Universal Windows Dev

Review: Maluuba for Windows Phone 8

By 27th February 2013 3 Comments

I hopped on by to the Windows Phone blogs over at windows.com and stumbled across a post by Michael Stroh about a new voice-activated personal assistant for Windows Phone 8. Now alarm bells might be ringing to all you iOS lovers out there. “Oh my god… another Siri rip-off”. Well in fact after playing with Maluuba and already having a little play with Siri, I must say that I am very impressed with Maluuba and it has a lot more to it than just voice commands.

Maluuba has the ability to do a multitude of tasks via voice commands, as well as linking into your phones Outlook calendar to display all of your meetings on a timeline day with a time indicator to tell you what meeting/task you are supposed to be doing at the moment.

wp_ss_20130227_0005

You also seem to have the ability to search for businesses, events, general knowledge questions, search for movie times, ask to play music, get navigation to places, command to search certain search engines, ask about the weather, create alarms, calendar events and reminders, call contacts, bring up contact information, email, text, and a lot more!

wp_ss_20130227_0006

One great feature is that the Maluuba application speaks back to you as you ask questions rather than just displaying results.

wp_ss_20130227_0013

You can also just go straight into categories in the “Explore” tab to get information straight away without having to ask a question. This application basically integrates Local Scout, Music, Yelp, Weather, Maps, Web Search, Outlook and the basic functionalities of a mobile phone into one beautifully designed application.

wp_ss_20130227_0015

The app also has its own little music player! It shows album art and your entire phone library.

wp_ss_20130227_0018

You can even search to buy things online!

wp_ss_20130227_0021

wp_ss_20130227_0022

Unfortunately as I have tried, Maluuba doesn’t tie in to just pressing and holding the home button to start asking and you have to physically enter the application, but that doesn’t bother me all that much. Although it may seem a novelty for now, I’m sure that I will find great use for this application.

I would definitely recommend Windows Phone 8 users to take a look into the Maluuba application. I believe you can also get it on Android too so feel free to download it for your Android device also! Even if you don’t end up using it, its a great little FREE application to play with.

You can download the app for free now from the Windows Phone marketplace.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Thanks for the review! We would love to be able run voice commands through Maluuba without opening the app, we actually tried to do it. Microsoft only let’s apps have rule based voice queries open your app, so we could do something like: “Maluuba, open restaurants”, but we can’t run our NLP on this sentence, we would need access from Microsoft to do that.

    • James Croft says:

      No problem! I think the app is brilliant. I have had the same problem with an application that I had worked on. I chose to go with the same method that you have used in the Maluuba application using the speech recogniser rather than the grammar sentences required for using the Windows home button on the device. It would be great to see my calendar on the live tile or some information but that’s just a personal thing.

      • We will look more into integrating deeply with Microsoft’s live tiles in later versions. In this version you can save search results in live tiles. We hope to add deeper integration to WP8 as time goes on.

        Thanks again!

Leave a Reply