Posts Tagged ‘Voice Actions’

Voice Actions – First Impressions

Monday, August 16th, 2010

I spent some time checking out Voice Actions this weekend. Having watched the intro video, I tried a couple of the specific types of search, and for the most part it worked really well. Here are my initial impressions.

I first tested the map search. I said “Find Disneyland.” It did. I got a map of Anaheim and it showed me where Disneyland is. So far, so good. I next said “Find current location.” It got pretty close. I’d had similar trouble with GPS over the last couple weeks as I tested out different phones. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t a good thing that the phone doesn’t know precisely where it is. It usually doesn’t take long for GPS to correct this problem, but I didn’t get to test this particular phone long enough to find out if it was working.

Finding things on a map was pretty fun. I next tried out the navigation options. I said “Navigate: Universal Studios Hollywood.” Sure enough, the navigation app came up and started the navigation from my current location with Universal Studios Hollywood as my destination.

I figured the next test should be a phone call. I tried to call my cell phone, but it didn’t work. It did open the phone book pretty close to my name, but it didn’t auto-dial. I will give this a bit of time then try again.

Overall, the product worked as advertised. While there was a bug with the call feature, the rest of them worked fairly well. If you haven’t tried it yet, I think it is definitely worth a shot. I can easily see Voice Actions as the primary way I use my phone.

Voice Actions for Android

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Google hosted a press conference today, and had some pretty exciting news to share. Among the items discussed, Voice Actions for Android is among the cooler features. It is limited to Froyo users, so if you don’t have it yet this is something you’ll have to look forward to.

“Voice Actions are a series of spoken commands that let you control your phone using your voice. Call businesses and contacts, send texts and email, listen to music, browse the web, and complete common tasks, all just by speaking into your phone.”
Google Mobile Blog

Using Voice Actions is pretty basic. You press the microphone button and just talk. This is really going to change the way we use mobile phones. As they point out in the video, phones are designed to speak into. This feature helps a phone realize its full potential. Imagine being able to speak an email or text message, or to call someone without having to set up voice dialing on the device. I am looking forward to the navigation features. With this feature you won’t have to wait to start your trip until you’ve typed in your destination. You can just push the button and talk at any time. From the preview at the I/O conference to the video below, this product appears to really work.

If you have Froyo, you just scored. If you don’t have it yet, I share your eager anticipation. The phone I am about to pick up is stuck on Android 1.6 for now. I think Google really knocked this one out of the park. I’ll try to test it out on some alternative devices and report back about how it works. Be sure to check out the video below.