BlackBerry OS 10.3 comes with voice-activated BlackBerry Assistant
BlackBerry has revealed more details about its voice-activated personal assistant, imaginatively called ‘BlackBerry Assistant’, which it hopes will help its BlackBerry 10 operating system compete against iOS, which has Siri, and Windows Phone, which has Cortana.
The personal assistant will be included in the next version of the operating system, BlackBerry OS 10.3, and was shown running on a BlackBerry Passport, a square-shaped 4.5-inch QWERTY keyboard smartphone due to be released later this year.
BlackBerry Assistant can be controlled either via the keyboard or through voice, and can search the web, calendars, emails and Twitter, while it can also send messages, emails and invitations. The company claims it becomes more responsive and returns more accurate results the more it is used.
BlackBerry OS 10.3 is currently available as a beta SDK for developers ahead of a consumer launch later this year and brings a host of UI and productivity improvements to the ailing platform
These include updated screen icons, endless folders, custom two-finger swipe gestures for favourite functions and an extra row of icons for touch screen devices or an extra column of icons for QWERTY devices.
BlackBerry Hub can now download all attachments and delete the original text from an email, while updates to the calendar provide a weekly agenda and the ability to turn off all notifications during the time which a meeting is scheduled.
The Canadian manufacturer is currently in the middle of a recovery plan cantered around high-end business devices, services, messaging and QNX-embedded systems, while it is also targeting emerging markets where its devices are still seen as status symbols and objects of desire.
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