Sneak Peek at Indigo, the upcoming personal assistant for Windows Phone [Video]

If you're not familiar with Indigo, you should be as we've covered it numerous times already. It's a cross-platform personal assistant for both Windows Phone and Android. We first looked at the upcoming app back at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. We then covered news that the company behind Indigo, Artificial Solutions announced that April 23rd is the date when the app will be released for Windows Phone and Android.

Now we've got our hands on a pre-release version of the beta, before it's released to the store for public use. Spending a number of hours simply having a conversation with our Windows Phone has been rather humorous, as well as slightly strange. The app is actually really nice and handles speech input well with some strong integration with the operating system.

Indigo App

As one can see from the above shots, as well as our previous articles, Indigo supports a number of categories. From Facebook and Twitter, all the way to email, reminders and calendar events. There are numerous functions the service can carry out. Asking Indigo what the user can say, or what it can do will bring up an interactive guide that provides some examples of recognizable speech commands.

Since we only managed to capture text input on video at MWC, we figured it would be pretty neat if you were able to see the speech recognition in action.

We tried out the reminder feature that's baked in to the app. These reminders aren't stored on the windows Phone calendars, but are listed within Indigo. It's possible to create calendar appointments (or events) using Indigo, so fear not - it's just worth noting there's a difference between the two.

Also, I noted in the video that one can change the search engine. This is possible (according to the website - not available just yet), but by default the app uses the built-in Bing search, which is good enough. If you wish to use another source, simply ask it to Google something. Please note that the app doesn't work with the press-and-hold home button speech input. Commands have to be entered within the app. 

We'll be sure to let you all know when the app is finally available. Not long to go now, only a few more days.


Reader comments

Sneak Peek at Indigo, the upcoming personal assistant for Windows Phone [Video]


Really? Lol hope that was sarcasm... I wish though aye, tell me is shocking, and no app not even siri can understand a new Zealand accent it sucks

One of the last lines of the article says, "Please note that the app doesn't work with the press-and-hold home button speech input."

Does it integrate in to WP so that when you hold the windows button anywhere on the phone you can say "indigo...." without opening the app. That's something I didn't like about maluba

It's not possible for an app to override that, it can only be launched (with parameters) based on what you speak through TellMe.

No, I can do this with several apps.
Currently they are:
Audiocloud: Audiocloud play my stream
Flixster: Flixster show top movies
Mixtapes: Mixtapes keep playing
Twitter: Twitter new tweet
Urbanspoon: Urbanspoon I am hungry
Wikipedia: Wikipedia; article of the day, search, around me, random article

But you can't ask a specific, novel question via the Start Button. For instance, I can say " define a word," and that will launch the app which will ask me for the word. But I cannot say " define word" and get "a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning."

So no, it cannot be integrated with the Start Button in the way in which most of us want. YALOWP (yet another limitation of Windows Phone).

I understand what you're saying. That would be really cool, like if we could choses which voice recognition app has presidence over the start button when we long press.. Great idea,, but I doubt if MS has released a API for that yet.. You should ask the developer.. Great idea!

Howdy, folks. Sorry about not noting this in the article. Using commands like "Indigo search the web for..." or "Indigo create email to..." don't work using the home button speech input.

I thought we could (or maybe I am misinterpreting???). For example, I can hold down the start button and say "Hey DJ play all" and that will open the Hey DJ app and play all my songs.  I know I have a couple of other apps that do this on my phone but have to see which ones. So they should be able to implement this I would think. Or again, maybe I am misunderstanding what is being asked here.

Edit: @wmgreenjr that is what I was thinking. I know there are other apps that use that function.

What about triggering it by saying "indigo Hello or I need something". Which opens the app and then you can ask it what ever. I think there is an app called A.L.EX. that does this.

So the way it works guys is that developers can define phrases that you can say, such as "windows phone central read back the news", putting in optional words that you can either say or not say so it feels like natural language. We can also indicate a variable such as the word "news" in my example, and define the options such as "news", "reviews" or "apps", then do something based on which word you say.
What's not possible is to have a wildcard, where you can say "windows phone central search for" and then something, because we have to define the options you can say rather than leaving it open ended :).
Hope that helps!

Thanks for the I understand. Guess the best thig they can do is allow for the press of the start button with the command 'Indigo' which will launch the can launch and give a statement like 'what can I do for you' or just some sound so you know it is ready to listen. Really this is no different then just pressing the app button, but it would save from scrolling down to find the app while driving.
Thanks again for the extra info :)

Alright you can use wildcards but only as a catch-all kind of thing, you can't use the value of that wildcard in your code as far as I can see in the SDK

You really can except there will be limited voice commend that you can do when the app is already launch. I would have been very cool to have an option to choose the type of voice assistant you want to use, but it would be preferable to have it from Microsoft since it is such a fundamental feature of the OS. Then again, option tends to be better as long as it is well integrated.

I think I dig this one Rich. It'll be great to use when every morning my wife asks me what the weather is. She has a L920 and she might even find out herself.  Who am I kidding right? :)  Thanks for the review.

So we have to launch the app each time I want to do something. That is a deal breaker for me.

I think I will stick with the default Tell me features for now.

Agreed! Why Microsoft hasn't implemented a Siri like service in the default TellMe is so stupid! Apple & Android has one why not us..

Yes but it has a start button, commonly referenced as a home button. Regardless, holding the start button should allow us to do more than just bringing up the Bing assistant, or whatever you want to call it.

Pump your brakes Montpbm. I get  your point but neither Apple nor Google had anything by default. Siri service is NOT available on all Iphones. Neither is Google's Google Now service available on all android devices. Certainly not by "default". TellMe is not stupid. It is one of those homogenous apps the boys in the labs are still developing. If you have not used it lately, you should. It is a hell of a lot faster than it used to be, not so much bothered by background noises and more accurate than its ever been. But again, TellMe is still under development.

Exactly.  For voice assistant apps like this to be in any way useful you need to be able to ask it something using the home button.  Can't wait until we *maybe* get this built-in in Windows Phone Blue.... 2 years after Siri on iPhone!

Here's what you do...tap and hold the start button, say "open Indigo" then indigo will start and prompt you verbally for a command. What's the big deal about having to open the app?

Thanks for the Video review, it looks like it has some nice features. I'm assuming that you don't have to press go after you talk to it and you were just doing that to save time, is that correct? That would become annoying to me.

I dont like having to press the Go button or hitting the input button. It should start listening after it ask a question and stop listening after I stop talking. Once this happens, my money is theirs.

Exciting apps like these coming to WP is always good. Currently I use Maluuba and also an neat app called Assistant it's pretty cool too check it out!

Can't you just ask TELLME to open indigo and then just use Indigo?
To me that sounds lik a pretty easy workaround? Or maybe I don't understand.

Indigo is now out for Android and so far the comments are not good.  I hope the Windows version is better.

It's on the Windows Phone Store on the PC but is not showing up yet on the phone itself but I am unable to download it. It telss me that, "You don't have the required permissions to download this app." So apparently it's not ready to go out yet.

Well thanks Microsoft...bought this Nokia Lumia with WP 7.8 for a year now which has no future plans on updating to WP 8, and still no good apps. First Pandora, then more Microsoft, one more and Im dumping this scumbag device for an android. Your move Microsoft

Hmm... I don't think MS led you to believe that your device would be able to upgrade to WP 8. In fact, they have said the opposite from the beginning.

Sorry that you bought a phone with inferior hardware, maybe you should have done some better research before making that purchase.

Gentlemen, you may be interested in an alternative app that I have recently released to the store. It is called Voice Butler, and all voice commands are integrated in the OS, i.e., they are invoked by pressing the start button. Heres a list of some of the commands supported:
Butler take a photo in 10 seconds

Butler take 3 pictures in 20 seconds


Butler set timer for 10 minutes


Butler Set an alarm for 4:15 PM


Butler Wake me up tomorrow at 7 AM


Butler Create new reminder


The app will be opened when creating a new reminder, and you will be asked to speak your reminder in free-text. You can specify a time to be reminded, together with the reminder itself, or you can specify the time in the next step. Time and date can be set saying things like:


At 6 PM

Tuesday at 8:30 PM

In 3 days at 4 PM

Tomorrow at 7:15 AM


The version thats hopefully approved in a few days also has support for appointments. You can query and create appointments by saying:


Butler what is my next appointment?


Butler what appointments do I have on Tuesday?


Butler what are my appointments for next week?


Butler create new appointment on Tuesday at 6:30

So I clicked on the Windows Phone Store link in the Hello-Indigo press release, and I got "an error has occurred". I guess it's not on the WP Store yet, even though they said it would be available on April 23 (yesterday).