Top 12 Personal Voice Virtual Assistants
Last updated: June 15, 2021
Personal Voice activated Virtual Assistants help you get things done with your smartphone, tablet or computer easier and faster with the help of voice commands.
Virtual assistant integrated in conversational user interface products: Google Allo and Google Home. You can ask a question for an answer, and follow up with multiple questions, with Google picking the conversation out and returning the right answer.
Cortana is your personal assistant on your Windows computer. She's there to help make things easier for you and keep you up to date on the things that matter to you. Whether it’s to keep you looped in with your world or help you manage your everyday life, Cortana is there for you.
Talk to Siri as you would to a friend and it can help you get things done — like sending messages, placing calls, or making dinner reservations. You can ask Siri to show you the Orion constellation or to flip a coin. Siri works hands-free, so you can ask it to show you the best route home and what your ETA is while driving. And it’s connected to the world, working with Wikipedia, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Shazam, and other online services to get you even more answers. The more you use Siri, the more you’ll realize how great it is. And just how much it can do for you.
Alexa lets you be more productive throughout your day and stay focused on important tasks. Alexa can help you manage your schedule, keep track of your to-do list, and set reminders. Alexa can automatically dial into your conference calls and make phone calls for you. Alexa can help quickly find information for you, like the latest sales data, or the inventory levels in your warehouse.
Bixby helps you unlock the full potential of your Samsung device. By learning what you like and working with your favorite apps, Bixby makes it easy for you to get more done.
Build an AI assistant for a variety of channels, including mobile devices, messaging platforms, and even robots.
Save your organization time and money with Dragon Professional Anywhere, AI-powered speech recognition that integrates into enterprise workflows.
x.ai is an artificial intelligence driven personal assistant who schedules meetings for you. You interact with it as you would to any other person – and it will do all the tedious email ping pong that comes along with scheduling a meeting.
Clara is your partner in doing great work — a virtual employee that schedules your meetings.
Einstein AI is your smart CRM assistant. Make decisions faster, make employees more productive, and make customers happier using AI-powered predictions and recommendations.
on Live Enterprise
AI-powered assistant for your business. Whether you're collecting customer data, writing a document, or just looking for some sales numbers, Zia works hard to make your job easy.
Oracle Digital Assistant provides the platform and tools to easily build AI-powered assistants that connect to your backend applications. A digital assistant uses artificial intelligence for natural language processing and understanding, to automate engagements with conversational interfaces that respond instantly, improve user satisfaction, and increase business efficiencies.
Latest news about Personal Voice Virtual Assistants
2020. Microsoft launches new Cortana features for business users
Cortana may have failed as a virtual assistant for consumers, but Microsoft is still betting on it for business use cases, now that it has rebranded it as a “personal productivity assistant” as part of Microsoft 365. Today Microsoft has launched and announced a number of new Cortana services for business users. These include the general availability of Cortana for the new Microsoft Teams displays the company is launching in partnership with a number of hardware vendors. You can think of these as dedicated smart displays for Teams that are somewhat akin to Google Assistant-enabled smart displays, for example — but with the sole focus on meetings. These days, it’s hard to enable a device like this without support for a voice assistant, so there you go.
2020. Microsoft to sunset Cortana on iOS and Android in pivot to productivity-focused assistant
Microsoft will shut down Cortana on iOS, Android and Surface Headphones. The decision reflects Microsoft’s focus on business and enterprise technology over consumer offerings. Microsoft will focus on repurposing aspects of Cortana for its suite of productivity products Microsoft 365 rather than attempting to compete on consumer devices with leaders in the virtual assistant space, like Apple, Google, and Amazon. Cortana has fallen behind those competitors as Microsoft doubles down on enterprise technology.
2020. Google Assistant can now use your voice to verify purchases
Making purchases with your voice is convenient, but it's far from secure. Google is attempting to change that when using Assistant by introducing an optional voice verification test. the new security feature relies on Google Assistant's Voice Match and it's being rolled out slowly as part of a limited pilot program to test how well it works with smart speakers and smart displays. The Voice Match training feature was updated recently to include phrases so that Assistant could more accurately determine who is issuing commands. With better accuracy, Google clearly feels Voice Match is good enough to now act as an extra layer of security.
2020. Google Assistant on Android can now read entire web pages to you
Google starts rolling out the feature that would let Google Assistant read entire web pages aloud to you. It’ll also highlight the text and auto scroll the page as it reads, helping you to keep track of where the reading has gotten in a story. You can tweak the read speed if the defaults are too slow/fast for you. If the page you’re asking assistant to read is in a language that isn’t your default, it can automatically translate more than 40 languages into your language of choice. Google says this feature should work on just about every modern Android phone going back to Android 5 (Lollipop).
2020. Microsoft’s Cortana drops consumer skills as it refocuses on business users
With the next version of Windows 10, coming this spring, Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant will lose a number of consumer skills around music and connected homes, as well as some third-party skills. As the company explained last year, it now mostly thinks of Cortana as a service for business users. The new Cortana is all about productivity, with deep integrations into Microsoft’s suite of Office tools, for example. In this context, consumer services are only a distraction, and Microsoft is leaving that market to the likes of Amazon and Google. For now, all of this only applies to English-speaking users in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., most of the productivity features will launch in the future.
2020. Clockwise launches an AI assistant for Google Calendar
Clockwise is a startup that is taking a look at individual employee schedules through the lens of the entire team and moving meetings around to maximize “focus time”. The startup’s software, which integrates with Google Calendar, has been bringing people into the fold for shifting these meetings around, but their latest update aims to give teams the option to let its Clockwise Calendar Assistant do some of the heavy lifting automatically. Clockwise’s customers already include Lyft, Asana, Strava and Twitter; they’ve been aiming to build out a wide footprint of customers by offering their product for free at first.
2020. Google Assistant will be able to read texts
Google announced a new feature for the Google Assistant on Android phones that turns it into a supercharged screen reader. When you say “Hey Google, read this,” it will find the main text on whatever webpage or article you’re looking at and read it out loud to you. Screen readers aren’t new on phones, but Google says it has improved the Assistant’s ability to parse sentences and therefore speak them with more natural, human-sounding cadences. The flashiest feature, however, is that you can also ask the Assistant to read it out loud to you in a different language, up to 42 of them.
2019. Oracle launches digital assistant for the enterprise
Oracle launched Oracle Digital Assistant - AI assistant built to help employees handle things like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), or human relations needs in a conversational setting. It will be able to handle employee needs on popular chat apps like Slack, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, as well from Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Like other automated bots, Oracle’s enterprise assistant derives intent from words using a combination of natural language understanding and natural language processing. Instead of people having to go to different bots for procurement or filing expenses or the suite of automated bots for the enterprise made available with the abovementioned apps, the Oracle Digital Assistant combines these experiences to recommend one of 70 to 80 bots to get things done.
2019. Workplace AI assistant Capacity raised $13.2M
Capacity (former Jane.ai), the startup which is solving information scatter inside enterprises, has raised new cash to tackle the issue with its corporate data search platform. The company just closed a $13.2 million Series B. Capacity helps its customers pull all of their organizational data together into a platform that makes company information more accessible to people inside the company. It’s all done through a chat interface and directory that employees can use to search for information. There’s a pretty high degree of flexibility in customizing how questions are answered and when a line of questioning gets routed to a person onsite.
2019. The Google Assistant can now finally manage your G Suite Calendar
New Google Assistant feature now can help you manage your work calendar in G Suite. You’ll be able to sign in with your G Suite account and ask the Assistant for information about your work day. This integration should work across all Google Assistant surfaces, including the car and Assistant displays like the Google Home Hub. Right now, this feature mostly focuses on asking for calendar events, though. As far as we can tell, you won’t be able to create an event through the Assistant just yet. Google does note, though, that you can use this feature to, for example, ask about an upcoming event and then send an email to the other attendees. What’s interesting here is that so far, Google has never positioned the Assistant as a productivity tool in the workplace. Names like “Google Home” and “Home Hub” pretty much make that clear. Sometimes, though, work and home life overlap and at its core, the same technology that allows you to turn on your kitchen lights with your voice could also be used to pull interesting data out of a spreadsheet.
2019. Zoho’s office suite got virtual assistant
Zoho is launching a major update to its core office suite products: Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show and Notebooks. These tools are getting an infusion of Zoho’s Zia AI assistant. With this, you can now ask questions about data in your spreadsheets, for example, and Zia will create charts and even pivot tables for you. Similarly, Zoho is using Zia in its document editor and presentation tools to provide better grammar and spellchecking tools (and it’ll now offer a readability score and tips for improving your text). In Zoho Notebook, the note-taking application that is also the company’s newest app, Zia can help users create different formats for their note cards based on the content (text, photo, audio, checklist, sketch, etc.).
2018. Amazon Alexa virtual assistant now available on Windows 10 PCs as a standalone app
Alexa debuted on select Windows 10 laptops earlier this year – built into a range of newly launched HP, Asus, Acer and Lenovo notebooks – and is now available for download on all compatible devices. Alexa’s presence on Windows 10 is aimed at work productivity and serves to highlight the AI assistant’s rise in office environments – much as the iPhone in 2007 moved quickly from individual users to become a mainstay of the workforce. Amazon is also forging deals with corporate partners. A range of companies, including Salesforce, SAP SuccessFactors, Concur, Ring Central and ServiceNow, all plan to integrate their applications with Alexa for Business – the service launched last year to help companies manage large numbers of Alexa devices in the workplace.
2018. Alexa for Business opens up to third-party device makers
Last year, Amazon announced a new initiative, Alexa for Business, designed to introduce its voice assistant technology and Echo devices into a corporate setting. Today, it’s giving the platform a big upgrade by opening it up to device makers who are building their own solutions that have Alexa built in. The update will allow device makers to create products that can be registered with Alexa for Business, and managed as shared devices across the organization. The device management capabilities include the ability to configure things like the room designation and location and monitor the device’s health, as well as manage which public and private skills are assigned to the shared devices. Amazon claims thousands of businesses have added an Amazon Echo alongside their existing office equipment since the program’s debut last year, including companies like Express Trucking, Fender and Propel Insurance, for example.
2018. Alexa-Cortana integration is now available
Microsoft now allows Alexa device owners to summon its own virtual assistant, Cortana, through their Echo devices, as well as call for Alexa via Cortana. Initially, customers will be able to call up Microsoft’s Cortana through their Echo devices and enable Amazon’s Alexa on Windows 10 devices and on Harman Kardon Invoke speakers. Later, it will arrive on mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Once enabled, the integration will allow Cortana users to ask Alexa to shop Amazon, manage their Amazon orders, and use some of Alexa’s third-party skills. Alexa users, meanwhile, will gain access to Cortana’s knowledge about productivity features including calendar management, their day at a glance, and their email.
2018. Google Assistant gets custom routines and schedules
Google announced two new features for Google Assistant: custom routines and schedules — both focusing on automating things you do regularly, but in different ways. The first lets you trigger multiple commands with a single custom phrase — like saying “Hey Google, I’m awake” to unsilence your phone, turn on the lights and read the news. Schedules, meanwhile, could trigger a series of commands at a specific time on specific days, without you needing to say a thing.
2018. Alexa gets smart meeting scheduling
Amazon's Alexa has made it easier for business users to manage personal schedules via voice commands, adding the ability to move appointments and schedule meetings based on participants’ availability. While it was already possible to create and cancel appointments with Alexa, the Smart Scheduling Assistant feature gives users more control, cutting time and effort. To schedule a one-to-one meeting, a calendar must first be linked to a user’s Alexa account.
2018. IBM unveiled voice assistant for business and it's called ... Watson
In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" people always asked super-intelligent robot Marvin to fulfill only simplest tasks, that's why he was always depressed. The same thing can happen with IBM's AI Watson. The company will make him working as a voice assistant and answer simplest questions about weather, traffic and schedule. Even worse, people won't know that they are talking to Watson, because it is white labeled service. Any company can now create own voice assistant on Watson Assistant platform and call it Ivie for example. In fact, Watson Assistant already works in a bunch of spots, including the Munich Airport and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
2018. Google Assistant arrives on iPad
Google Assistant has launched on iPad to allow customers to control their smart home, make calls, send texts, set reminders and more, from their Apple tablet. It’s offered on iOS in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish, Google notes. The arrival on iPad offers a similar experience as on iPhone, the only real difference being the larger screen and support for iPad-only features, like multitasking with a split screen. While there’s a lot of talk of the growing traction of smart speakers, like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod, voice assistants have the potential for even broader reach by way of mobile devices. Of course, neither the Alexa app nor Google Assistant are as accessible on iOS devices like iPad, compared with Siri, which can be activated with a press of a button or the voice command, “Hey Siri.”
2018. Google Assistant adds Routines and location-based reminders
Google Assistant is getting two new features: Routines and location-based reminders. With Routines, you can create personalized commands and responses – for example, saying “OK Google, I’m home,” could turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat, and play some music. It’s a feature that rival Alexa announced in September 2017. Location-based reminders is another new feature set to roll out in the near future. This option is already available in Google Assistant on smartphones, but it will now be integrated into Google Home devices, as well. Besides Google announced forthcoming Google Assistant’s multilingual support and the addition of more languages this year, Google also announced this morning its smart assistant
2017. Amazon Alexa comes to office
Amazon launched its digital voice assistant Alexa for Business. She lets you be more productive throughout your day and stay focused on important tasks. Alexa can help you manage your schedule, keep track of your to-do list, and set reminders. Alexa can automatically dial into your conference calls and make phone calls for you. The push aims to extend the online giant’s wide lead over rivals like Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana as competition heats up in a market that analysts say could transform the way people interact with technology. Alexa for Business Starter Kit that includes 7 smart speakers costs $709.
2017. Cortana arrived in Skype
Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana has finally arrived in Skype, offering users in-context assistance during their chats, as well as the option to message Cortana directly to ask questions or get help with a number of other tasks. The idea to bring an A.I.-like helper to mobile messaging isn’t unique to Microsoft. Google’s Allo app is aided by Google Assistant, while Facebook Messenger has its own assistant, “M,” for example. Cortana can offer other input, like restaurant options, movie reviews, a good place to meet, a fact it knows the answer to, and more. Plus, the assistant can help with scheduling events and setting up reminders, which are then synced to your other devices where Cortana is enabled, like your Windows 10 PC.
2016. Microsoft redesigned Cortana for iPhone and Android
Virtual assistant Cortana is still not very popular on iOS and Android. So Microsoft decided to redesign it. With Cortana’s makeover, the more popular “quick actions,” as they’re called, have been given a more prominent position. While you still access them with a tap from the main screen, those things you do the most — like viewing your day, viewing or setting reminders, checking meetings and reading the news — have moved to the front of the experience. The black-and-white theme is gone in favor of a very purple one. And, under the hood, Microsoft has made speed improvements so the app feels faster than before.
2016. Google opens Assistant to third-party developers
Google Assistant, the Alexa/Siri-like AI offering is the heart of Google's new phone Pixel, announced today. And much like Alexa, the company is set to open its smart helper to third-parties. The company’s answer to Amazon’s Skills is the ironically passively named Actions on Google. The program will open Assistant’s SDK to developers starting this December. With it, devs will be able to create two kinds of actions – Direct and Conversation. The former entails simple requests like home automation, while the latter is more of a back and forth interaction utilizing API.ai.
2016. Google Assistant arrives in new messenger Allo
Google is launching Allo, its AI-centric messaging app for iOS and Android that contains Google Assistant, the new conversational assistant. Google Assistant is much more than a simple messaging bot, which tend to have a fairly limited set of capabilities. There are two ways to interact with Google Assistant. You can chat with it directly — Assistant appears alongside your other conversations in the app — or you can call it up while you're chatting with friends by starting a message with @Google. In both cases, it can help with many things that you would use a quick Google search for (think translations, conversions, directions, flight statuses etc.) and even has a few extra tricks, like (again) photo recognition. It's still in a "preview" stage, according to Google, who plans to bring the feature to many more products in the future.
2016. Siri lands on the desktop
Apple released the new version of its desktop operation system macOS Sierra. It’s available in the Mac App Store as a free download. One of the most promising changes is that Siri is coming to the Mac for the first time. The assistant can replace many of Spotlight’s features – like helping you find a file, perhaps, or search through photos. It can also help you interact with your Mac, like turning on or off your Wi-Fi, start FaceTime calls, set reminders, or adjust your volume. Siri on Mac is all about multitasking. So you can be working on one thing, like finishing up a document, and ask Siri to send a message to your coworker saying it’s on the way — without stopping what you’re doing.
2016. Google launched virtual assistant called Google Assistant
Google has launched its own voice-based digital assistant: Google Assistant, that is smarter than Siri and Cortana. You can ask a question for an answer, and follow up with multiple questions, with Google picking the conversation out and returning the right answer. Google Assistant will appear in the new Google messaging app, Allo and work during conversations and automatically try to help with, for instance, dinner reservations the group is discussing. It will also bring in outside, relevant information like restaurant cards, (the kind you normally see in Google Now and Google search results), and then guide users through setting number of diners, time to dine and making reservations with Open Table.
2016. Personal assistant X.ai raised $23m
Startup X.ai, which developed Amy, the bot that helps you arrange meetings with other people has raised $23 million. The funding will be used to take X.ai from a closed and free beta to a commercial product, and the startup also plans to hire more data scientists and other engineers. X.ai was built around the premise that it should live on the platform that is the main one used today to arrange in-person and virtual meetings — email. When you want to make a plan to speak or meet with someone, you copy in Amy. If it’s an in-person meeting, that bot will start to suggest places to meet and times to meet. If you’ve used Amy before, she will start to learn about whether you are a Starbucks or Blue Bottle type, or if you prefer knocking one back with your contact at the local pub. Once a meeting is set, it is added into whatever calendar you use.
2015. Android Marshmallow features supercharged Google Now
The latest version of Android (Marshmallow) marks the debut of Now on Tap, which gives Android users additional information about whatever they're doing — texting, listening to music, reading news - in a single tap. The feature will first be available on Nexus handsets, since Nexus devices are the first to get the Marshmallow update. Think of Now on Tap as an opt-in, supercharged version of Google Now, which proactively provides search results based on your previous behavior. In previous versions of Android, Google Now may have sent alerts for traffic conditions for your commute home or offered up a playlist from one of your music apps as you leave the office.
2015. Microsoft released Cortana for Android
Microsoft released beta version of Cortana on Google Play. Cortana on Android has much of the same functionality as the Windows version of the assistant. You can use the app to set reminders, search the web and add items to your calendar. The Android app also comes with the same "notebook" feature, which lets you tweak Cortana's personalized recommendations for nearby restaurants, news alerts, weather updates, sports scored and other categories based on your previous habits and interests. There are, however, a few limitations to the Android app. You can't use Cortana to adjust your phone's settings, launch other apps or use the "Hey Cortana" command to initiate a query. But you can make the assistant feel a little more like a native part of Android by replacing the Google Now shortcut with Cortana when you long press on the home key.
2015. Dragon Anywhere takes on Siri and Google Now
Nuance Communications announced Dragon Anywhere, the dictation tool which will be available later this year, at long last brings the company's desktop-level dictation capabilities to iOS and Android. Dragon Anywhere is a note-taking app that allows users to create and edit documents with only their voices. Of course, iOS, Android and even Windows Phones already have free speech-to-text capabilities baked into their mobile operating systems, but Dragon Anywhere goes further than those offered by default. The app is able to transcribe notes continuously as you speak without any time limits. Siri, by comparison, often requires you to pause about every 30 seconds while the text catches up with your words. The app also offers far more voice editing tools so you can actually format and change documents with voice commands.