iPhone’s Siri Got You Green With Envy? Try Out Iris for Android [Download]


One of the biggest selling points of the iPhone 4S is definitely its voice recognition feature, Siri. I’ll admit — although I would likely never use it — it’s pretty neat. It’s so good in fact that I’ve even heard around the Twittersphere it’s managed to sway a few longtime Android devotees on over to the “darkside.” If you were one of those Android users seduced by Siri’s charms, you may want to listen up. Apparently, a few developers from managed to get a Siri-alike app up an running on Android in only 8 hours during a hackathon.

Like Siri, Iris works by asking simple, serious or fun questions (pictured above) and the app will scour the internets for the answer and respond accordingly. While it started out as a fun project, things got more serious when the team found out the had a real gem on their hands. Lead developer Narayan Babu had this to say,

When we started seeing results, everyone got excited and started a high speed coding race. In no time, we added Voice input, Text-to-speech, also a lot of hueristic humor into Iris. Not until late evening we decided on the name “iris.”, which would be Siri in reverse. And we also reverse engineered a crazy expansion – Intelligent Rival Imitator of Siri. We were still in the fun mode, but when we started using it the results were actually good, really good.

Iris will soon be available on the Android Market but if you have a lot of unanswered questions floating around your head that need immediate answers, you can download the early beta of the app here. Let us know in the comments how it works out for you. Enjoy!

[Via TechCrunch]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. OK seriously, I love my Android, and that’s probably because we never talk to each other.

    1. That’s the building blocks of a healthy relationship. I for see problems in the relationships that the iPhone has.

    2. There will be many a pervert with iPhone 4S on vibrate and having phone sex with Siri.

  2. I still don’t see why anyone would switch to iPhone for this? Not that big of a feature to me I guess…..and I can’t wait for everyone to stop posting puns of this stupid guy…

    1. Seriously, I agree. I like Android…I’m not brainwashed, but to give it up for something that is accessible on Android already is stupid.

      1. so iOS users are brainwashed because they dont prefer your platform of choice, voice on the level of siri is not accesible on android

        1. Perhaps a quick re-read of ‘Commonsenseplease’s’ comment would answer your question.
          He’s just saying that it would be stupid to change phones for that one specific feature.

          1. perhaps a quick glance at the first part of his comment would clarify things for you- “I like Android…I’m not brainwashed”

          2. He’s saying he’s not brainwashed for Android. “I like Android…I’m not brainwashed (by Android), but to give -it- up for…” Just for clarification, I added the part he implied to make it more clear. Also, the word “it” shows he is referring back to Android after he says he’s not brainwashed.

            Google’s Voice Actions isn’t as advanced as Siri yet, and it doesn’t talk back to you but you can do much of the same stuff Siri can with your voice.

          3. But you ARE a moron.

  3. Funny how so many android folks ranted on Apple’s Siri since “It’s been available for Android for a while now”. Why the sudden change of heart?

    1. Where’s the change of heart? I think it’s kind of obvious that Android could already do much of this.

      1. Exactly! No change of heart. I could order pizza, call someone or dictate an email with my Android phone. I just never do it and I know for a fact most Apple folks won’t either after the hype dies.

  4. Going to install it anyway. What the hell why not?

  5. …and in other news, Apple today filed a law suit against upstart IRIS. The suit claims IRIS infringes on iApple’s patented voice control software. “We are the first at everything” the lawsuit claims.

    1. luckily Siri is based on an open research project run by DARPA. So the technology they used is actually available for anyone.

  6. Vlingo.

    1. Enough with the Vlingo references already!! Vlingo is NOTHING like Siri! Not even close! Frackin’ stupid! I think the people who do are just being flame bait! And yeah, it worked enough to get even me fired up.

      1. battle star galatica

  7. everyone will get sick of siri after a month or two

  8. Siri is destined to become the bluetooth headset of the 2010s. The very symbol of people you love to hate in subways and crowded elevators.

  9. SIRIously! Who gives a crying f*ck about SIRI, its not only a sign of Apple’s recent failures but its trying to mimic what Android already had Google Voice and it sucks at it. Who cares how many woodchuck could chuck… or who’s your daddy… or why is the sky blue… oh wait I must admit iPhone Fanatics are lonely and dumb to the point of actually needing this…

    Long live Android! Nexus Prime the next Beast! For now we’ll let the Samsung Galaxy S2 do some major beating…

    1. youre delusional, siri is a actually a success- many of the people in line with me cited siri as a feature they were excited about, ” I must admit iPhone Fanatics are lonely and dumb” – seems you are talking about yourself here and trying to project onto some other people

      1. I think you should have had Siri write that out for you, because it was total fail.

      2. If they were so excited why didn’t they use it when it was available on the apple store before it got pulled? That’s right, they’re too goddamn dumb to know it was there.

        1. HAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!! Nice one. Plus the Siri is pretty hit or miss regarding accuracy. I rather use the Voice recognition Android already has. I don’t need to ask my phone dumb questions.

        2. That’s the sucky part. One of my friends was using Siri on her Iphone 4 before they yanked it from her. She was a little pissed, to say the least. Apple could have had the decency to leave their beta people with it and just not allowed it to be added to any new iPhone 4 devices…

          1. Don’t you know, Siri can’t run on an iPhone 4, it doesn’t have the required hardware. Apple said it to it’s drones so it has to be true. Nevermind the fact that it was previously available on the 3GS and they were looking into adding support for the 3G.

      3. Exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from a Patriots fan…

  10. I’ve tried this app, and It’s fun, sometimes the answer will suprise you.

  11. keeps FCing for me D:

  12. I think where Siri scores big is driving. You can do almost anything with it: text, change the date and time of an appointment, send an email, add something to grocery list, call someone, listen to VM, add contacts, etc. without ever touching the phone.

    1. Actually you still need to touch the phone everytime you want to say something lol

    2. Practically everything on your list can be done with Android’s built-in Voice Actions. The only one that might not apply is the grocery list thing, but you can still do “note to self”.

    3. As everyone is pointing out, most of the features, minus talk-back, were already available by default with Voice Actions. In fact, the SGSII has a driving feature where you can say “Hello, Galaxy”, and it’ll initiate the Voice Search window, meaning you can touch your phone LESS. Also, Voice Input/Output settings allow for automatically reading text and such while you’re driving.

      Meaning you need to touch your Android even less when on the road than you would that tiny iPhone 4S screen.

      1. Totally true. The only thing Apple brings to the table is what they always bring. An extremely polished product. Siri is slick. It might not even be the best at what it does, but it’s so well packaged that I was impressed, and I generally despise Apple products as little pieces of fluff.

  13. Why are people going ape shit over these apps….they usually are a let down

  14. I was really excited, but this thing SUCKS! Uninstalled.

    1. Dude try speaktoit. That apps awesome.

  15. The app is crap… it runs real slow and it can’t answer the basic questions I throw at it… oh well… back to using my phone like normal

    1. Were you expecting Watson from Jeopardy?

  16. it takes too long to answer the question

  17. How can u judge a app that’s one in beta if not alpha and was made in 8 hours if you think you can do better then warm up computer click eclipse ot whatever and put your money where your mouths at see what you do in 8 hourd

  18. Doesn’t work on my milestone :(

  19. Voice Actions and Vlingo ftw. Nothing special about Siri, just depraved Apple fanboys getting over excited about something they never had before, unless they paid for Vlingo on the app store, which is free on the Android Market.

  20. It runs fine on Thunderbolt running CM7.1.1 Yes its slow but not taxing on ram and uses only 5% to 10% of processing power so good start. No force close on my phone and well ill keep this on my radar to see how this progress problem is I think Google is already working on a solution to siri and goin to take a bit cause they gotta achieve it without being sued

  21. In my opinion, one of the most genius things apple did with Siri was tie it to Wolfram Alpha. Hope others start to do that.

    1. While i agree it was smart, if i have my information correct, that wasn’t apple. That was the Siri team BEFORE apple bought them. Unless i missed where apple added the wolfman alpha part themselves, i was under the impression it has always been that way, you know before apple bought them and made it so only the 4S could run it, even though every other phone could run the original siri app.

  22. Speaktoit Assistant is the app to try. Can’t believe Phandroid isn’t talking about it. Everyone try it out. It works very well…

  23. WOW this app sucks balls what a waste

    1. Um, it’s BETA, dumbass. Give it a chance.

      1. That’s one horrible developer to put out such a donkey ball sucking beta

        1. It is an alpha build meaning only people who knows what they are doing should use it.

          1. LOL try and be more original in the future.
            This app sucks the balls of a flea on a donkeys balls

  24. It’s funny how many iTrolls there are on here.

    Google Voice Actions (like Siri) is cool to play with and show off. In the end, you just look stupid talking to your phone. Ultimate geek stuff. I used to make iphone owners jealous, but then I realized what a dork move it is to brag about what your phone can do versus another.

    1. It is pretty damn convenient though to say “Call Papa Johns (or whatever), and it calls the nearest one to your location.” Hell of a lot easier than looking it up in Maps. I just did it tonight, but not Papa Johns, since their pizza sucks.

      1. You can do the same thing with Android. But who does that? It’s a fad that will die out soon.

        1. I think the core features are very useful (maps, directions, send texts, voice dial, etc). I actually use those quite a bit, but mainly because I’m in my car a lot for work. Siri added gimmick to it with the “should I wear a raincoat today” crap. It’s kind of like how I can ask my car what time it is. I never use, the freaking time is right on the dash. It’s gimmick though, which I will gladly use when it comes time to sell it, and that person won’t use it either.

  25. Can’t get it to work.

  26. LOL guess what iris spells backwards hahaha siri lol but android doesn’t have to copy apple after all we had it first anyways

  27. Ummm, on my insipre 4g running cm7.1 it says no voice input detected… wtf?

  28. They should give this thing the voice of the guy that did Star scream and Cobra commander.

  29. I talk on my phone to talk to other people, not to talk to the freaking phone.

  30. Frankly, these sort of voice apps ARE handy in very specific cases for me. I have tried Vlingo and was never happy with it. I used Googles Voice Search in certain cases, mostly when driving. But my best example just happened the other day:

    I’m the only certified weather observer at the airport I work at. Our AWOS was down and a plane was needing to immediately land. There was some weather in the area that was cause for concern so they needed to get down as soon and safely as possible. I was at home and had to rush in to the airport. Instinctively, while preparing and reading the psychrometer and getting my visual observations done, I hit my Voice Actions button and began reading off figures that needed converting, and opened an app or two that was needed. The app basically allowed me to cut the amount of time it would have taken me to do the observations, calculations and conversions in half. Critical to the aviators that were needing to land. The beauty of the Pannous app is that you need only tap the screen once. It actively and passively listens. Passively meaning you can put it in sleep mode where it listens for a predetermined phrase to wake it (though I have not as of yet got it to work with my dying OG Droid).

    When Siri came along I was impressed- with the polish. I knew that I have had the feature (more or less) with Android for a while, what impressed me was the level of deep OS integration it had. Android is currently lacking that. 3rd party apps are close- real close. Apps like Vlingo, Voice Actions by Pannous and Speaktoit for example. Lets just agree that while many people see these features as novelties, they have their uses, specific they may be.

    1. Well, that beats my reason for liking the voice recognition… I just like it because it’s so handy when I’m driving… Great post, Tyler!

  31. Now seriously… my Galaxy S2 comes with Vlingo and works like a charm. And in my own language (which is not english).

  32. App is useless. Takes forever to come back with answers even on fast wifi. Don’t bother installing.

  33. You can download the updated, faster, more intelligent and wittier version from Android market!

    1. Yeah. I appreciate the effort but it is just not smooth/seamless. It is not answering some pretty basic questions. Keep chopping wood but I’d say you’ll need a weeks worth of 8 hour coding nerdjerks before this thing is useful. Appreciate it.

  34. Are you talking about apple’s originality in creating SIRI?? if yes, won’t you like to know where this idea came from?? If apple has filed a lawsuit against IRIS, i would better advice them to check out their own selves, because the original idea came from HARRY POTTER’S Tom Riddler’s Magical Diary. Though it was then just a concept, Apple has just built upon it and copied this idea from the site-
    Check this out and you would know it yourself. The concept has been stolen from here, and then built upon. Don’t you think so?

    1. Don’t you think so?


      Oh and the tech and concepts behind Siri is older than the Harry Potter series.

  35. Nice! but when it says “give me a second” you really need to give it a min or two!

    Not bad for a alpha/beta!

    Also, I dont like how it tells you the source of the info..

  36. 5 minutes with Iris is too long, all she does is hmm… or Just a moment…
    I tried basic things like asking about the weather, how far is it from los angeles to san francisco, what time is it? and NADA! Crap app! Speaktoit isnt great either, but a lot better than Iris.

    1. Overall these apps are time costly computed to just doing things yourself. These a fad although I think apple Is doing it much much better.

  37. Its kinda slow but its cool. Not better than SpeakToIt.

  38. There are sure alot of upset people here. Apple obviously did something right.

    1. The funny thing us the Android fanboys a free Weeks back were saying how much this function sucks

  39. As a thousand voices all chime in unison “SIRI” the shrill sound created will break windows. It is a fad, there will be the dedicated 1% that use it…similar to people using bluetooth headsets in public places. No one wants to hear your conversation with a phone!

  40. should have named the app eliza

  41. The thing is, this app sucks. It won’t actually answer any question. Siri will actually help you out, where as Iris just argues with you and tells you “it’s sleepy.” It’s pretty disappointing.

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