Sorry, Siri. You've Got Some Serious Competition
Assistants of the FutureMotherKnowsDr. ChronoTeacherKitClassDojoSocrativeHomeBudgetManillaXeroDonnaTempo
How can we improve education, health care, and fiscal responsibility?
The answer is assistant-style software, Bill Gates said last week at Microsoft's annual Faculty Summit. "As everybody gets essentially what we've called the personal agent--where we see where you're going, we see your calendar, we see your communication--I think we'll be more connected."
What's more, Gates says that the user data collected can provide entrepreneurs with deep insight that can then be used to solve bigger teaching, health care, and personal finance issues.
Here are ten assistant-style apps to check out.
Think of this app as a personal medical records keeper for families.
Approving an online medical release form authorizes the app to contact the user's doctors and collect their children's medical records. A complete medical history is then secured and made available for school, camp, or travel via an iPhone app.
Doctors, get your iPads ready.
This is a complete electronic healthcare record for iPad, equipped with custom forms, electronic prescribing, medical speech-to-text transcription, lab results integration, and even built-in medical billing.
Handwriting jokes--and misread prescriptions--will be a thing of the past.
With TeacherKit, educators can keep all their classroom paperwork in one safe spot.
The iPad app lets teachers enroll all of their students by class and keep track of their progress via personal profiles. It also stores lesson notes, details on student behavior, seating charts, attendance, and grades.
As classes go digital, this program enables educators to keep track of student behavior and engagement via smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Students receive point rewards or deductions for their behavior in real time, which become behavior tracking analytics and reports that teachers can share with parents and administrators.
This program creates a virtual classroom, engaging students through a variety of assignments and activities on their smartphones, tablets, or computers.
Teachers can prompt students with questions and assign quizzes or activities. After students complete their assignments, Socrative generates a report and shares it with the teacher.
HomeBudget does exactly what its name promises: It lets users budget, track, and control their monthly expenses and income via mobile or desktop.
The program also allows multiple family members to work together within a single budget, making tracking household expenses simpler than ever.
Manilla acts like a personal accountant, keeping track of all your finance-related accounts. It monitors credit cards, wireless bills, banks, utilities, loyalty programs, and recurring payments.
As a bonus, users receive unlimited online documents storage and automatic reminders about when all of their payments are due. So long, late fees.
For small business owners, personal accountant software needs a few extra bells and whistles. Xero keeps an up-to-date record of all their expenses and revenue that can be shared with a real accountant at any time.
It can be synced with bank accounts, credit cards, PayPal, Vend and Highrise accounts, allowing the program to import and categorize all kind of deposits, invoices, withdrawals, and checks. Users can also manage their cash flow by using the software to create and send invoices, receive payments online, and schedule bill payments.
Donna doesn't just keep track of your appointments and calendar. This software takes scheduling to a whole new level by incorporating things like traffic, parking availability, and weather delays into your travel time between meetings.
The software is designed to analyze user behavior in order to predict future needs, improving with increased use.
"The more you interact with Donna, the more she learns. You don’t need to enter exact addresses for Donna to figure out where your meeting is and she will even try to guess where you’ll be leaving from," says the company's website.
Another smart calendar keeper, Tempo has a seemingly endless number of abilities.
This app can send a pre-populated "running late" email or text and pull up relevant information--e-mails, documents, LinkedIn profiles--that pertain to a particular meeting or a call. It gets directions, estimates driving time, keeps track of flights, finds meeting locations, and connects to Foursquare and Yelp.
And best of all? Tempo simplifies dialing into conference calls by handling the passcode.