Published December 14, 2011
Writing for AndroidAndMe.com, Taylor Wimberly claims that Android's Siri rival will be called Majel, in relation to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry - the voice of the Federation Computer from Star Trek.
"Majel," Wimberly claims, "is an evolution of Google's Voice Actions that is currently available on most Android phones with the addition of natural language processing.
"Where Voice Actions required you to issue specific commands like 'send text to...' or 'navigate to...', Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language similar to how Siri functions."
Wimberly believes that only Google search queries will be included with the initial release - which could be made available within the next two months - but more complex actions, like controlling the phone and applications with natural language commands, will come in a later update.
In an interview with Slashgear back in October, Google's Matias Duarte said of Android's voice actions: "Our approach is more like Star trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It's not that there's a personality, it doesn't have a name, it's just Computer."
This may come as an insult to Apple's Siri, which has clearly been developed to have a character - which has sometimes landed her in trouble. Siri contains references to film quotes, responses to flirting by its user and even a joke about the loss of two iPhone - referring to iPhone prototypes that have gone missing in bars in recent years.