Today, we’re launching the first voice assistant dedicated to email: Astrobot Voice. You can now read, manage, and reply to emails without leaving Astro’s iOS and Android apps.
In June, we brought Astrobot Voice to Amazon Echo with an Alexa Skill. Now, we’ve added Astrobot Voice directly to our email apps. That means you can manage your inbox with voice directly from our iOS and Android apps just by long-tapping on Astrobot. We’re excited to enable a lot more people to talk to their email.
At Astro, we’re bringing AI to email, and a big part of that is using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and voice to improve how you interact with your inbox. In July, Harvard Business Review analyzed the effectiveness of AI and speech recognition and concluded:
Some of the most practical advances have been made in relation to speech. Voice recognition is still far from perfect, but millions of people are now using it — think Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. A study by the Stanford computer scientist James Landay and colleagues found that speech recognition is now about three times as fast, on average, as typing on a cell phone. The error rate, once 8.5%, has dropped to 4.9%. What’s striking is that this substantial improvement has come not over the past 10 years but just since the summer of 2016. -The Business of Artifical Intelligence
Thanks to these advancements, we were able to develop Astrobot Voice, which can improve your email productivity right now.
How Astrobot Voice works
Emails arrive in your inbox constantly, but if you’re driving, cooking dinner, or away from your computer or Echo, you can use voice commands to manage your email with Astrobot Voice on iOS and Android.
First, long-press on the Astrobot icon to get started or, if already in Astrobot, press the microphone button. Astrobot does not require a ‘wake word’; just tap and start speaking.
If you’re currently using our Alexa Skill, we hope you’ll now use both—Astrobot Voice when on your mobile device and our Alexa Skill when you want to manage your inbox from your Echo device. The set of commands are similar, and both immediately update your inbox (in Astro and in Gmail or Office 365). Here are commands you can say to Astrobot:
Manage your inbox
- “Do I have any emails?” to have Astrobot read your unread messages in both Priority and Other inboxes
- “Read my Priority Emails”, “Read my VIP Emails”, “Read my Starred Emails”, “Read my Other Emails” to catch up on certain unread emails
- “Mark Unread”, “Delete”, “Archive”, “Star” to get emails out of your inbox
- “Snooze for 3 hours”, “Snooze until 5pm”, “Snooze to Desktop” to Snooze emails for later
- “Switch Account”, “Account Info” to switch between accounts or find out which one you are currently in (when you have multiple email accounts in Astro)
Reply to emails
- To reply to an email, say “Reply” (pretty easy, right?) and then your response.
- Astrobot will repeat your reply back to you before asking if you’d like to send the reply.
So far we’ve focused on ways to quickly manage your inbox and keep up with your email through voice, and we will continue to add more Astrobot commands in the future. We’d also love to hear your feedback on Astrobot Voice and commands you’d like to see added, please comment below or email us feedback.
You can check us out on Product Hunt, too.