Home Android Siri Competitor Iris Takes Step Towards Legitimacy With ChaCha

Android Siri Competitor Iris Takes Step Towards Legitimacy With ChaCha

Maybe there is a chance for Android competitors to Apple’s Siri voice-powered search. The first Siri clone was the cleverly-named anagram Iris and has been something of an amusing joke since it launched shortly after Siri was announced. The builders behind Iris, India-based development studio Dexetera, have made a partnership that will give Iris Siri-like capabilities without directly copying Apple’s approach.

Dexetera announced today that it is tying Iris into the database for question-and-answer website ChaCha. While ChaCha may not be the top of the line when it comes to answers on the Internet, Dexetera making partnerships is a good first step towards lending the app some legitimacy.

Siri functions by tapping into popular Web databases and search engines like Yelp and Wolfram Alpha. Apple and Siri spent millions of dollars and a lot of time fine-tuning Siri before the so-called personal assistant made it to the iPhone 4S. Dexetera gained notoriety in October by hacking Iris in eight hours. Granted, it did not really work all that well at the time but the company did well by getting its foot in the door and on consumers’ radars.

“ChaCha’s massive database of quality answers will add a lot of value to the Iris app,” said Dexetra CEO Narayan Babu in a press release. “This partnership will not only benefit Iris, but Dexetra as well and it is an honor to work with this groundbreaking company.”

ChaCha adds validation and functionality to the Iris app with little downside for the company. If Iris does not pan out there is no ill effect to the Q&A site. If Iris does take off then everybody wins.

Iris is going to have to deal with more established players in this space. For instance, the leader in voice-commands on Android is Nuance which can bring to table the power of its Dragon dictation products as well as the functionality of Vlingo, its closest competitor that Nuance purchased in December.

Dexetera still has an underdog with Iris, but with ChaCha it is at least an underdog with some bite.

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