Experiencing Android Entry 4 by Marie

Virtual Assistants and smart home devices 


Welcome back and today I will take you through my experience with the smart assistant and the smart home capabilities on the android platform.


Virtual Assistants 


You can choose which virtual assistant you would like to use on the android platform. Google assistant or Samsung’s own Bixby. 


As you would expect, bixby is the default virtual assistant and although relatively good, I have to say from a content prospective and a natural interactive prospective, Google won for me.


Bixby has a few tricks up its sleeve however which were very useful as a blind user. Bixby Vision is android’s answer to Microsoft’s seeing aI and was very reliable. I have to say, the colour mode was my favourite and although it didn’t have a built in light detector like seeing AI does, it was still very competitive. 


Short text worked really well and although I didn’t manage to test the products where you can scan barcodes, I am reliably told this also works well.


Issues with Google Assistant 


I tried to resolve this issue during my time with the android handset, but I suspect it’s something only the developers can fix. If you use google assist, whilst the phone’s screen is active, talkback often reads the change in the text on the screen and google assist picks that speech up over what you are asking of it. This did not happen as much with Bixby and it does make me wonder if Samsung’s version has been programmed to work better with talkback on the Samsung devices.




I found google assistant, when not being interrupted by Talkback to be very accurate and easier to speak to than Siri for example. Dictation was incredible and the most reliable I’ve ever used on any platform.


Smart Home 


Being a Ring doorbell and alarm system user, it was really important for the ring system to work effortlessly with my Samsung phone. I was very impressed with both the accessibility of the ring app with TalkBack and how both Google assist and Bixby were able to perform tasks related to my ring system.


My house is lit with Philips Hue and although I didn’t download the Philips hue app, I was still able to control my lights and such through my Amazon Alexa app. There seems to be a nice work around for most things on the android platform.


Ring was also using two step verification which makes things more secure.


Overall, a very positive experience with the smart side to the phone. Although, if Google assistant could not be rudely interrupted by TalkBack, it would be my preferred way to use a virtual assistant. 



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