Personal assistant apps aren’t a dime a dozen. There are only a handful of apps worthy of your time which are capable of feeding you the information you request or completing tasks simply by voice. On Android, this is currently limited to Google Now if you’re looking for something that is well-rounded and full featured as well as accurate. Soon enough users will have access to Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant, too. Sound Hound though, is giving users another option to add into the mix as they seek to break away from being the “other guy” in the song recognition market.
Sound Hound has officially announced the coming of a personal assistant app called Hound, which is more than just an app which you can ask simple questions to and receive answers to those questions, however, if asking questions is going to be your main focus with the app, it’s going to be able to answer them well. You can ask Hound to give you the current time in a location across the globe and it’ll be able to toss you back the answer. It’s capable of much more than that though, and as Sound Hound founder Keyvan Mohajer displays in the demo below, asking increasingly longer and more difficult questions to the app doesn’t seem to stifle Hound one bit. What’s so surprising is that Hound was capable of answering Mohajer’s questions without having to slow down and really process the information and analyze it before sending it back. Answers are quick and precise, and at one point in the demo Mohajer asks for the population and capital of Japan and China while also asking for the area of each country in square miles and square kilometers. Before Mohajer lets Hound take over and feed him back the information, he also asks it for the population of India as well as the area codes for France, Germany, and Italy. One quick tap on the button to tell Hound his requests are over with and Hound begins feeding him all of that data almost immediately.
Hound is also capable of giving users contextual results by asking follow-up questions to answers already given, but the feature set seems much more robust even at the early stage of being in a private beta. You can use it to navigate directions and search for local places to eat or have drinks, and it’s also capable of booking hotels and flights, and of course what would a personal assistant be app if it couldn’t make calls and send messages? Hound can do that too. Like Google Now it also has a built-in mortgage calculator, and you can grab the status of your flights. If you need a break you can even use it to play interactive games. Unsurprisingly, Hound has Sound Hound’s song recognition built-in so you can figure out songs by singing or humming the tune. Hound hasn’t announced any particular dates for when it will be open and available for everyone, but you can currently request an invite to test out the beta by installing the app and requesting an invite inside.