The developer release was seeded to developers earlier this week, with the OS expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The voice assistant is invoked by pressing a key on the alpha prototype devices, just like it is on iOS devices. Strangely instead of a simple beep, there’s a voice saying “Please say your command after the beep” that plays every time the button is pressed. What’s even stranger is that this voice is male, while the voice of the virtual assistant is female.
The feature is still in a very alpha stage, as can be seen in the video embedded below. But it does show that RIM is doing what it can to at least bring BlackBerry 10 OS in parity with other smartphone platforms, if not make it better.
Here’s the video, shot by the folks at N4BB:
Although voice commands have been around for a while on certain mobile phones, Apple’s acquisition of Siri and its subsequent integration into iOS really gave consumers a glimpse into what “intelligent” voice interaction with devices would look like. Since then Samsung, Google and now RIM have all released their own virtual assistants.