1. Tim Smith2's Avatar
    I had very high hopes for the BB Assistant after watching the videos and reading about all of the amazing things it could do. As the title of the post may suggest, I have found it to fall a long way short of my very low expectations.

    One of the great features of BBOS devices was how well their voice dialling worked especially on Bluetooth devices. I went from a 8900 to an HTC Android phone and this was one of the things that I missed the most- I couldn't beleive that Android didn't have this function (at the time of course), so I upgraded to a 9800 which with the drivesafe.ly app could do most of what I needed through voice commands whilst driving. When I first got my Z10 I was surprised to find the voice dialling on that was really not very good. It seldom worked so I gave up on it entirely. I was hoping that the new BB Assistant with all of its really clever functions might mean that BB10 can finally compete with the old BBOS when it comes to voice dialling.

    Sadly, I have found the new Assistant to be little better than the last BB10 effort and still not as good as what we had in the old BBOS. Comparisons to Siri, Cordana or the Google thing are frankly laughable. Others experience may vary (and to be honest for BB's sake I hope it does) but I have found it to be frustratingly useless.

    The problems I have found are;

    1. Incredibly slow. Often (even with a 3g or 4g network connection) I have waited more than ten minutes for it to interpret a simple voice command. More than once I have left it for more than 15 minutes with the blue circle pulsing before giving up on it.

    2. Failure to find contacts. This really bugs me as it is so fundamental. I might give a command like call such and such, after a while I will get a response of 'No contact details for such and such' I know they are there but their name is spelt every so slightly differently. I can often get round that by using just the first-name or surname and then selecting from a long list of options but is is slow and frustrating.

    3. Only reads a short portion of the text message. I used to use drivesafe.ly on my 9800 and when you received a text message, it would read it all to you. The BB Assistant only reads the first X characters. Why? How can it not read it all? I have looked but I cannot find a setting to make the Assistant read the whole thing.

    4. Now this might be a problem that Siri shares as well but I have tried on a few occasions to use the assistant with the maps app. I know using BB maps is never going to be a great experience but it should be quite impressive to just say to the phone 'get me directions to XYZ'. I have tried this a few times and it hasn't ever worked. I do understand why and it is simply because I have wanted to go to places with names that it struggles with, such as Severn Road or Malmesbury. Again, there may be a way of spelling these names out to the assistant so it can do a proper search but if there is, I have not found it yet.

    I had high hopes for the new assistant and maybe given time, it will improve to the point where it becomes as effective as it was on my 8900. I'm not holding my breath though.
    12-11-14 05:33 AM
  2. jojo beaconsfield's Avatar
    I had very high hopes for the BB Assistant after watching the videos and reading about all of the amazing things it could do. As the title of the post may suggest, I have found it to fall a long way short of my very low expectations.

    One of the great features of BBOS devices was how well their voice dialling worked especially on Bluetooth devices. I went from a 8900 to an HTC Android phone and this was one of the things that I missed the most- I couldn't beleive that Android didn't have this function (at the time of course), so I upgraded to a 9800 which with the drivesafe.ly app could do most of what I needed through voice commands whilst driving. When I first got my Z10 I was surprised to find the voice dialling on that was really not very good. It seldom worked so I gave up on it entirely. I was hoping that the new BB Assistant with all of its really clever functions might mean that BB10 can finally compete with the old BBOS when it comes to voice dialling.

    Sadly, I have found the new Assistant to be little better than the last BB10 effort and still not as good as what we had in the old BBOS. Comparisons to Siri, Cordana or the Google thing are frankly laughable. Others experience may vary (and to be honest for BB's sake I hope it does) but I have found it to be frustratingly useless.

    The problems I have found are;

    1. Incredibly slow. Often (even with a 3g or 4g network connection) I have waited more than ten minutes for it to interpret a simple voice command. More than once I have left it for more than 15 minutes with the blue circle pulsing before giving up on it.

    2. Failure to find contacts. This really bugs me as it is so fundamental. I might give a command like call such and such, after a while I will get a response of 'No contact details for such and such' I know they are there but their name is spelt every so slightly differently. I can often get round that by using just the first-name or surname and then selecting from a long list of options but is is slow and frustrating.

    3. Only reads a short portion of the text message. I used to use drivesafe.ly on my 9800 and when you received a text message, it would read it all to you. The BB Assistant only reads the first X characters. Why? How can it not read it all? I have looked but I cannot find a setting to make the Assistant read the whole thing.

    4. Now this might be a problem that Siri shares as well but I have tried on a few occasions to use the assistant with the maps app. I know using BB maps is never going to be a great experience but it should be quite impressive to just say to the phone 'get me directions to XYZ'. I have tried this a few times and it hasn't ever worked. I do understand why and it is simply because I have wanted to go to places with names that it struggles with, such as Severn Road or Malmesbury. Again, there may be a way of spelling these names out to the assistant so it can do a proper search but if there is, I have not found it yet.

    I had high hopes for the new assistant and maybe given time, it will improve to the point where it becomes as effective as it was on my 8900. I'm not holding my breath though.
    This bugs me ...Why would anybody wait so long? I find Assisant really great and even with all the background sound going on in a bar it really impresses.lol as far as maps go you have many options via assistant to get to where you are going with ease.
    12-11-14 05:50 AM
  3. jojo beaconsfield's Avatar
    I meant waiting 10 or 15 minutes to get an answer to your questions.
    12-11-14 05:54 AM
  4. Tim Smith2's Avatar
    I tend to have to wait because when I am driving I can't always start messing about with the phone trying to close the Assistant app.

    Since first making this post, I have continued to persevere with the Assistant but I am still finding it to be pretty hopeless.

    Can anyone help with suggestions on how I might be able to overcome the main issues I have found?

    Thanks in advance for any [sensible] suggestions.
    12-16-14 10:14 AM
  5. Paul Callahan's Avatar
    Good topic.. let's get more feedback on this issue from more people

    Formerly Q10 ~ Now the Passport on TMobile
    12-16-14 12:38 PM
  6. Rimrocks's Avatar
    Before the latest O.S. up-date in car phone calls were very simple with bluetooth, now it is a bloody nightmare!!!
    In an emergency you could be dead before the call was completed!!!
    Short of changing back to the previous O.S. is there a way to set things up the way they were?
    03-06-15 03:58 PM
  7. mike_in_austin's Avatar
    Assistant IS a waste of time...especially when it's connected to Bluetooth now. It has a "safety" feature built in and can't perform the simplest of tasks. For example, while driving, I asked Assistant to find the number for a local business; it understood the business name but, after an extensive wait, informed me that for safety reasons, it couldn't launch a browser or app. Uhm - this is why I'm asking for the number...because I'm driving and it's safer to have the Assistant look it up. If I disconnected from the car's Bluetooth, I was able to ask the question again; of course, instead of giving me the answer, it simply opens the browser to a link to the business.

    Now I know why I haven't used this "feature" more. It really is worthless.
    03-10-15 12:45 PM

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