There, I said it. Maluuba (free) does what other Android assistant apps can’t. It’s glitz and glam in one. Alas, I may abandon my current love for a beautiful mistress.

First, let’s talk about what Maluuba is:

Now, propaganda aside, Maluuba functions much like iOS’s, Siri (I can’t believe I just linked to Apple’s page). It contains the ability to provide information about the weather, restaurants, movies, and events. The UI is great! What’s more, it’s beautiful. With easy access to “explore,” search, and get information about your upcoming day, there’s not a lot that the app cannot do for you. However, Maluuba isn’t without its flaws.

The first is that with limited exception, Maluuba has a tough time opening applications on command. I think an assistant should do more than regurgitate a Google search for the best restaurant or update my Facebook status. My “assistant” will also fetch things, like Pandora app, ESPN Scorecenter, or open Evernote, on my command. Maluuba just can’t do it. For instance, I asked Maluuba to open Pandora app, and it fetched me information from WolframAlpha about a Pandora bracelet. Later, when I requested that it open the app, it performed marvelously.

Which leads to my second complaint: consistency. I found that even though I was in a silent room, Maluuba couldn’t figure out what I was asking for. “Sorry, I couldn’t find that,” was a common response.

Finally, and least significantly, is that the app doesn’t run in the background like Vlingo or Speaktoit Assistant, two of my favorites. I wish, like Cleopatra’s servants, Maluuba sat at the ready.

Will I abandon Assistant, who knows. Certainly if these small flaws get fixed this will be my go-to app.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


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