Apple’s iOS devices have been using Siri for some time, and Android devices will soon use Google Now (added in Jelly Bean). Therefore, it’s plausible to assume that voice search features and voice commands are becoming centric to a mobile operating system.
It looks as though RIM has come to realize this, and will be following suit with BB10, as they’ve released an update for the Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha devices which adds a Siri inspired voice search feature. Blackberry devices have always had voice search functionality, but RIM never put much stock into the service. It looks as if now they’re just fleshing out the previous voice search feature with Siri-like voice interaction.
BB10 Will Have Siri-Like Voice Search Functionality
A more interactive voice search feature is not exactly the only thing that is lacking from the Blackberry brand. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that RIM has committed to creating a similar voice search feature as the other leading mobile platforms on the market.
The following video shows off some of the new voice search features that RIM is adding to BB10.
Will a Siri-Like Voice Search Feature Influence BB10’s Success?
Will the implementation of this voice search functionality have a positive impact on BB10’s success? The answer is not quite as straightforward as the question though.
Sure, adding a new feature like this is going to improve the overall experience of the new BB10 OS, but ultimately it will not be the only deciding factor in the success of the platform. There are lots of underlying issues with previous Blackberry OS versions. Namely, RIM has refused to create and innovate, by sticking to a tried and true formula that is essentially obsolete.
Blackberry is a fantastic platform, and there are features that, if improved considerably, have the potential to move RIM back into the front of the mobile market. Blackberry Messenger is one of the biggest proprietary features that RIM has going for them.
The biggest mistake that mobile device manufacturers make is to develop a proprietary platform that uses enclosed software. The average consumer doesn’t own just one device, and that’s the point here. We’ve seen a lot more support from RIM in the past year concerning alternate platforms, but the truth is most of these large companies hoard their software and hardware innovation instead of allowing it to grow with the market.
The BB10 OS would be a guaranteed success if RIM enabled support for other platforms. Imagine using a BBM app on Android or iOS to talk to your contacts with a Blackberry phone. Many would argue that this would encourage mobile users to migrate to other platforms, but this is not necessarily true.
Wake Up RIM
RIM needs to come to grips with the fact that they are currently failing, and they need to assess who is at the top of the mobile market, and why they are there. Instead of plastering positive remarks and following blind leaders who seem to ignore the looming end, which is steadily growing nearer and nearer, RIM needs to prepare.
Blackberry 10 will only be successful if it provides an experience that is both equal to and in ways greater than, other platforms currently available. To attract a customer base, RIM will need to offer something that no one else can.
The real issue here is almost blinding; will RIM be able to innovate before it’s too late?