Google brought something wonderful to the world of Android smartphones when it introduced Google Now and the accompanying list of “OK Google” voice commands one could use for any number of various tasks on their device. This wasn’t the only option for users at the time nor is it now, but it certainly has the best track record for working properly and for what it can do for the user. Microsoft had recently launched the Cortana feature on their Windows based smartphones earlier this year, and now they’re bringing an alternative to Google Now and the OK Google command to users on Android powered smartphones with an app called Torque.
Torque was first launched as an app for Android based smartwatches, but Microsoft has now launched a 2.0 version of the application that makes it open to Android smartphones, bringing with it the possibility to look up restaurant searches, get up to date sports scores for your favorite teams, and even find out the US stock prices for many of the different publicly traded companies. While it might seem a bit redundant to have two applications/features on your device that do exactly the same thing, it never hurts to have options and who knows, you might find that Torque performs better with certain tasks. While Google Now is a little easier to operate being fully voice activated with the OK Google command on most devices, Torque’s use of the shake movement to activate it is kind of cool and still doesn’t require you to wake up your screen.
Torque is of course powered by Bing, something that probably isn’t a surprise to anyone, which despite the jokes is a pretty decent and powerful search engine that can provide users with a wealth of information. It will be interesting to see how the application evolves over time and how it contrasts to the likes of Google Now and the OK Google command. Would you use this over Google Now? Would you at least give it a try and see if you like what it offers? Or are you loyal to the already baked in Google Now functionality that came with your device out of the box?