Love it or hate it, Apple's Siri doesn't have to be the be-all and end-all of smart personal assistants. Check out these solid apps.
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Meet Eve, the upbeat persona behind Voice Answer, the $3.99 virtual assistant created by Sparkling Apps. The company touts the app's reliance on sophisticated artificial intelligence, a rich knowledge base and local information to help you out with your daily deeds. To get stuff done, you can say things like "Send text to Julianne that I am stuck in traffic," "Translate 'all systems go' into French," "Where is the nearest gas station?" and so on. You can ask Eve for help with other topics as well, such as, "When did the Detroit Red Wings last win the Stanley Cup?" Eve will speak out all results -- and deliver images to boot. You have the option to use an animated 3-D robot as the presenter of the results. In your copious spare time, you can enjoy the chatbot feature, which allows you to have a general confab with Eve and ask her all kinds of things, like, oh, "Who are you?" (According to Sparkling Apps, Eve has a strong sense of self-worth, and if you're looking for a diversion, ask her to tell a couple of jokes.) Voice Answer requires iOS 4.3 or later and is optimized for iPhone 5.
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