BlackBerry Passport has a BlackBerry Assistant to rival Cortana, Siri, Google Now

BlackBerry is working on its own personal assistant called BlackBerry Assistant to rival Microsoft's Cortana, Apple's Siri, and Google Now.

The new BlackBerry Assistant reportedly aims to keep users productive, engaged, informed and organized throughout the day, providing relevant information and helping them with queries.

BlackBerry Limited's social media lead Donny Halliwell revealed the news on Wednesday, July 16, giving the world a first glimpse into the upcoming BlackBerry Assistant.

"It is voice activated when I need it to be, and helps manage simple tasks on my device from searching my email and calendar, finding out what's trending on Twitter, to sending trivia night invitations," Halliwell explains. "The more I use it, the more it learns and adapts to me. The more I speak with it, the more tuned-in to my queries it gets."

BlackBerry Assistant can prove to be useful in all sorts of situations. It can remind the owner about an appointment, turn the phone's LED in the dark, look up the lyrics to a song, and more. It can even read emails aloud, or mark them as read without requiring the user to enter the BlackBerry Hub. The Assistant will also come in handy when you want to limit distractions by changing the notification settings to match your needs.

"I don't like to be interrupted during meetings, but was expected an important call. My assistant stepped in to help out," Halliwell further notes. "I said 'Phone calls only, please' and it changed my notification settings accordingly."

This intriguing BlackBerry Assistant will be one of the exclusive features the company's newly-unveiled BlackBerry Passport will have to offer.

"Like a real-life personal assistant, the BlackBerry Assistant is in lockstep with what I need to do on my Passport, without being distracting or costly (resource-wise)," Halliwell adds. "I'm told there are a number of Easter eggs built-in as well, which I can't wait to stumble across."

The square-shaped BlackBerry Passport smartphone is all-screen, boasting a 4.5-inch square display with a compacted QWERTY keyboard resting underneath. On the software side, the handset will ship with the very latest BlackBerry 10.3 operating system. The BlackBerry Passport will make its official debut this September.

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