Meet Captain – Yahoo’s Low-Tech Take on Digital Assistants

Digital assistants are getting rather common these days. Google’s “Assistant”, Apple’s “Siri”, Microsoft’s “Cortana” and many others are now available or will be arriving shortly. Now, it appears that even Yahoo wants to get into the assistant game, although unlike the other options mentioned above, Yahoo’s is considerably more low-tech.

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Called “Captain”, the service is described by Yahoo as a “bot assistant” that operates via SMS. In order to use Captain, all one needs to do is text the word “Hi” to the number “773-786”. Once done, Captain will send a reply SMS with instructions as to how to set it up.

Once Captain is all set up and ready to go, you can use the bot assistant to accomplish tasks that many other digital assistants are capable of doing. This includes setting reminders, receiving notifications, and prepping a to-do list.

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Low-tech though it may be, there are some positives that can be found with “Captain”. For one, the system operates solely through SMS, so you don’t have to download and install any special apps for it to work. Additionally, because it doesn’t rely on apps, this system can also be utilised on regular phones as well as smartphones.

That is not to say that Captain does have drawbacks of its own of course. The most obvious drawback that Captain has is that you’ll have to text all of your tasks to the service, which can be cumbersome at times. Furthermore, because the service relies on texting, you may or may not be charged for using this service by your service provider.

That being said, the service itself is free. As for availability, much like other phone number-reliant services, Captain is currently available only to people living in the U.S..

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