Galaxy S3's S-Voice Leaked for ICS Devices, and it is TerribleGood news for those of you running rooted Ice Cream Sandwich Android phones: you can now install Samsung’s Siri clone, S-Voice. This is the first time most of us have gotten our hands on it, since the Samsung Galaxy S 3 that it was developed for hasn’t been released yet. And unfortunately, it’s not very good.
The app comes courtesy of XDA, as usual, and it took a little bit of finagling to get it working on my phone. Namely, I had to paste it into an area accessible only with root, and then change the permissions on the file. Nothing too bad, if you have dealt with this kind of thing before.
And the app runs beautifly. Besides the occasional force close (it is running on a device it was never designed for, so that is acceptable), there are no performance hiccups. It picks up what I say quickly and with minimal glitches.
This is quite the feat, given that my test hardware is a Samsung Captivate, the runt of the original Galaxy S line.
But using S-Voice isn’t nearly so magical as Siri. It feels more like Samsung took the existing voice commands, decreased the accuracy of the translation, and added a few more actions to the list.
To send a message, for example, you have to say something like “text Katie message are you free for dinner?”, which is the actual example they give. Apparently you can also use it to open apps, but I’ve never successfully had it do that for me. Basically, you can’t expect nearly the flexibility you have with Siri. You can’t ask for restaurant recommendations, for example, and just about the only fun easter egg happens when you ask it what the meaning of life is. But hey, at least you can create alarms and calendar reminders, something sorely missing from voice actions.
To say I’m underwhelmed would be an understatement. This feels like a warmed-over version of Google’s Voice Actions, one that wasn’t even implemented well. If the rest of the device works as well as S-Voice does, well, the Galaxy S 3 is going to be a dismal failure.