Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Canadian-based startup AffinityClick has an app that is absolutely perfect for those of us who like to stay updated, but who also want complete control over how that’s going to happen: HeroButton. The app lets you set up custom notifications using your voice.
Here’s the official pitch from their About page, typos and all:
24/7,365, HeroButton is working for you. Tell hero button what you want and it will find it and notify you. IT’s the world’s greast digital assistant!
Yet that doesn’t really explain what the app is really about. So I asked AffinityClick for a video to show off, and indeed the startup was working on one. Here it is, just posted a few minutes ago:
As you can see, it’s not marketed as such, but in my mind HeroButton is trying to be the IFTTT (If this then that) of the Siri (Apple’s digital assistant) world. Siri is great and all, but it’s very limited in the grand scheme of things: you have to enter a query. IFTTT, which connects various Web services together by using triggers to execute actions, is all about flexibility, but it’s not meant for mobile, and certainly can’t be controlled by your voice.
HeroButton is a much more “set it and forget it” app. With Siri, you can check when your favorite band is coming to town, if a deal is available in your area, and the price of a given hotel. With HeroButton, you can be notified you when your favorite band comes to town, when a deal becomes available in your area, and when the price of a hotel goes below a certain figure. It’s much more robust.
While HeroButton supports voice commands, they’re not required, nor are they necessarily better than just using the included templates. Using these is much more straightforward as half the form is filled out for you, leaving you to just add the personal bits.
HeroButton is a free app available for the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod touch, although alerts will end up costing you more as in-app purchases. You can download it from the official Apple App Store.
Image credit: stock.xchng
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