Its no secret that BlackBerry’s devices have lacked software and services that are offered by its competitors. The company seems to be on a mission to make lost ground now. Today it showed off BlackBerry Assistant. Its a virtual voice assistant much like Siri. The company showed it off on a BlackBerry Passport, a new device which some believe might finally turn around the company’s fortunes in the competitive mobile device market.
BlackBerry Assistant can handle a variety of tasks, users can ask it to search email and calendar, find out what’s trending on Twitter, send BBM notes and even send event invitations. Like other assistants it adapts and learns the user’s habits over time. The company claims that users will be surprised by how accurate Assistant is at recognizing requests.
The Assistant is designed to compatible with any Bluetooth device thus making it useful behind the wheel as well. It can read latest email messages if asked to do so and will also mark them unread if asked, all hands-free. It takes notes and reminders without having to leave the Assistant app. Ask it to turn on the flashlight and it does, same goes for turning it off.
Users can also speak to BlackBerry Assistant and have it adjust notification settings. So for example if you’re in a meeting and don’t want to be disturbed by social media notifications or text messages, tell Assistant that you want “Phone calls only, please” and it will change the notification settings accordingly.
On the face of it BlackBerry Assistant appears to be a very useful feature but we’ll know for certain once we get to use it. The company hasn’t released a video preview as yet and it has not confirmed whether the Assistant is exclusive to BlackBerry Passport or if it will come to older BB10 devices as well through the OS 10.3 update.