With the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google Now took the world by storm. It represented how awesome Google Search could look and it helped Google stand their ground in the mobile search market. Unfortunately, anybody with a device running Android 4.0 and below did not get to experience the app and that’s where Maluuba comes in.
Maluuba is the Siri competitor for android phones running Gingerbread and above (if you’re still running Eclair or Froyo it’s time for an upgrade). The developers broke the app down to three things: Search, Organize, and Connect. For searching, the speech to text engine is flawless and is capable of understanding voice input even when spoken relatively fast. As with every other voice assistant, you can ask it random questions and it will reference Wolfram Alpha’s extensive knowledge base for an answer.
In terms of Organization, Maluuba is a capable voice assistant. Maluuba will set appointments or alarms if you say phrases like, “Wake me up at 6 o’clock.” The app also supports reminders, so you can also ask it to remind you to do certain tasks, such as picking up milk if you say, “Remind me to pick up milk in an hour.” There is also a “My Day” tab which shows all events from what you have asked the app to make, all events from your google calendars, and all events from your Facebook account.
Maluuba can replace many of the social networking apps if you prefer making quick status updates. Given it does not allow you to see your friends status updates, but it allows you to make your own very quickly. The app currently supports Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
Maluuba sports a layout reminiscent of Windows Phone (paginated scrolling and colored tiles), but its functionality makes up for it. The app comes with a built-in music player, a section dedicated to searching for businesses, a section for movies in theaters, a section for restaurant searching (similar to yelp) and a few more. One of the coolest things I found about Maluuba is that includes a section tailored for shopping, so the end user can search for “I want a Samsung television” and it will give you the best deals. The app is still in beta so it is completely free.