From Haptik, DudeGenie to Niki, are personal assistants really viable?

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Published: December 12, 2016 6:48:58 AM

While the smartphone revolution has led to an explosion of apps (Google’s Play Store has around 2.2 million apps; Apple’s App Store holds another 2 million, as per Statista’s June report), there are only so many apps that one can download on a phone.

While the smartphone revolution has led to an explosion of apps (Google’s Play Store has around 2.2 million apps; Apple’s App Store holds another 2 million, as per Statista’s June report), there are only so many apps that one can download on a phone. In fact, with most phones sporting a memory of 16 GB, and the software taking 4-6GB of this space, there is not much left to download all the apps that one wants. Though there are a few aggregators that have helped make life easier, there are still some services that are not covered by these platforms. With people wanting to spend less time sifting between their apps, we have seen the rise of personal assistants, but are these viable and can they be the answer to all your app needs?

Haptik

One of the best available personal assistants in India, Haptik can do basically everything from booking a cab/flight/hotel to recommending a restaurant. With a good mix of bots, some with artificial intelligence and others with customer relations executive at the back-end, Haptik lets you reserve a table, recharge your phone, book a home cleaning appointment or even repair services. Although Haptik provides for quite an array of options, it does not have a very appealing user interface. The home layout is neatly stacked with all tabs available for each service, but the look and feel of the app will remind you of a bygone era. Moreover, registration is not as easy as one would expect. While the app just requires an OTP, it takes two-three attempts to get through the registration. But with simplicity and features like reminders and alarms its hallmark, Haptik can be an ideal app for those who want all the options.

DudeGenie

Whatever Haptik lacks in user-interface, DudeGenie makes up for it in look and feel. The service may not sport as many options as Haptik, but it is most certainly easier to use, that is, if you can get past registration. Registering yourself is an arduous task with DudeGenie as the app requires at least 20, if not more, attempts to get past the OTP process. But once you have completed the herculean task of logging in, everything else is easy. Although a chat option is available, there are enough search, click and swipe options that can help you book services without requiring you to chat with somebody. While it lacks the friendly service that you would get on Haptik, it certainly gets the job done. Besides, it can also get you some of the good deals, which others may not be able to provide. So, if you want to do some things yourself and are looking for a nice search platform with good deals, DudeGenie is the app for you, if you can register on it.

Niki

Not as advanced as the others, Niki is as easy as a personal assistant can be. The app has a no-hassle registration process unlike others and everything is available in the form of chat. Although it does not have many options, one can just tap on the home screen—the chat screen—and start booking services. For those who have used Allo, Niki would be no different. Though accessing the advanced features of Niki may be a problem and may take some time, one may not need to access them time and again. The best feature of the app is its integration with services available on the phone. So, if you have a wallet like PayTM or a cab-service like Ola or Uber, all you need to do is link those accounts. Niki even integrates Facebook to the app, but there is not much usage beyond that. The biggest drawback with Niki is the long loading time for offers. If your personal assistant needs are not that many and you want a simple UI, Niki is the butler for you.

Although personal assistants are an easy way to get through your day, with most messaging apps like Allo and Facebook Messenger integrating these services one may not find the need to download these as well. With messaging still developing the functionality to cater to every need, there is some time for these platforms to re-innovate and reinvent.

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