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Siri gets Android rival as Cluzee goes live

Apple was first, but is Android better?

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Apple’s Siri now has an Android rival in the form of Cluzee, a voice-controlled personal assistant, which – who? – is now available as a free download.

Cluzee, built by startup Tronton, comes as a 9.42MB download and can run on Android 2.1 and above. In potential scope it’s slightly more ambitious than Siri, since it aims to link in health records, travel data, and also deals based on the preferences of the user.

It can also feed in current data such as traffic conditions, and use that to advise people to leave early in order to make appointments. The software also includes a personal radio station, local business searching, holiday and day planners, and voice-activated dialing.

"People are drowning in information overload," said Ashish Patwa, CEO of Tronton, in a statement. "We don't need all of the information available, all of the time. We just need the right information at the right time, which Cluzee intelligently provides, making us more productive. Technology created the problem, but we're using smarter technology to solve it."

The company started development around six months ago, a spokeswoman told The Register, and at that time no one had heard of Apple’s Siri. However, the company acknowledged it was going up against Apple with this open source alternative.

In very early testing at El Reg, Apple doesn’t have too much to worry about. The application was tested on a Droid 2 running Android 2.3.3, and crashed repeatedly. The voice recognition was either having problems with a British accent (an American colleague got somewhat better results) or needs more fine tuning – we suspect both.

That said, Cluzee is in its very early days, and the scope of the free application looks impressive. Fully and correctly configured it could be very useful – if it works as specified, of course. More polish is certainly needed – the lack of any useful setup information is a clear drawback, for example – but Apple now has a rival that could potentially wipe the smug grins off iPhone 4S user’s faces. ®

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