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App of the week: Charlie

App of the week: Charlie

Each mobile operating system now boasts its own virtual personal assistant. Google has Google Now, Apple has Siri, Microsoft will soon introduce Cortana in all of its products and Blackberry will benefit for the “Assistant” service. However, these advanced features are nothing more than ways to activate the voice commands. Virtual assistants can interpret natural language capabilities but fail when to automatically operate. Charlie is trying to change this, fulfilling functions that you’d expect from a true personal assistant.

The Charlie app is dedicated to those who need a little help when preparing for business meetings. It connects itself to the most popular social networking services of the user and to the most common organization services, in order to create reports for each entry. Once synchronized with all services, Charlie will require a certain processing time, which can take up to 24 hours, during which it collects information about those you meet.

The final report for each person is presented on one page and it consists of information that was gathered on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, from statistics and from recent news about the company for which the person works. The application syncs with Google Calendar and iCal in order to know exactly when and with whom you meet. One of the examples offered by Charlie while scanning the user’s personal accounts is a simulation of a meeting with the CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo. This information page about this one includes recent articles where he or his company have been mentioned, the financial condition of the company, articles from his blog, common friends that you can have on social networks, shared passions and information about the competition.

The reports can not be instantly achieved, so Charlie must be installed with a few days in advance of meetings, and they are displayed with just a few minutes before the meeting. It is possible to ask some reports manually, ahead of schedule, but the processing may take several hours. One of the reasons Charlie needs so much time is that it is an application made by a startup, which currently has no resources to provide real-time information. Meanwhile, Charlie has just launched, and the attention the app has received in the specialized press and business publications led to a flurry of new users that constantly send requests to the company’s servers.

Of course, Charlie is not an app for everyone, and those who use the application should take into account that it can only gather information about public figures that appear in the press and are very active on social networks. It is very useful for businessmen who have meetings with other people in similar positions from other companies and for journalists who need a brief summary of the profile of the interviewed person, before the meeting.
The screenshots show that Charlie does not have what to look for on a regular user’s phone, since the information this service provides are not useful at regular events and meetings. However, the present application is one of the newest from the AppStore, being only at version 1.2. In time, with financial support from investors and intelligent algorithms, Charlie could become an ideal partner for any employee from the corporate environment. At the moment, it is just a tool for those who meet with important people, which makes this app hard to ignore.

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