Mobile Apps

South Korea's Naver launches voice assistant to rival Alexa

A new app from South Korean search giant seeks to outdo Alexa as a better virtual assistant.

naver-clova-app.jpg

Naver's voice assistant Clova is now available for download on Google's Play Store.

Screengrab by Zoey Chong/CNET

Global tech giants Google, Apple and Amazon have all developed their own voice assistants, and South Korea's biggest search engine is following in their footsteps.

Today, South Korean tech giant Naver announced the launch of its AI-powered "cloud voice assistant" app Clova. It was developed with its Japanese subsidiary Line, one of the world's most popular messaging apps.

Clova will function much like other voice assistants such as Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. It responds to user's questions and presents information where needed. Naver says the app can translate languages and recommend music and food.

The app is presently only available in Korean, although Line tells CNET that it will eventually roll out a Japanese version too. As of today, users can download the app from Google's Play Store by searching for the name in Korean. While Line says it will eventually be made available on the Apple App Store too, it did not specify a timeline.

Clova was first announced at this year's Mobile World Congress. While it is only available as an app now, the company will launch a Clova-enabled device that will be known as Wave later in the year and rival the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo. Wave will first arrive in Japan and Korea before moving to other countries, although Line did not tell CNET where and when.

First published May 12, 2:47 a.m. PT.

Correction, 7:18 p.m. PT: A Line spokeswoman originally mentioned the app will later roll out in Japanese and English. Another spokeswoman later clarified that the app will only be launched in Japanese, in addition to the original Korean version.

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