SoundHound – the developer behind the music recognition system by the same name – has launched Hound, a new digital assistant for Android. We got an invite and tried it on the Moto G 2013, here is what we think.
We had to wait a couple of hours for an invite to try Hound. Not too bad, considering other services take weeks to send beta users a link or code to run their apps.
Hound works with the voice command “OK Hound”. That way you can do a quick internet search, text someone or get directions without using your hands.
But if your native language isn´t English, Hound will find it hard to understand names like “Juan Pérez” or “Diana Dominguez”. This makes voice texting completely useless.
Directions are not available outside the U.S, and the assistant reads phrases in a weird Latin accent (maybe this has to do with our IP location). But we have got to give it to Hound: searches are done swiftly and the app understands almost every question we ask, even with a weird English accent.
Nevertheless, we still prefer Now over Hound, simply because we can invoke Google´s digital assistant in the Home screen and get tailored information without even asking.
Something that needs to be emphasized is the beta state of Hound, which means you will probably find some bugs along the way. The one we found several times was a “server not available” message displayed on the screen.
Overall, we think Hound´s interface is very straightforward to use. There is a list of things you can do on the Home screen and a right side menu with Feedback and preference tabs – here you can change the units and access method, in case you can´t/don´t like reading the weather in Fahrenheit or want to disable the use of the voice command phrase to make a query.
In case you are interested in trying Hound, you can ask for an invite inside the app or provide your name and email through the developer´s dedicated website. An iPhone version will be available later this year, and we will try it and let you know our impressions.
What do you think of Hound? Let us know in the comment section below.