Robin Gets A Facelift – Brings New Features and UI with Version 2.0

It was a few months ago we told you guys about Robin, a voice assistant app for Android that looked to give Siri a run for her money (don’t they all?). The app was met with good reviews and recently, Robin’s been given a complete overhaul with new version 2.0. She’s now smarter, listens better, and has been given a visual facelift. Here’s the all new feature set for 2.0:

  • Hands-free email and SMS narration
  • Texting by voice
  • Proactive mode : listen to text messages as they come.
  • Proactive traffic alerts (Phase one): get ask for direction and get prompted about traffic delays as you go.
  • Introducing Robin’s news room: headlines delivered by a duo of news anchors!
  • Also, personal newscast from your Facebook and Twitter
  • UI redesign.

If you guys wanna take her for a spin, “Robin, the Siri challenger” can be found in the Google Play Store free of charge. Let me know if she plays nice.

[Google Play Store]

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  • supremekizzle

    Funny…

  • WHO?

    This app has came a very long ways and the devs add features as you request them. I don’t normally say a voice app is really good. Heck i don’t say any app is really good. BUT BUT BUT Robin blows the socks off everything but Google Now. Google Now of course is going to be better do to their resources. But if you don’t have Jelly Bean i strongly suggest this free app over all others.

  • Kashif Ali

    Its an excellent app…no doubt about it…but there’s only one issue that i am facing….whenever i ask it to set alarm…it does so for next day and the time zone its showing is different….i am not sure if others are facing this……any solutions?

    • WHO?

      Alarm works for me just tried it. I set set alarm for 12am which is 18 min from now…

  • King of the Zafferties

    Weird, Sorry guys but this is better then Google Now? Feeling more like a real computer (IE trying to figure out what to do instead of waiting for scripted incoming commands)

  • LawrenceMcatee

    Gotta say I downloaded this and have been screwing around with it, and it is awesome google just needs to buy it and claim it as their own.

  • http://twitter.com/tellarhk Joshua Johnston

    The biggest problem this app has (aside from unfortunately stilted voices) is the fact the company is absolutely bound and determined to call out Siri and try to play catch-up. Even the name of it in the Market makes it look second rate.

    I could write an entire article for Phandroid or any other news site, talking about what some applications on Android are doing to give themselves and the entire Android ecosystem a bad name, and Robin would be as good a place to start as any.

    The problems with Robin start at the very first place you try and get an impression of the application, the Play store. “Robin, the Siri challenger” is a ridiculously terrible name for it. It’s almost as if the company is actually trolling for an Apple lawsuit threat that they can use to get press coverage from, following in the footsteps of Samsung’s spin on the recent verdict over iPhone/iOS copying claims.

    Continuing on to the first launch of the application, you’re presented with a screen showing the name of the application with a stylized microphone for an “o”. This would be fine, if the layout of that image was actually tightened up somewhat. The lettering is badly kerned, which means that the space between letters seems unnaturally “off” to a reader’s eyes. Just look at the “b” on that screen, and how far away from the “o” it is. This is a minor quibble, but it’s increasingly bad when you’re forced to stare at that screen for ten or more seconds while a last-generation text to speech synthesizer reads off an overly long, unskippable and non-optional introduction that does nothing to deal with our next issue.

    The application does a relatively poor job of telling you what you can do. The help button on the right of the screen results in a passable list of topics, but these are things that the user should be given the option to review in a clearly guided fashion from the very start.

    And finally, or as finally as I’m going to post in a comment I suspect few will read, the UI itself is extremely weak. The stylized approach they use may look “friendly”, following along with the skeumorphic (ie: Interfaces designed to look like real things) sense that’s been increasingly overdone these days, but it also wastes an enormous amount of space and looks nothing at all like the functional portions of the application that the user actually interacts with. What happens when I hit the oversized blue and silver R button? The stock Google Voice Actions dialog window comes up and processes my request.

    Every single thing I mentioned above would be a dealbreaker in an Apple product, and it would never have seen the light of day. Android is supposed to be about the power to do the things you want without restraint, but why does that mean we should settle for products that are given to us in cut-rate condition? I’m thrilled that someone’s doing something to “compete” with Siri, but it’s not Robin that’s doing it. It’s Google Now. Robin’s just trying to ride Apple’s coattails, which is unfortunate because I’d really love to see a smaller developer knock this one out of the park as a home run for the Android team.

    If you’re going to compete directly with an Apple product, you absolutely cannot afford to take shortcuts and skimp on making sure the “little things” are properly taken care of.

    • Jwhap

      True, however, isn’t Robin still in beta? You do not have to purchase a new device to run Robin as it is not a part of an exclusive club. I have not tried this version of Robin as Google now has all of the features I want and need. But for a third party developer and a relatively young app they continue to add to the ecosystem and provide a voice assistance app to folks that may not have the ability or desire to flash a jelly bean ROM. Also, siri is not that great either. To say that Apple had a spot on app that had no flaws would be disingenuous.

      There is plenty of room for apps like this and this developer seems to read comments and add to his app, I would even go as far as saying, there should be more developers committed to their apps as these folks!

      • http://twitter.com/tellarhk Joshua Johnston

        I’d be thrilled to see this application improve, I really would. But until it does, it’s an unfortunate poster child for Android as a “wannabe” platform. Starting, again, with the name in the Google Play store. Something like “Virtual Assistant Robin” or “Robin Assistant” or other names that actually communicate what this application does would be great, instead of one that simply says “Look at me, I’m calling out Apple’s product by name!”

        Like I said at the end of my comment, I would sincerely love to see a small company use Android as a way to really get out there and innovate, and kick some ass. But if you keep making excuses for poor quality, things just don’t get better. I’m not trying to kick the developer over this, and they deserve a ton of praise for what they’ve done. But the fight isn’t over, and for a product at the “2.0″ mark as announced in this post, it sure has a lot of “beta 2″ flaws with the presentation and integration with the Android system.

    • ari_free

      “Every single thing I mentioned above would be a dealbreaker in an Apple product”

      Like Apple Maps? OK maybe it does have better kerning…

      • http://twitter.com/tellarhk Joshua Johnston

        That one’s self inflicted, thanks to crazy levels of Android-hate.

  • Modman

    All voice assistants suck and this one still does. It cant tell the difference between someone with the name sylvia stewart and silvia brown and when you say to text silvia brown or sylvia Stewart it texts sylvia stewart. Very disappointed with this app.

    • Damian

      Luckily for me I don’t know a Sylvia Stewart.

    • smithj33

      With Siri, just say Text Silvia and she will ask which one. You have to be smarter than the phone….

  • Oldskool76

    just for humor ask robin why she is better than siri

  • Modman

    Aivc is better it can at least bring up the person you want to call or text.
    Robin and siri cant. At least last time i tried. Still sucks if you have more than one person with same first name though. Anyone know if they blocked all other phones from s talk? Probably dont think changing build.prop worth it might break phone.

    • WHO?

      I text and call from Robin.

    • smithj33

      Siri brings up people, apps, scores, weather, email, text, ect…

  • Modman

    Aivc alice says its better than siri because yourapp24 programmed me for it

  • Modman

    Ask alice are you better than siri?
    Reply “of course i am more intelligent than Siri”

  • Modman

    Try alice if youre not on gs3 it kicks siris butt. Svoice on gs3

  • ari_free

    I do not want another pandorabot. If it sticks to useful stuff and doesn’t pretend to be your best friend, I’ll check it out but I have to try AVX first

  • ari_free

    “…Robin keeps your conversation in its head. If
    you ask for directions to location, and then later ask, “what’s the
    parking like there?” it will know where “there” is. ”

    Very good. A critical test for good AI.