It was a day like any other. I was killing a little time and was on thumbing through the Reddit front page and came across an app that looked interesting.
That is until I watched the video below
Then it was jaw-dropping!
The app is called Hound. Hound comes from the same folks who bring you SoundHound.
You know, the app that listens to the song you hear when you are at a restaurant or in the car and have to know the name and artist.
At the time of this writing, Hound is in beta. Being the forward-thinking guy that I am, I immediately send a request for an invite. Using the immense amount of pull I have as an app reviewer on the web, I got the invite a couple of days later.
I downloaded the app, giddily accepted the invite and started to play.
Using Hound to Search
In the video, the guy is asking a lot of questions and speaking swiftly. I came to realize pretty quickly you need to talk fast. Hound is like an anxious 5-year-old waiting for dessert. The first semi-long pause it hears, Hound will vocalize or display the results.
The results are crazy quick and accurate.
You might be curious what search engine Hound used for the results. It’s Bing. If you haven’t used Bing before, the results are more social than other search engines. Using Bing is a good choice for a search engine because of the way people tend to search while mobile.
What Else Can Hound Do?
Hound is a competitor to Google Now, so Hound is similar in that regard. By similar, I mean Hound can search your device as well as the web.
Everyday actions are controlled by uttering the phrase “Ok Hound” then the action you’d like completed. While toying around with Hound, I noticed some activities take some additional setup. I asked Hound to set a reminder for 7:53 PM. Because I didn’t have a primary calendar set, I needed to choose the primary Google Account calendar to use in the future.
I asked Hound to “Navigate to St. Louis”. The result was opening up Google Maps and adding St. Louis as a destination. I only needed to click the navigational arrow to begin the journey.
Here is the list of available searches via Hound from their Google Play Store page.
• Local Search
• Hotel Search + Expedia booking
• Make phone calls
• Web searches – speak what you’re looking for instead of typing
• Video search
• News search
• Photo search
• Stock Lookups
• Flight status
• Date and Time
• Alarm and Timer
• Music search
• “SoundHound Now” – activate a music recognition search or a Sing/Hum search
• Mortgage Calculator
• Word and phrase translation
• Play interactive games
What I ran into though, it Google now still has a leg up when it comes to controlling various aspects of your Android phone. For example, I can say “Ok Google” then “Open Spotify” and viola, Spotify opens.
Since Hound is only in beta, there is a lot of room and time for them to be a real competitor to Google Now. I would think this is just the beginning of the battle for Android voice control supremacy.