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29

Ask Ziggy update now live on the Marketplace

Ask Ziggy

We recently covered a neat little Windows Phone app that rivals Apple's Siri. Ask Ziggy is a completely free (ad-free too) speech recognition app, which goes one step further than Windows Phone itself. Mathematical questions, commands (posting to Twitter, Facebook, calling a contact, etc.), general questions are just a few tasks that can be completed. While the app was already available (and has been since mid-December) a recent update has been pushed through that brings a few fixes an a UI refresh.

There are a number of features that the developer has planned for the future, including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and language translations. Should you be continuously finding yourself having to watch a Siri demonstration, now you can fight back with this little beauty. You can download Ask Ziggy from the Marketplace for free. Be sure to keep an eye on the official website for more information.

QR: Ask Ziggy

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Reader comments

Ask Ziggy update now live on the Marketplace

29 Comments

I'll say. I just asked, "Do I need a coat?"

"On average, the high temperatures at the end of April.... You don't need a coat."

Not quite the answer I expected for a mid-30sF January 8.

@dtboos
The iPhone does show you the date on the lock screen, and yet Siri tells you the date. What's your point?
This app is unimpressive, the fact that is recieving so much praise from this community shows how desperate most of you truly are. This apps simply gets infromation from Ask.com. Its not AI, like Siri, it simply is a search engine with voice recognition.

True. But, honestly, the praise SIRI is receiving from the media, mainstream and tech, really showcases the blind adoration of Apple. Siri is neat, but, its usefulness is quite suspect. Its novelty, however, is almost endless.

IMHO

Its new, and its free.  Its in its early stages. Why people bash this developers efforts is beyond me.   I said nothing about what I think of the app and personally don't have much use for these types of applications.
And Siri is far from being the perfect application so many keep trying to convince us of. 

"You" implying you don't own a Windows phone.
So, you're just cruising around commenting on a Windows forum about an app when you don't actually own the phone.
That's uh...impressive.  Do you need something to do?  Because you're not doing anything.

Siri isn't AI either (there is no such thing as true AI, at the moment) - it's just a slightly more flexible voice command parser, which actually forwards most queries to a number of search engines (Google, Bing, Yelp, Wolfram Alpha, etc).

@aeonlinux, FYI ur wrong on the "it just gets info from ask.com" it is much more than that. It uses multiple sources and sorts based on certain criteria.

What is your point sir?  You are not only incorrect, but appear to be trolling.  Like others have said, Siri, is not AI. 

Okay, good app, but the UI needs a lot of work:
 
Baby blue background, why not use the system background/accent color? Even the grey was better.
Rounded speech bubbles? This isn't iOS, needs more Metro, please use the square boxes just like in the messages hub.
Giant microphone that reminds me of GIFs people attached to emails 10 years ago? Move the microphone and all other buttons to the app bar, there's huge thumb travel, up down, up down.
"Query cancelled" popup is redundant and annoying.
Don't take this the wrong way, but I wouldn't pin the app to start because of its ugly stretched icon.

I'm totally with you on all points Koki.v3.
I know not all developers have an eye for design but that's the beauty of Metro, it gives you a design path to follow so there really is no excuse for the poor look.
Again, good app which has the potential to be great, but please apply some Metro to the interface!

I am confused, why does the mobile Bing site look like that for almost everyone?
I am in the us and using my LG quantum with mango and it is showing the basic mobile Bing site. I would like to know how I can fix this

I have a question. 
I have avoided adding my twitter account to Mango because I don't want all the people I follow on my contact list.  Is there a way to avoid that because I like being able to just speak and update Twitter.

I never understands me, ever. For reference I am a white man from England with a twang of an Essex accent left after 11 year sin New Zealand but mostly a clear / neutral accent. If it cant understand me then voice recognition has a LONG way to go.
To be fair the dev of Ziggy isnt resposonsible for that side of things and I suspect siri would get me wrong also. Unless you are American this stuff is useless. I tried to do Dans accent and got better results - oh how we laughed!

"Click the button above this one to see web search results"
When it says "button" I look for something looks like a button.  The only button I see above it is a "Cancel" button.  Perhaps it should say "tap the speech bubble above".

Any voice recognition app is pointless when it cannot be initiated via a hard key or headset button even when the phone is in standby.

It seems as though everyone is missing the point. This is only one developer, who most likely for kicks decided to implement a Siri type application for a personal challenge. He has done a wonderful job so far and I am sure if everyone stops beating him over the head with what his application lacks, he will stay committed to have a little enjoyment with his creation. At least if you comment on his application you could make some positive suggestions in a 'positive' not 'negative' light.

I used this app earlier to post a Facebook status while driving.  Still not the safest thing in the world, but it worked faultlessly and I only had to take my eyes off the road to start the app and press the succeeding buttons. 

This truly pisses me off.
 
When you say "its only one developer" you indirectly suggest that this application is on the same, or near the same level as Siri, but it isn't (and therefore should be commendable), because it was enginereed by one developer.
 
That is bullshit.
 
Intrinsically, what this app does is read you a paragraph from Ask.com, Wolfram Alpha, Wiktionary, or whatever site with short, concise answers to most common questions. That is it. Wrap your little heads around that fact, and then the "it's only one developer" excuse will not last longer than what it takes you to blink an eye.
 
Now, don't get me wrong, I love WP7, and I appreciate developers' work, but I am a realist, and seeing this simple app get praise somewhat comparative to Apple's Siri from this community is, to put it bluntly, pathethic. It just shows how much you all in need of a REAL Siri-like feature on WP, and how using "Ask Ziggy" is just a desperate attempt to convince yourselves that we might not have Siri, but have something very close. Ah, no you don't.
 
Siri is ahead of its time. Admit that, and accept it. It's not simply voice recognition. It's voice-activated, algorithmically-structured, artificial intelligence. One which not only improves by time, as its users use it, but one that is integrated well into the OS. Only TellMe is capable of beating Siri, but until Microsoft releases a proper iteration of TellMe (hopefully with Apollo), Siri will remain king. (And there's no doubt in my mind wheter they will.) 
 
We all know most of the things you can do with Siri are currently a novelty; but it's not so much its impracticality (a thing that will become less of that as its technlogy improves), it's more of what the technlogy in and of itself entails.

Siri is *not* ahead of its time. If u know anything about this field its a few years behind. Its pretty good for a phone, but there is mo magic there. Quit with the hyperbole.

Let's start with the fact that you don't know me. You have no idea who I am, and therefore you are clueless as to what I do or don't know.
 
However, your reply does show me what you seem to not know.
 
I worked on a major group research at Florida Atlantic University back in 2002; this reaearch was submitted as graduate-level research to the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Out research focused on metacognition. It turns out, that part of our research was used by SRI International, back when Siri was called CALO.
 
Not only there's no equal to Siri currently available to consumers, but say that even if another competitor is released, it would most likely still won't be algorithmic AI backed up by an extensive DB. Microsoft has been working on TellMe for a long time since its acquisition, but it still doesn't rely on a database, such as DARPA's 40 years of research (the foundation of Siri). Not only is Siri more accurate than even Google's (which also happen to be more accurate than TellMe), but neither of these have a database. Google voice recognition on Android at least relies heavily on its billions of search queries, so if you ask "Where's the closest mall in NYC", Android might think you said "and I see" at the end, but it doesn't due to similar queries and comparative results. But its not quite there yet, as without Google's queires, it would have then be less accurate than TellMe.
 
CALO, or Siri, is ahead of its time. You know, when the research was released back in 2008-09. That is why it was important for me to specify why the technology in and of itself is amazing, and not the "app." There is no hyperbole in that, and thinking that it is, just becuase Apple happened to take advantage of it by integrating it into the OS (before anybody!), is purely fanboy-ish of you.
 
Turns out, not all your readers are regular consumers, some do happen to know what they are talking about.

No, your point was quite clear, actually. A soon as you said "Siri-type" application, and "only one developer", your argument then became invalid. As I said, Ask Ziggy just reads out first paragraphs from major sites such as Ask.com or Wolfram Alpha (and even WiseGeek).
 
There is nothing compelling about the engineering of this app. My post was not meant to discourage the development of the app, I have nothing agaisnt it personally, I just see that its getting a lot of praise becuase it shows a cosmetic function that's similar to Siri. And it shouldn't.