Assistant for Windows Phone brings voice control for free during limited offer [Video]

Although many people are using Ask Ziggy on Windows Phone these days, the search for a viable alternative to the iPhone’s Siri continues. While we’re unsure of what Microsoft has planned in this arena for Windows Phone 8, WP7 users certainly want options.

A new alternative is on the Marketplace now called simply enough ‘Assistant’. It’s made by Speak To It and while it normally costs $0.99 it’s going for free now for the first 10,000 downloads.

It uses the same Nuance voice engine as Ask Ziggy, so in that regards it’s not necessarily any better nor worse. But the UI design and layout are quite nice. You get a custom Avatar to interact with and a choice of 4 different voices (UK and US English). The app can learn your name and you can name it too (we called ours Siri of course).

The app has some bugs and on the first time loading, it tends to hang (just hit the Windows key and re-launch). Over just Wi-Fi it didn’t work—at least not on our Titan II though it performed well on our Lumia 900. Since it uses Nuance, it is hit or miss with accuracy but we do like the options including the ability to Tweet or update our Facebook. It can even create notes and then upload them to EverNote which is quite useful. Assistant heavily relies on Google instead of Bing which some may find off-putting.

Would we pay for it? Probably not. But for free there’s little reason to not get it if it’s something you think you would use. See our video review to see how it works.

You can pick Assistant up here in the Windows Phone Marketplace for $0 while you can. Thanks, Barry W., for the heads up

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Minor point... It says 10,000 not 100,000 on the marketplace description
  • adjusted, thanks
  • Wow it even sounds like siri. That can't be good
  • Siri uses Nuance software.  Thats the same voice you'll hear with any application which uses Nuance; this one, and Ask Ziggy included.
  • Lol, my Grampa's Pantech Breeze uses Nuance and has that voice too. I should tell him his phone is Siri's grandmother.
  • I didn't have any issues on my HD7... It didn't hang or crash, and it worked well over WiFi only. Granted I've only been able to test it for a short while so far...
  • Nice, i call mine iPhone
  • "You people"? What's that supposed to mean.... ;)
  • Well it's definitely dont compare to siri It doesn't seem you to let you talk over five seconds and it doesn't have an answer for most the things.... Lol a least you can edit the avatar looking forward to future updates
  • Best app for Windows Phone so for in terms of Voice Assistant. Obviously some bugs will be worked out as time comes. When I ask what's my schedule, im take to my Google Calendar. Booooo I hate google lol jp. Huge s/o to the dev for porting this over from Android. Good bye Ziggy, hello "Assistant" :)
  • I sent an email to the them about Google calendar issue. Here is the reply I received. "Currently the Assistant can work with Google mail only. We plan to add more mail services in the future versions of the Assistant."
    So I guess they will eventually fix that issue.
  • This should be free all the time, doesn't beat out Siri or TellMe
  • WOW. What a collosal POS.
  • Free is always good, grabbed it now while it is free so that I can have to play around with at a later date.
    Will have to borrow GF Iphone and have Siri talk to Assitant and see what happens when they start talking to each other.
  • I find little use for these voice assistants. All th iPhone users I know never use it.
  • Why not just use the built-in search? works just as well as Siri, compared it to my office neighbors Siri search and even came back with better results...
  • Exactly
  • ? Because this does way more than TellMe?  You guys are pulling my leg right? I mean, you just didn't watch the video which is why you're both agreeing on this issue.
  • Getting it now. Thanks for the post!
  • This one is crap.  Ziggy was ok, but this one....doesn't even work right half the time.  Besides, these assistants are a waste of time.   I can tap on my phone much faster.
  • Everyone has their choices. But most of us here will disagree with you. This app has a better engine that Ziggy for sure. Try asking Ziggy to give you a weather report of "tomorrow".
  • Just hangs with my lumia 900 - won't open
  • I specifically mention to back out of the app and re-launch it, did you do that?
  • That's what I thought at first. After a few mins, it opened up. Works fine.
  • Yeah, it's an odd, first-time connect bug. Hasn't happened since.
  • Thanks for posting in my tip Daniel! :)
  • Kinda neat. It seems to be fairly intuitive for a young app. I can't wait to see how this progresses. Thanks for the heads up on this one Daniel.
  • Oh please...swipe,tap, boom DONE
  • It's working well on my HTC radar... Just got rid of "Ask Ziggy"
  • I got it today; I like it, but it really need some fixes. Not smooth at all on my l900
  • Free or nit, this is the most awful app I've ever seen on any platform. Note to developers: if you're going to release an app, especially a paid one, at least try to get it to be able to do the basics...