adventures without alexa

In an earlier post, I talked about Alexa, Amazon’s “intelligent personal assistant.”

Alexa was not an ideal fit for me as an “intelligent personal assistant,” but I figured I had limited options. If you’re not on an Apple product, you don’t get Siri, and if you’re not on Windows you don’t get Cortana (well, you can get Cortana for Android, but I gather it’s not really the same). And for some reason saying, “OK, Google,” to get things done just makes me feel silly.

But it turns out there are other options. Indigo is an “intelligent personal assistant” that runs on various platforms, and so far it seems much more satisfactory, at least for me.

1. It can do the thing that Alexa can’t, which is set a reminder for a task — as opposed to alarms and “to do” lists being completely separate. I can be walking down the street and say, “Remind me at 5pm to pick up my laundry,” and a reminder will pop up at the appropriate time. I like that.

2. Indigo will play the music that’s on my phone. Alexa is all about the streaming music, so if I tell Alexa to play a song by Taylor Swift, I’m likely to end listening to a Taylor Swift song that I don’t actually like. Indigo will play a Taylor Swift song that I have on my phone, which is, by definition, a song that I like (or why would I have it on my phone?).

3. Indigo is willing to address me in a British accent. That’s a feature I didn’t even know I wanted until I found it in a menu.

Plus Indigo does the other stuff — waking me up in the morning, telling me the weather, giving me the news, putting things in my calendar.

So, so far so good.

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