For the past couple of weeks I’ve been using EasilyDo’s intelligent assistant app. EasilyDo’s assistant isn’t a voice-enabled personality like Siri, Cortana, Speaktoit, or similar apps. If there’s a need to draw a comparison, EasilyDo is more akin to the faceless Google Now app that operates more in the background. In speaking with Hetal Pandya, co-founder and VP of marketing, I learned that the team at EasilyDo has a distinct philosophy about what makes an effective intelligent personal assistant. It’s their belief that an assistant needs to know enough about you to provide you with highly useful information before you ask for it. If you’re having to talk to your intelligent assistant to find out things, like what the weather’s like, when your next meeting is, or what’s trending with your friends on social media, then your assistant isn’t doing a very good job.
EasilyDo has lots of features, but I’ve been concentrating on just a handful of the capabilities that are available in the robust freemium version. When I pull open the app, I see cards for the local weather, alerts about current flight itineraries, notices about bills that are due, reminders about friends’ upcoming birthdays, and top friend photos on Facebook. I find all of these prompts extremely helpful and it’s great to have them all available in one central location on my phone.
So how does EasilyDo know all about the flight I have tomorrow and the two bills that I need to pay, one to a credit card company and the other to a local plumber? When I configured EasilyDo, I connected it to my primary Gmail account. This account is where I get flight confirmations, bill reminders, and invoices. EasilyDo has intelligence that can scan the email and pick out the ones that are relevant to the notifications it can provide. I even switched on a feature that prompts the app to notify me if I get an email from specific people. This helps keep me on top of things, especially when I’m busy or preoccupied with work or other activities. These alerts are only passed along in real-time if you have the premium version, so that might be a good reason to upgrade!
I’ve taken a couple of trips since installing EasilyDo and the flight alerts are extremely handy. The premium version gives you lots of realtime alerts, but even the freemium version is very helpful. I was getting EasilyDo alerts about what gate my connecting flight would be leaving from even before I received them from the airline app.
I also linked EasilyDo to my Facebook account. I must confess that I’m not a heavy Facebook user. I don’t log into my account much, and my only friends are close relatives, such as siblings and nieces and nephews. My social media focus is more on Twitter and LinkedIn. But I really do like to keep up with what’s going on with those wild and crazy nieces and nephews of mine. EasilyDo’s top photos of the day feature is a perfect fit for me. At the end of each day, it shows me my friends’ photos that have received the most likes, so with a quick glance at the app, I’m up to speed on what’s trending.
The app can integrate with Dropbox, Evernote, and Box too. Besides Facebook, it can connect with your accounts on Instagram and LinkedIn. It can work with your calendar and with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Exchange, and IMAP mail accounts. It has other features that I haven’t tried out yet and my guess is that the EasilyDo team is busy working on new capabilities. It’s important to note that the team takes security seriously. Email accounts, user names, and passwords are encrypted and critical data is encrypted both at rest and while in transit.
It will be interesting to see which intelligent assistant philosophy will take precedence over time in the marketplace: the conversational personalities or the behind the scenes predictors and notifiers. Perhaps they’ll coexist for a while, or maybe they’ll merge. Will we want to talk to our assistants in the future, or will we want them to be better at reading our minds? It’s hard to say for sure at this point, but EasilyDo’s capability as a predictive information aggregator is awfully compelling. I’ve only been using the app for a short time, but I’m already hooked.