Android Apps

[Android App Review] IRIS The Alternative Siri for Android Partners With ChaCha Database

While searching for more alternative voice recognition Android application yesterday I bumped into this Android app called iris which was said as the clone of iPhone 4S’ Siri. If you recall Siri is one of the highlights that iPhone 4S has to offer to all its users. It is also known as the personal humble assistant because you can talk or converse directly onto your phone to do specific tasks within iPhone 4S such as scheduling a meeting, sending a SMS, emails, and asking it to call for someone, make use of your calendar for your schedule appointments and many more. And now from the Android Market, it looks like there’s another Android application trending, claiming the clone of Siri and the developer DEXETRA calls it iris (reversing the name SIRI).

Iris Android Siri

If you recall, last October 2010 I posted an article about this another Android application I spotted and tested that function the same as Siri – the SpeakToIt Assistant. I am still using this application on my Samsung Galaxy S II although not that much because having this kind of application would always require an Internet connection to connect with their database and Google for answers.

Anyway, going back to iris application when I tried it last night I was really excited at first and gave it a shot.  Since the developer of this application clearly said that this is still on its ALPHA stage and from my own perspective there’s so much room for improvement.  But as far as I can say with me testing this for almost an hour, I was really amused by how iris answered my questions.  Yes, amused and I was actually laughing on every answer he(yes, Iris said that he is a male) gave me.  But before I show you all the screenshots of our conversation let’s get into the details first about this application.

Iris Android application which was developed by DEXETRA was made to clone iPhone 4S’ Siri.  With iris, you can talk with her anything under the sun and pretty much responsive when I tried it. The application is quite young but already had more than a million downloads from Android Market for just two (2) months.  Yet, this is still on its Alpha stage and now they are using a giant database company named Chacha Q&A to answer all of the users’ questions.  However, don’t expect too much from this application to answer all your question, I am simply saying for you not to get too frustrated when it does not give you the answer you’re looking for – but I really doubt it. I think instead of you getting irritated, you’ll drop straight in the floor laughing with iris’ answers.  I don’t know if this was really the intention, but that’s the impression it gave me.

Requirements before you can use Android Siri – Iris:

1. At least your Android version is 2.1
2. Voice Search
3. TTS library

The last 2 items are usually pre-installed on newer Android smartphones but if not you can search, download and install them from Android Market. I will provide the link for the iris application after this article.

Once you’ve installed the application then you can start using it by just tapping that bluish circle below the screen and when it starts to become reddish then you can start talking and ask question to iris.

Iris Startup

There are only three options that you can set for iris’ settings and those are enabling the application to playback or paraphrase your question, enabling voice for iris’ answer and the network timeout. Actually, you can just leave the settings as is.

Iris Android Siri - Settings


Here are some of the basic voice commands you can ask iris to help you with some tasks:

  • “can you please call [name]” – should be in your phonebook/contacts
  • “send a text to [name]”
  • “find me a nearby coffee shop”
  • “play the song [title of the song]”
  • “should I watch the movie [movie title]”
  • “show me a video of “
  • “what is the news about [topic]”

Below images are some of the conversations I had with iris: 🙂

IRIS Conversation 1IRIS Conversation 3 - Iris IrritatedIRIS Conversation 3 - Iris Answers backIRIS Conversation 4IRIS Conversation 6IRIS Conversation 7Iris On WeatherIris On Traffic


As for my own verdict, if I really want an a Siri-like application for my Android I would go for SpeakToIt Assistant and after I applied the update last night, the application seems to be more comprehensive now and more intelligent.  Moreover it has an option for me to type my questions if in case it does not understand what I am asking for.

There’s more for you to find out, here’s the download link from Android Market – link.

[note]Unfortunately, this is no longer available from Google Play.[/note]

Now to give you an overview on how funny Iris can be when answering questions, check the video below from SassiBoB’s review:

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