There are many times when we wish we could have a personal assistant who can ensure that everything is in order. Some of us aren’t so lucky, resulting in missed appointments, forgotten anniversaries, and being tardy to important meetings. However, who says you have to pay a large sum in assistant fees to have your life in order? There are many resources out here that allows technology to be our very own assistant. Today, we will take a look at four applications for iOS users that make having your life in order and on track an easier task than ever.
Evi is the most expensive application on our list, still cheaply priced at $0.99. This virtual assistant application focuses mainly on answering the questions that are on your mind at the time. The assistant does so in a unique way, focusing on making the application work like another fellow human rather than just an engine that spits out facts. In other words, Evi’s main goal is being as interactive as Siri.
With Evi, you can’t schedule appointments or launch apps with this thing, but you can find out where the closest restaurants are, or basic information like current time for example.
Evi may not be the best option, especially when it is compared to Siri. However, it did offer a simple, but nice experience. If you are still using an older iPhone without Siri, Evi will be a good alternative.
Evi - $0.99
We have reviewed Vlingo several times in Make Tech Easier and the reason we still include it here is because it is really good. This is one application I had added to my iPhone even before the existence of Siri. Like Siri, Vlingo allows you to make use of diction to compose and send off text messages, emails, find directions, update your social media status, and much more.
Other features that are included in Vlingo includes the ability to perform a voice dial and web searching. When compared to other virtual assistant applications and programs, Vlingo is certainly the most feature packed and advanced. Compared to Siri, Vlingo has had social media and other capabilities about a year before Siri even implemented it.
My experience with Vlingo is pretty straight forward. It works a majority of the time, never really experienced any adverse experiences with Vlingo. Was slow a couple of times, especially with web search. However, as a whole, it’s a top alternative to Siri (or perhaps I should say that Siri is an alternative to Vlingo).
Vlingo - FREE
TaskRabbit is the new program on the scene. It is geared more toward individuals looking to make extra money helping others to get their tasks done, TaskRabbit is also available for the individuals looking for tasks to be done for them. While it is focused on the web, TaskRabbit also has a stunning iOS application. While it is free to download, it is important to remember that you need to pay a price for your tasks to be fulfilled. You can choose “how much [you are] willing to pay”, ranging between $10 and $50.
When we look at a task, it’s very easy to request it. Simply choose what you need to get done, explain more about what needs to get done and where. From there, you set how much you are willing to pay, and there you go. Just click “post task” and you are done. TaskRabbit has been featured on many television shows, including the talk show Katie. If you are looking to download TaskRabbit, the application is available for free on the App Store.
TaskRabbit - Free to Download; Task Cost May Vary
IFTTT (stands for “IF This Then That”) is focused mainly on the web, however, after my explanation of the service, you’ll understand why it’s included on our list. IFTTT allows you to have the “Internet work for you” by assigning various websites to signal other applications and services to do a task. For example, the most popular task that mainly people try to do on IFTTT is have their Instagram photos instantly pinged to a designated Dropbox folder every time they take a photo.
Some tasks that I have set for myself includes receiving a text message every time rain is expected for tomorrow. I’m not necessarily a fan of weather applications, however, I love to know when I’m going to need my rain coat for the next day. The service works by choosing a “channel” to “trigger” an action. For example, you can choose among one of the many channels:
- Google Calendar
- WeMo (allows you to turn on lights etc)
- Many More!
But they will only happen “IF” the “trigger” occurs. For example, let’s say my “trigger” is “xx” brand of shoes appear on Craigslist, email me. One last example, let’s say you don’t have a smartphone but want to ensure that when you need to get something done you’ll know. This can easily be solved by creating a channel between Google Calendar and Text Messaging. Simply, when you text a number (preassigned for this task), what you text (ex: “Remind me to take out the trash at noon”) will be added to Google Calendar.
For a mega-IFTTT hack, you can connect Google Calendar to iCal, so in theory, whatever you text will apply to your iCloud connected iCal. That’s amazing. This is all for free and available on their website.
IFTTT - FREE
What other methods do you use to get your tasks done/automated?