Google Now, Donna, Sherpa, And The Rise Of The Smart Personal Assistant App

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Mobile personal assistant apps are all the rage these days. First there was Google Now for Android, but over the last several weeks we’ve seen a whole bunch of new apps pop up — apps like Donna, Osito, and Sherpa — all of which seek to make our lives easier by simplifying how we organize our meetings, travel, and other personal information.

With that in mind, I sat down with my colleague Drew Olanoff to discuss why this is such a hot space and whether these apps deliver on their promise. On that latter question, we still think these apps have a long way to go.

As Drew says, all the technology is there — and yet, no one has really pulled it all together in a way that makes these apps truly smart. There’s also the issue of finding an app that fits everyone’s lifestyle. As he points out, his personal workflow is different from mine. Finding a way to make a personal assistant that suits everyone’s needs is a difficult process.

As for me? I like what I’ve seen so far from apps like Donna or Osito, but I don’t want an app that I have to enter information into to make things work. I want something that will scour my email and calendars, figure out where and when things are happening, and then from that information plan my calendar for me. No one quite comes close right now.

Check out the video above for our discussion on the topic, and let us know what you think in the comments.