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Wednesday, July 16, 2014
BlackBerry Passport To Feature Siri-like Virtual Assistant

Apple's iOS has Siri, Google's Android has Google Now, Microsoft's Windows Phone has Cortana, and soon, BlackBerry will have BlackBerry Assistant.

Blackberry's upcoming Passport smartphone will run on BlackBerry 10.3 and will be the first device to have the BlackBerry Assistant.

You will be able to interact with the new assistant by typing or speaking. BlackBerry Assistant is voice activated when needed and will help manage simple tasks on the Blackberry Passport, device from searching your email and calendar, finding out what’s trending on Twitter, to sending trivia night invitations. The more you use it, the more it learns and adapts to you. And the more you speak with it, the more tuned-in to your queries it gets.

BlackBerry says that "you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how accurate BlackBerry Assistant is at recognizing your requests." Some of the examples the company pointed to was turning the device's flashlight app on and off with just voice commands, or asking for new email to be read aloud and then marked as unread without having to use the keyboard.

The system also can modify notifications based on calendar appointments and meeting schedules, not unlike Motorola's Assist app on the Moto X.

BlackBerry Assistant also takes advantage of the Passport's physical keyboard, letting you perform actions by typing directly from the homescreen.

The company is putting a lot of hope for its future success into the Passport smartphone, which features an oddly large square display and a new, touch-sensitive physical keyboard.

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