Just Say is Chinese for webOS voice control
Whether you love Apple or not, it's hard to deny the impact they've had on the mobile industry and the technologies they've either created ro popularized. While Apple didn't create voice control or even Siri (which the acquired by buying a small developer), they pushed quality voice recognition and control to the forefront of the mobile experience - even if Google and Microsoft had beat them to the punch as far as the feature itself was concerned. Regardless of how good or bad the voice control offerings from Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and others are, it is blatantly obvious it is a much-desired feature by today's customers.
While we'd like to think that HP was working on voice control of their own for webOS, the untimely demise of webOS hardware put a kibosh on any such hypothetical plans. But, as is typical of webOS users and developers, the cancellation of hardware development and the future of the entire operating system being up in the air isn't something to slow them down - as demonstrated by a new Chinese app for webOS that's a sort of "baby Siri", known simply as Just Say.
Just Say (known as Wiri earlier in its development) seems to have all the makings of a good digital assistant even in its current beta status, albeit one for the Chinese speakers among us. This little bit of software can get your current weather, snag your location in the maps app, make calls, and even write a message for you. As to what else it is capable of doing, well, we honestly aren't sure - our Chinese is horrible and machine translation from Chinese is really difficult.
The app is available through the Chinese webOS forum Zoopda, which has filled a surprisingly large niche for Chinese webOS users (webOS hardware was never officially made available in China, despite the existence of localized Chinese-language webOS builds). Our friend and Instagrio developer @ionull was able to get us a copy of Just Say to try out, though there wasn't really much we could do with it, given our lack of understanding for both spoken and written Chinese.
Even with our Chinese language deficiency, Just Say still intrigues us. In a world where webOS apps and support for apps are dropping away every week, it gives us hope for the future to see apps like Just Say are being created. We wouldn't expect Just Say to be coming in an English version any time soon, but the fact that the service exists and works (aside from it sending up "What are you saying, crazy American?" errors when we try and speak at it) is highly encouraging not just for the future of webOS apps, but for the power of webOS as a platform.