Free Open Source Alexa Alternative for Android with Custom Skills: Dicio

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Dicio is a free open source Alexa alternative for Android that you can use. Here you can use it in place of Google Assistant or Alexa to launch apps, answer general queries. For now, it is very new and hence has limited set of skills. But the app is in heavy development and you can expect to have it more skills in the later updates. It runs offline, and the internet is only required for downloading models and performing tasks that require it.

This is a fairly simple personal assistant app that you can use. Here you can use it to know weather, perform calculations, find songs by lyrics, and launch apps. The speech to text engine that it uses is also open source, and it identifies what you are saying offline. Dicio is multi-language assistant as well and supports 4 languages for now including English, Russian, German, and Italian.

Dicio works on skills. And those skills are very similar to Alexa skills, that’t why I think it is more similar to Alexa than other Google Assistants such as Google, Cortana. If you know programming that you can contribute to this project. Also, you can create custom skills for your needs, and all the documentation about how to do that is available in its GitHub repository.

Free Open Source Alexa Alternative for Android with Custom Skills: Dicio

Free Open Source Alexa Alternative for Android with Custom Skills: Dicio

As I have already mentioned above that it is in heavy development, so the final app is very limited now. It is not even published to Google Store. But it is available on F-Droid if you use that. You can download the latest APK build and then install it on your device. Or, you can install it from F-Droid store.

After you install the app, open it and the hit the Download button at the bottom side. It will download the necessary model files that the app will need to function offline, including the TXT to speech engine. Be patient while it is downloading those files as it will take few minutes.

Dico Download

Now, after all the files have been downloaded, you can simply start using the apps. For now, it comes with 5 skills. And you can try them one by one. Also, there are 2 modes for using this assistant. You can either use i through voice commands, or you can simply type a query and it will try to answer it. For example, ask it for weather.

Dicio Weather

Similarly, you can try other skills as well. You can ask it to calculate something, or you can also use it to find song lyrics. This is as simple as that.

Dicio Song Lyrics and Calculator

In the app settings, you can explicitly set the assistant language. And from the same settings page, you can enable or disable skills and tweak the input & output methods.

Dicio Settings

In this way, you can use this open source Alexa alternative. The skills that it has now work and if you are a programmer and know Android programming then you can add your custom skill. All the technical details along with the documentation to create a custom skills are on its GitHub profile. You can go through the docs and take part in its development. If now skills, then you can contribute to other features of the app.

Closing thoughts:

If you want to use an open source assistant on Android, then Dicio might be a good option. This is probably the only pen source assistant for mobile out there. It needs a lot of polishing now, and I hope they add some really useful skills in the next updates. One feature that I’d really want in this app is a wake-up command, just like “Alexa” or “Hey Google”.

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