Hound Voice Search – Siri Alternative Available Right Now
The makers of the great SoundHound app – a music recognition engine that aims to provide users with a means to figure out what kind of music is playing in their vicinity – are working on a Siri alternative called Hound. The App is available in the iTunes App Store right now. You can give this promising Siri alternative for free.
Requirements: To use the Hound app, you will require a free US Apple ID. As the app is in its soft launch phase, only the English language is available to try. If you are not a US resident and Hound doesn’t appear to be available in the App Store for you, creating a new Apple ID with an address located in the United States would be a viable alternative. This can be done by clicking the flag symbol in the bottom right corner of your iTunes application on the PC or a Mac, then selecting the United States and following through with the registration process. Note that Apple will not verify whether you actually live at a US address, some users simply enter the details of a store or cafe instead.
How to install Hound
Using a US-based Apple ID account, simply open up the App Store on your iPhone and enter “Hound” into the search field. Or click the below link to download the free app:
Using Hound as a Siri alternative
Launch Hound as you would launch any other app, then go through the initial setup process. Being a virtual assistant, the app will of course request a bunch of permissions in order to work properly. That includes access to the microphone for voice input, your current location for geolocated results and access to your contacts, which will allow you to communicate via SMS, email or phone calls with them, via Hound.
After a couple of examples for some introductory guidance, Hound is ready for action.
What Hound can do for you:
- report the weather forecast and temperatures
- conduct searches on a local basis or look for yelp reviews
- help you navigate and give directions
- look up hotels
- place calls or send messages
- conduct searches on the web
- perform calculations
- and many more features, which are to be extended on an ongoing basis…
To learn more about Hound’s capabilities, try tapping the question mark button on the lower left, right next to the microphone.
Local search results are currently limited to the United States and Canada. The different categories on the examples page should give you a good idea of what Hound can do.
Our impression of Hound
The app does a great job in terms of voice recognition. On a technical level, it might even be superior to Siri due to the extremely fast processing of words and even the delivery of responses. You’ll be surprised as to how Hound can even outpace the voice search of the official Google app on the iPhone. It can even answer pretty complex queries that would stump Siri for sure, such as combinations of statistical census data and geographical landmarks. In an earlier interview with The Verge, the developers of Hound surprised the press by having their product answer very tough and exotic queries, such as “What is the population of the capital of the country in which the Space Needle is located?”.