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This article was published on July 16, 2014

BlackBerry Assistant officially introduced as part of BlackBerry 10.3, Siri et al likely not worried

BlackBerry Assistant officially introduced as part of BlackBerry 10.3, Siri et al likely not worried Image by: Ethan Miller
Ben Woods
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Ben Woods

Europe Editor

Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

Canadian handset maker BlackBerry has officially introduced its virtual assistant for the BlackBerry 10.3 OS, and it’s called simply ‘BlackBerry Assistant’.

Much like assistants on rival platforms, BlackBerry Assistant can do things like help you carry out simple tasks on the device (launching apps, sending messages, making calls etc.) using voice commands, as well as slightly more advanced things like searching email or calendars, or finding out what’s trending on Twitter, the company explained in a blog post today.

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It also has features designed for driving too, like being able to ask BlackBerry Assistant to read back the most recent email but then additionally asking it to keep it marked as ‘unread’ so you can follow-up later.

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With Siri arriving for the iPhone first back in 2011 and Google Now capably powering some smart-ish suggestions on Android devices, BlackBerry isn’t exactly ahead of the trend here. Even Windows Phone has Cortana for users in the US. Better late than never would seem to apply here, and to be fair it does seem to be at reasonably smart.

There’s no word on which devices will support the feature, but we do at least know it should be a part of the BlackBerry 10.3 OS later in the year. It might need a new name though – BlackBerry Assistant just isn’t very catchy.

Featured Image Credit – Ethan Miller/Getty Images