the closest location from Yelp listings. When I waved my hand over the top-front of the screen (which activates Robin to listening mode without touching the phone), I asked for – and got the next closest option. It sadly missed my local Dunkin Donuts.

–          “Navigate to South Station Boston”.
Not too good on this one. It did better with the address, but in fairness, that is pretty local information.

–          “Remind me to call my Dad at 9 PM”.
It set the reminder, and it worked.

–          “Set an alarm for 9:01 PM”.
It may be a short call, but it set an alarm with my default alarm.

–          “Open Spotify”.
It opened all my music options and I could select a default. Win, Win, Win.

–          “What is the traffic like in Boston?”
I didn’t know there was a Boston, Virginia somewhere near route 522. Fail.
“What is the traffic like in Boston, Massachusetts?”
There we go. Much better.

Forgive me, but I had to ask…

“How’s your sister, Siri?”

Answer: “Siri and I, we go way back.”

I’ve asked for words of wisdom and jokes (“I’m not the smartest elevator in the sea…”) and overall, am ecstatic with Robin.
Related links: Google Play link

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