SoundHound’s new Hound app is a digital personal assistant that gets down to the details


Ever since Apple launched Siri, other digital personal assistants have cropped up pretty regularly. A newcomer looks to shake things up, though.

While Siri started it all, other companies like Microsoft and Google, have managed to create their own digital personal assistants with a bit more nuance in some specific cases. Siri has her strengths, especially when spoken to in natural language and replying, but so do Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Google Now. And here comes SoundHound, a company that’s known for its music-based app, with an app called HOUND.

With HOUND, a new digital personal assistant, it’s all about being as specific as possible, and still getting quick results. The app was launched in the iOS App Store not too long ago, and it offers a wide range of capabilities, like general voice search, the ability to ask the weather conditions, book an Uber, booking through Expedia, and more — all hands-free and with just by talking to the app.

The major difference with HOUND, though, is that you can really get to specifics. For example, asking the weather might be good enough for some, but sometimes you just want to know what the weather might be like in Hawaii in August. Siri, in comparison, can only look at the weather for the next 10 days. Even looking for restaurants allows the user to whittle down options, like asking for a place that’s only 10 miles away, but excluding a particular style of food.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:

    Features include:

    • Weather + Temperature
    – “What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow at 6pm?
    – “How about in Hawaii during August?”

    • Local Search + Yelp Restaurants
    – Ask for restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and be as specific as you’d like.
    – You can even exclude places that you don’t want.
    – “Show Restaurants within 10 miles except for Chinese”

    • Navigation (GPS) + Directions
    – Ask for a destination and navigate there seamlessly
    – “Show me directions to the nearest Starbucks”

    • Hotel Search + Expedia booking
    – Be specific
    – “Show hotels in Seattle that are pet-friendly, have a gym, and cost less than $275”

    • Uber
    – Get fare estimates, journey time, speak your destination and book, all hands-free

    • Make phone calls and send text messages – hands-free

    • Web searches – speak what you’re looking for instead of typing

    • Calculator – easily make quick calculations through voice commands
    – “What is the square root of 16 minus the square root of 9?”

    • And more: Video search, News search, Photo & Image search, Stock Prices, Flight status, Date and Time, Alarm and Timer, Music search including “SoundHound Now” feature – activate a music recognition search or a Sing/Hum search, Mortgage Calculator, Unit conversion, Word and phrase translation, Wikipedia, Play interactive games… and more coming soon!

HOUND is a free download, and a link is available if you want to check it out. Do you still use Siri?