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Thursday Poll: Is Having Better Voice Integration on Your Phone Important to You?

With the announcement of the iPhone 4S and its Siri voice-integration followed by a couple of rumors that Google with introduce a similar service with Ice Cream Sandwich, we got to wondering how many people are actually interested in this type of software. Android has had Voice Actions for over a year now, but there have been other more advanced options on the market for just as long that don’t seem to get all that much love. With the unveiling of Siri, it seems like now this is the new cool thing because, well, Apple announced it. I personally have used Voice Actions or speech-to-text only when reviewing a service that has them and never in a real life situation other than to show it off as a cool feature to friends or family. I sort of get the feeling that I’m the minority.

Do I need to get with the times? Are highly-advanced voice-integrated services and apps the way of the future? Or are they the next gimmick like 3D on smartphones? Do we really have to watch the world walk around our streets talking to their phones as if they were a personal assistant? Maybe.

Is Having Better Voice Integration on Your Phone Important to You?

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve never used any voice integration on any of the phones I have owned over the years.

  • Voice apps for me are useless until my phone A) wakes to my voice B) recognizes the difference between the Music player and Google Cloud Music Player C) understands what I’m saying while driving with moderate road noise.

  • M.D.

    Perhaps now all the i*hone lovers can walk around pretending they are Tony Starks talking to Jarvis to do everything for them.

  • PB

    I use voice actions of text messages once in a while, but it rarely gets it right. These kind of apps are only good if they “listened” all the time. A certain word could activate it, without having to push 10 buttons to do the same thing.

    • To send a txt takes 2 button presses with Voice Search.  To call someone or get directions or start navigation takes 1.

  • I *WOULD* use voice apps – but my OG Droid barely has enough memory to answer a phone call, so I don’t bother trying to make it work any harder than it has to.

    • Anonymous

      It actually works faster when your droid is being slow to use voice search. All the processing is done by a Google Server and not on your phone. It helps the Droid skip all of the user input steps to get to a text message, etc…

  • Anonymous

    I can’t help but to be envious of Siri…It would be really nice to have when I am in the car. It’s super dangerous to be fumbling with the phone in order to get directions or find some information I need. I’d love to have a really easy to use app that I can just speak to and have it speak back and really understand what I want.

    • Anonymous

      Android: Hold search button —> Navigate to 123 anywhere Somewhere, State. Done

      • Anonymous

        I use the navigation part all of the time. I need more though. Music controls, GOOD texting controls (not 4 buttons, then say what I want), etc… Androids functionality pales in comparison when it comes to voice controls, and I think Siri is a great innovation…It’s really hard to argue that Android does it even nearly as good.

    • Anonymous

      Navigation is actually the only thing I use voice control for.  Hit 1 button, say “Navigate to _____.”  Works almost every time, unlike my Lexus…

    • Anonymous

      ummm  voice search :  Navigate to 1245 Washington street, Chicago Ill


  • Jesse Stevens II

    I suppose that I do use voice integration. It seems like I am always doing a Map voice search or a Navigate to voice search. Sometimes when I am walking from one place to another and to avoid the clutter of navigating through my phone I hold down the search button pull up voice search and use the “call, xyz” command or even “Text, xyz” its actually very useful I find. Even if I do look a bit like a bit silly.  

  • Anonymous

    I use voice /search commands in the car to place calls or to do searches so I don’t have to take my eyes off the road.  

    Call and Navigate voice commands are nice as it requires 1 button press instead of a couple which while driving making life a lot easier and with BT it keep you out of trouble too.

  • Gottheguds112

    I don’t get the hoopla about Siri. Kudos to them for making everything sexy and clearly appealing to their core audience of Jeff Bernards… But I’ve always found Voice Actions to be sufficient and effective. I use it pretty often and it doesn’t let me down. 

    So, what’s there to be jealous of? Well a couple things, a top-down overall UI approach that is cohesive, pervasive and beautiful, and hardware accelerated graphics that compliment the smooth looks with smooth performance. But Android is getting there every release, and the power of the platform, for me, outweigh the stock aesthetics. So that’s why I went OG Droid on launch day and I’m going to stick it out until they run it into the ground. 

    Oh, and Kellex: Haters gonna hate… you’re still the best in the biz.

  • In extremely specific circumstances, yes.  Driving is one of those situations.  I worked on this technology while co-oping and when I graduated college.  It was nothing more than a fad then and it is nothing more than a neat feature for a few days.  After that, it is done with. 

    I laugh because this is a main selling feature.  Local advertisements are showing the new iPhone as “iPhone 4GS”.  This is on purpose because they can blame the advertisers for this misinformation.  The other reason is that iPhone purchases, in general, are too dumb to realize that it is not a 4G device no matter how much you tell them.  They even played the local radio station until the commercial came on stating “iPhone 4GS”. 

    I can understand wanting the iPhone 4S.  People will buy it regardless.  In many cases, there is no explaining the difference between the 4S and 4G LTE.  They think that S is later in the alphabet that it is better than G.

    • Anonymous

      I use voice commands every day…. not really a fad I would say. Though, I don’t need it to be conversational because I feel like it will work better if you don’t make it that way

  • Interstellarmind

    Well, I’m with you, kellex. But, this may be an awesome solution to the problem of being able to use my phone outside during the winter months (the futility of capacitive touch screens when used with gloved fingers) or when it’s raining.

    My vote was: would use if improved.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe that the Voice Actions are not any more popular. It doesn’t get any easier for me to never look at my phone lock screen gesture the voice command and call some one, send a text, do a Google search, etc…

  • i think there should be more awareness of voice actions. from my experience i notice most android users don’t even know what their search button can do, let alone google voice search. most people don’t take the time to search through the vast sea of new apps, usually referred to an app by a friend.(as if people are scared to download anything on their precious 6gb’s of internal memory).

    thanks to droid life i am using speaktoit, and voice actions app daily, and i’m trying my best to share with as many as i can to educate, but no matter what i do or how many people i share with, it’s an uphill battle that no one seems to even care about.

  • Bioniccommando4231

    I really like v2txt, but I never use voice commands. Annoying.

    Hard not to feel like a jackass yelling commands @ your phone. If it talks back in a girlish robot voice, then you just look like a dork.

  • GCurry

    I have the OG Droid.   It’s microphone and voice recognition are very good and I regularly compose text for text messages verbally.   Saves a lot of time and irritation.    It’s not so much “integration” as recognition, which I like.   The tablet I have doesn’t work as well, and I miss not having voice input on that.

  • Anonymous

    I really like the concept of voice integration, but the problem for me is that the most useful places are also the places that it likely won’t work well.  You really don’t want to be talking to your phone in a quiet place with lot’s of people around do you? And if it’s loud, the voice recognition doesn’t work. This includes driving down the road at 65 mph. So if you are sitting at home in your living room with the stereo or TV off it’s great, but really not that important, since you have full access to your keyboard.  Seriously do you want to be sitting at the airport, barking at your phone to schedule an appointment, only to have it messed up because they blare a boarding announcement over the speaker above your– or even want those around you to listen in to what you are doing? That’s still the biggest problem with voice recognition on phones, the ideal place to use it isn’t very ideal.

    • LarryHagman

      I agree, that’s why I stopped using “Start Talking” which is actually a pretty good implementation

    • yeah, it’s not very practical. and even the current versions of these voice actions are so archaic to the way we actually interact with the phone, it’s almost as if i’m wasting more time setting alarm, or sending a text than to actually do it. although i did find that searching for a youtube video (on the app voice actions) really works, except you have to say exactly what the title of the video is, otherwise you get one video of the generic title you requested: example – play fleetwood mac on youtube. vs. play fleetwood mac dreams live in germany on youtube.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t care for voice recognition.  Give me a big screen instead.  I have 10 silent but deadly fingers.  

  • Anonymous

    Apple got you to post multiple stories on voice commands and integration. Obsessed.

  • Anonymous

    I have been using voice commands only when I’m in a hurry and want to call a restaurant .. just say the name.. or store.. I haven’t used a phonebook in two years lol. My second is to search navigation .. I left my town turned on my phone and simply said navigate to Dallas state fair and that was it. Oh and ” note to self” when I really need an important reminder. Other than that I don’t use it for anyhting else.

  • voice integration is overrated….enough said.

  • eazy

    iphone losers surely appreciate this though

  • eazy

    Seriously how nerdy is too nerdy… Talking to your cell phone and it talking back to you….wow can you just imagine the losers carrying on a conversation with their phone ….the humanity

  • EricTheRed

    I wonder if you say “Siri Sucks” three times in a mirror Jeff Bernard will appear behind you?  Hell, I’m too scared to do it…someone else give it a try!

  • Josh Carroll

    I use it for navigation… It’s a whole lot easier to say “Navigate to Sacramento convention center” than to open the navigation app and type it all in.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not really interested in looking like a douche while I try talking to my phone in public.

  • There are three problems with voice integration:

    1) Even if the software touts the usage of natural language, there’s a limit of what it can understand. At the end of it, you probably still need to learn a set of “vocabulary” to use the app.

    2) Voice-recognition is difficult for languages that have a lot of homephones. For example, Japanese, Chinese, etc. The accuracy can only be improved when machine can truly understand what we are talking about — we are FAR from getting there.

    3) Pressing a button to initialize a voice-recognition session is bad UI. You are basically dragging people back to the reality that they are talking to a machine. A better approach is something like the Kinect which can be activated through voice. It’s much difficult to do on a phone because the voice-recognition engine will have to be running all the time, waiting for a command. It could kill the battery time, or it may mis-fire.

    • Anonymous

      The reality is you are talking to a machine… so… I’m trying to be efficient and if I can do it faster with voice commands then awesome

  • As a commuter, I use voice commands all the time. In all honesty, watching the Siri demo was the first time I felt a twinge of jealousy for iOS. Vlingo has a long way to go. Let’s hope ICS narrows the gap.

  • Anonymous

    I use Voice Search a lot. 

    Navigate to 
    Map of
    Call Dominos
    Listen to

    Those things

  • trumpet444

    I use voice-to-text when I text and drive. Other than that, I don’t need it. 

  • Anonymous

    I love asking those apps/nav systems/etc ridiculous questions that don’t make sense.

  • Scott Willenborg

    My wife has been using “Voice Actions” to get me to do things for years… I am suing Apple now.

  • Brandonx1000

    What app is that pictured?

    • KRSwon