Maluuba, the better-than-Siri personal assistant, now available for Windows Phone 8

Daniel Bader

February 27, 2013 2:50 pm

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Just like that, Maluuba, that formerly Android-only personal assistant app, is now available for Windows Phone 8. Created from scratch to take advantage of many of Windows Phone’s unique features, including full speech support, live tile compatibility and Outlook calendar integration, Maluuba takes what made it so great on Android and translates it to Microsofts OS.

“It’s been our strategy from day one” to bring Maluuba to other platforms, says Tareq Ismail, Waterloo-based Maluuba’s User Experience Lead. “Microsoft offers developers a lot of innovative tools,” pointing to the home screen with its live tiles and ability to pin specific sections of the app as examples of Microsoft’s forward-thinking attitude toward product design.

As a result, in addition to searching for relevant information in the app — movie times, restaurant recommendations, concert listings — you can pin those specific events on your home screen as a live tile, either to remind you of the subject itself or, in the case of a movie listing, check showtimes for that particular day.

The app has expanded its pool of categories in recent months, too, with the addition of shopping. Canadians benefit from Google’s shopping aggregator, as well as listings of local stores that offer what you’re looking for. Maluuba is at its best when you search, either via text or Windows Phone’s excellent voice recognition, in a conversational manner. “I want to find great headphones,” or “Where can I get the cheapest blender?” Note: for anyone struggling with setting up voice search, head to this Microsoft support page.

wp_ss_20130227_0006 wp_ss_20130227_0007Microsoft is going to be pushing Maluuba quite heavily, using it as an example of developers’ commitment to creating great apps for the platform. It’s also the first viable Siri and Google Now competitor for Windows Phone and, despite not being built into the OS, live tile integration and Outlook calendar integration makes it feel fairly fluid. Microsoft doesn’t allow developers to remap the hardware search buttons, though, so you will still have to access the app directly to perform a search, but it rarely feels slow.

You can also use Maluuba as a task manager and agenda; you can add alarms, reminders or calendar entries, all of which integrate seamlessly with the OS itself. You can also control your music, look at the weather and even look up directions. The app is an all-in-one that is strong in all areas.

Maluuba is an essential app for Windows Phone users. Download it now.

 

  • BS

    It’s saying it isn’t available in Canada?

    • Daniel Bader

      Thanks, updated link!

  • kb2755

    A Waterloo startup, love supporting these home-grown initiatives!

  • John Marshall

    Bought it, tried it, bumped it straight to the top of my Start menu. It replaces quite a number of different apps I was using for these various functions. The voice recognition is a bit ropey, but that’s probably just because of my tendency to mumble. Great app, and great to see an app like this on Windows Phone 8!

  • sum guy

    Can one operate it from a bluetooth device. I’d love to be able to set alarms and appointments while driving hands free.

  • Ben

    Glad to see it. Great app. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • 99roxah

    Is that an African name? Maluu!ba?

  • Eduardo

    Good for them, it’s a really nice app!
    Funny thing, I had uninstalled it a few months back (don’t remember why) I just installed it again and it shows a task I had scheduled from October being 6 days and 20 hours late!

  • Steve

    Can’t find it in the marketplace on the phone (lumia 620)?!? missing something?

  • Ben

    I wasn’t able to find it in the marketplace, either. I had to load the link in my phone browser. You can just load this page in your phone browser and click the link.

  • Sam

    Does anyone know if/when the app will be available in NZ??

  • Blas

    Looks like they pulled it off the market already.