Google Now is cool, and all but it is not as polished as we would have liked. Don’t get me wrong; it is still a good little assistant, but after checking out the apps to replace Google Now, it doesn’t seem all that enticing. I’ll admit, the only time I used Google Now was when it sent push notifications about traffic and that’s about it. However, the alternatives I have found are either seeping in personality or simply more polished than Google’s offering.
The funny thing is, Google is also aware of the shortcomings of Google Now and is actively working to solve them. Even this list of apps to replace Google Now includes another app from Google which suspiciously seems like a beta test for an updated Google Assistant. Testing these apps was a real blast, in fact, I spent a lot of time talking to an AI and genuinely having fun. While these apps are very close to the best Siri alternatives and best virtual assistant apps for Android, they go a little bit further in making everything feel natural.
Note: The 4 apps to replace Google Now were tested on a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone. The apps worked fine on the device with minimal problems with voice recognition in loud environments. The apps may require an active internet connection for some features.
Made by the guys behind an app that tells you which song is playing, this is something out of science fiction. Normal assistant apps only answer certain questions and are unable to link them well. Not this one sir, not this one.
Hound is able to fully understand seemingly complex questions and provide eerily accurate answers. Want to know what will be the weather in Ohio 3 months from now? This app can give a good estimate.
Want to know how many private schools are there in your area with low fees? Hound can do that for you.
This is an incredible app to use simply because you can ask follow up questions after your initial query. In short, Hound is like an actual hound, it will sniff out the answers for you really well.
Cortana used to aid a futuristic Spartan soldier in his mission, now it can do your bidding on Android. This fictional AI from the Halo games is now a real AI on Android platform and it is a joy to use. Microsoft has done a great job in porting the virtual assistant on almost every platform.
The Android version is not as capable as the one found on Windows 10 based PCs but it does come close. In terms of usage, it is fairly close to other offerings but the response time is almost non-existent. I was pleasantly surprised to see the app working with such accuracy and speed.
3. Scarlet – Voice Assistant
If I was ranking apps to replace Google Now only by their looks, this one would have topped the list with flying colors. The interface on this app is simply mind blowing. I have never seen a voice assistant look this good, this app is as if Scarlet Johansson was digitized.
Apart from the stellar interface, the app offers a lot of new things that can be closely associated with Google Now. For example, it comes with simplified menus that give you easy shortcuts to your most essential tasks. It can also read you news, which is a great feature for those times when both of your hands are occupied.
4. Google Allo
The last entry on the list is Google Allo which also comes with Google Assistant. The Assistant seems like a beta version of something bigger, something Google is simply testing right now. So, I won’t be actually recommending this right now because a lot of features are not fully fleshed out.
However, I’m pretty sure this app will become standalone soon with expanded usability. I talked about Cortana having a personality, Google Assistant feels like an actual person is responding to your questions.
I had the most fun using this app simply because of it’s quirky and sometimes snarky replies to questions. The interface looks like a chat box and that’s the only downside I can find.
Google Now is a great app as it is but it never felt complete to me. With these great Google Now alternatives, I find hope, hope that someday our smartphones will be able to hold proper conversations with us. I highly recommend checking all of the apps on the list because they offer something unique.
Feel free to hold an actual conversation in the comments with me, I swear I’m not a robot.