Sherpa Beta Virtual Assistant (Android)

Sherpa is an impressive digital assistant for Android, despite its 'beta' status

Say hello to Sherpa, a new competitor in the fast-growing field of digital assistants for your mobile device. For some time, the app has been a big hit in Spain and Latin America, but today it officially makes its way to the United States, albeit in beta form. Sherpa Beta is available on Android, and is free to download on Google Play. No word yet on a target date for the official (nonbeta) release.

Similar to Siri and Google Voice Search, Sherpa offers a voice-driven interface for conducting Web searches and performing common tasks on your mobile device. It uses Android's Speech Recognition API to take in what you're saying and can respond to queries using voice, text, or both.

Before you start using Sherpa, I suggest going to the Settings screen to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Doing so will allow you to use Sherpa's voice interface to fire off tweets and status updates, and I can tell you that the functionality works as advertised. Of course, when using Sherpa for these purposes, you will have to (verbally) specify any punctuation marks that you want to include, but that's the case for other digital assistants I've seen as well.

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