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S Voice From the Galaxy SIII Ready For Download, We Take It For a Spin

The S Voice app from the Galaxy SIII is available for any rooted device running Ice Cream Sandwich to try at this time, thanks to a leaked full ROM from yesterday. For those not familiar, this is Samsung’s attempt to put a Siri-like voice-actions system on their newest flagship device. Does it live up to the hype as being better than Siri or is it just another player in the game that already has too many? Let’s find out. 

First off, please remember that this version of S Voice is running on my GSM Galaxy Nexus, yet it isn’t supposed to be. There are going to be bugs, especially when the app tries to pull from apps that do not exist on any phone that isn’t running TouchWiz. So to be fair to the app and Samsung, don’t take this all as the definitive guide or what you can fully expect when you get your hands on the Galaxy SIII in the next few weeks. Think of this as showing only part of the potential. Second, it’s powered by Vlingo, which is a voice recognition service that is good on its own and is available in the app store today to everyone. So unless Samsung is using some super special custom version of Vlingo that can’t be found anywhere, this could be nothing new.



With simple tasks like “What am I supposed to do, today?” and “What’s the weather like?” the app returned exactly what I needed to see. It also works well for reminders, settings alarms, and any of the other items it recommends you try (from the command list). It’s fairly fast at returning most results and even allows you to say “Hi Galaxy” to wake it up, making this a fully hands-free operation.

As with any Android voice recognition app though, it starts to struggle when you try to get it to respond to things that aren’t on its specific command list. I pulled directly from the most annoying commercial in history, aka the Zoe Deschanel spot that Apple is currently running, and it responded with some canned answer to my “Is that rain I hear?” question. It also force closed when I repeatedly tried to ask it to deliver me tomato soup.

When I tried to get responses to things I actually care about on a daily basis, like sports scores from the night before, it came up empty. Now, this may be something that all voice recognition apps struggle with, but is simply another reason why I think these tools, including Siri, are toys at best.


If you need to add something to your calendar or quickly call someone, they all work wonderfully. If you want to actually get something done though or fully simplify your life, none of these apps seem to be able to do that, yet. Take for example the shots below where I asked it to open Evernote and turn off GPS. It wanted to web search for GPS and after confirming with me multiple times that I wanted it to open Evernote, it never actually opened Evernote. These could be bugs since again, it isn’t supposed to be running on anything other than the Galaxy SIII, but seeing that it recognized my voice perfectly, I’m not sure what to think.


Feel free to take it for a spin and tell us what you think. It should work for any rooted device running Ice Cream Sandwich.


Update:  Samsung has reportedly blocked this version from working. Here is an updated/fixed build.

Download:  S-Voice.apk


*Must be rooted.

1.  Download the file from above to your phone.
2.  Using something like Root Explorer, copy it into /system/app.

*You will need to Mount R/W first.

3.  Once in there, change the permissions to RW-R-R.

4.  Reboot your phone.
5.  Once booted back up, head into Root Explorer – /system/app again.
6.  Tap on S-Voice.apk and then install it.
7.  Enjoy.

Via:  XDA [2]

Cheers Inquizitor, Tim and everyone else!

  • Rebel king

    working in tab 2……

  • Devilsephiroth

    way too many bugs. even after i fix the build.prop

  • Wow, just looking at that pic of the Gnex at the top of this post…it looks so much sexier than the SGSIII. Nice clean front with the subtle white edge.

  • Hey Vlingo!

  • anezarati
  • Matthew Harmon

    Who cares about svoice, bring on the app where the display stays on while you are looking at it.

  • Google Voice Actions was already better than Siri.

    • angermeans

      No really it isn’t. Not even close. In fact they aren’t even comparable. If you would actually try it you would see that. I’m sorry as I prefer android as well but I won’t make comments that aren’t true especially if like you I hadn’t even tried the other product. Dint you think if google thought that GVA was already better than Siri they wouldn’t be working on Majel or Samsung would just have kept GVA as it is already there. This argument is really old.

  • dr154

    Testing it out on my Motorola Droid Razr. Can’t change wake-up command, play command FC amongst other simple tasks, but it seems to work ok.

  • “It also force closed when I repeatedly tried to ask it to deliver me tomato soup.”

    For some reason that made me laugh hysterically.

  • Is that a white Galaxy Nexus or just a case? If a case, what kind?

  • Misphit

    Eva, Skyvi, (n)utter, S voice,Iris ugh!!!!! allot of fragmentation if you ask me.

    • SeanBello

      you’d rather have a market like Apple where if you make an app that’s like any of their’s, they block it?

  • James

    Unexpectedly stops after a command???

  • Bob

    Here is the fix for the Network Error


  • Smooth918

    HA HA! Vlingo is just cold smacking Samsung S III in the Face: http://goo.gl/N30GF

    • Installing the above looks easier and almost identical to S Voice. I’ll try the Beta app and not deal with the issues others are having on the ripped apk. Thanks for the link.

  • skyskioc

    Downloaded VOICETALK APK from XDA and it worked 9 out of 10 times last night. Wasnt sure if I had the right APK but checked everything out and it was right. Then I uninstalled it and re downloaded the one that it says S voice and installed it and now it says network error constantly. Def something up with it. I think I will wait till it is polished up and included with AOKP. This is just my findings.

  • No matter what I’ve tried, I can’t seen to get it working with my VZV Nexus. I keep getting Network Error on every attempt.

    • nightscout13

      You’re holding it wrong – Steve Jobs

      • Stop. God you’re annoying. Stop repeating the same tired joke over and over.

        • nightscout13

          Yes, Steve Job WAS annoying.

          • ToraRTC

            These kind of posts make Android users look pathetic.

          • nightscout13

            Hey buddy, we’re all entitled to dislike whoever we want to.

          • angermeans

            Thatll teach him just keep being even more annoying yourself. /s

          • nightscout13

            If you don’t like it, go to an Apple fan site….. On an Android fan site, you are subject to read Anti-Apple sarcasm.

  • eze4

    Deleted file smh. Does anyone have the link? I’m not rooted btw

  • billy routh

    You do not need to be rooted works fine on my non rooted g-nex

  • Gadget_Life

    Made the attempt on my Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, all I got was a server/network error. Has anyone accomplished this task on any ICS tablets?

    • Josh Groff

      I’ll give it a shot when my Iconia a100 comes in sometime this week, hopefully Tuesday/Wednesday. Bob posted an XDA link though, might work with tablets as well. Worth a shot, and if it works, let me know. 🙂


  • Josiah

    You dont have to be rooted, i have a non rooted vzw gnex and it works good

  • Sean Bello

    wow, so you can’t even uninstall it or delete it if you don’t want it? Root is saying the file can’t be deleted.

    • Sean Bello

      nvm, cut it out of system/apps and pasted on sd and deleted it that way.

      • Sean Bello

        actually, that didn’t work. it’s still in system/app even though I cut it. wtf!

        • k_nivesout

          Mount R/W in root explorer.

          • SeanBello

            I got it, thanks. I just did Move To and moved it to my SD, then deleted it. I could just install by normal sideload, but I just get network errors both methods on AOKP 36 anyway, so it’s pointless.

  • Tim242

    You do not have to be rooted. You do not have to move to system folder. No permission changes. I just installed the apk. The app is awful, as are all of these toy apps. Google Voice Actions work best for real tasks.

  • Paul Rogo

    Getting network error every time. Wish it’d work :/ -Galaxy Nexus

    • nightscout13

      You’re holding it wrong – Steve Jobs

  • Hmm since i couldn’t get certain parts to work like setting alarm and such i figured this would fix it… so i deleted the app and did it the way you did it… only difference is now it doesn’t work at all “network error” previously it was installed as a normal all

  • Jacob Bowen

    This seems like a lot of effort to be able to use a skinned version of Vlingo…..

  • DroidTh3ory has had this in his roms for a while now…

  • Bigsike

    I’ve used Eva assistant which isn’t too bad how would this compare to someone who has used it?

  • Will

    SGS … Network Error everytime as already reported (Just installed it as 3rd party app)

  • Xeneize480

    I never used file explorer I just installed it and works just fine.

  • Wario

    running aokp on razr and it says parsing error. weak !

  • common sense

    dear samsung,

    if you want to kang apple, make sure you can do everything that they can do in their commercial because that’s what people are going to try first to decide which app is better.

    -a user with common sense

    • srh12

      dear samsung pt 2,
      When you blatantly try to copy apple, and try to be apple, it makes me like you less. I normally feel like I choose android over ios because its my personal preference. iphone fanboys have been known to say things like “haha what you couldnt afford an iphone?” This is obviously the case but with crap like this, but at times like these I can see where they get it from. Well samsung, with your fake siri and s cloud and retail stores etc, you reinforce that stereotype. So many of the things you do recently are such blatant rip offs that it makes me sick. At least get more creative than putting an “s” in front of things, rather than the apple “i” . thats not just copying, its lazy copying. You dont make it look like android devices are doing their own thing, you make it look like android is just trying to catch up with apple, only with a bigger screen 4g. garbage like this does a disservice to all of us customers. Please stop. Apple was right to sue you, youre a copycat.

      • buckley101

        Hahaha this acutally made me chuckle. Android actually had voice recognition before iphone did. And it still completes tasks faster than siri can. They just never made it seem like it was your friend. Good job fanboy. BTW apple’s “iCloud” is hardly even a cloud service. I think we could all name at least 5 things that android copied from ios and at least 5 things ios copied from android. Get over it, its the way of the world.

        • srh12

          dear chuckley,
          1. yes, stock android has had voice recognition for a long time, yes this is true. But the voice to text and voice to search features that I assume you are referring to come nowhere near what siri and S voice attempt to do (attempt, not accomplish)
          2. My rant was referring to samsung, not android in general. Android is great. Samsung takes the great android operating system, then takes it and tries to copy the look of ios with its shabby and child like touchwiz, tries to get in on the buzz of siri (which sucks anyway, why would you want to copy it? especially this late) and announces how they want to open retail locations, which are sure have an “expert bar” who specialize in “S care” for their products.
          3. so this is not about ios copying android or android copying ios…they do it back and forth and thats why theyre both great operating systems. However samsung is flat out blatant to the point that I’m expecting them to start naming their phones and tablets “sPhone” and “sPad” cuz they are that sad.
          4. What kind of fanboy am I exactly? I have a GNex now and previously owned a thunderbolt. Wait, I can answer that, I am an “unfanboy” of samsung as a manufacturer of phones.

          • balthuszar

            i agree with you, if samsung feels apple is wrong to sue them for patent infringement, they need to stop copying apple…how about samsung comes up with their own ideas for once?

          • angermeans

            You may have gotten down votes and I still thin you took the wrong road and came across as someone “preaching” iOS and downing Samsung. Yes, Sammy is blatantly copying iOS it is clear in everything they do. They will always just be catching up until tey decide to innovate instead of just making features that look and feel the same as products apple began monts ago. People might nt be open to appe products but the iPhone 4s despite the smaller display and absent 4G LTE is still one of the best smartphones on the market. I still prefer my galaxy nexus but I find myself using my iPhone 4s more lately. I like you won’t commit to any brand as I just love technology and despite people wanting to look the other way of all things apple they are missing out on the best hardware in the market and an attention to detail that you won’t find with any other brand on the planet. Their products just work so messing around. Apple is an innovator and are responsible for all innovations that is happening in the mobile world. The only company I see that is coming close is google themselves and that is why I use nexus devices.

        • Having a feature in any form isn’t the same as having it at an equal level.

          Google Voice Actions is simple, robotic. If you don’t say it exactly the way Android wants, you don’t get anything. You can do a few more things with GVA, but where there are things in common, Android’s interpretation is a decided step back.

          Let’s look at the weather question. You can ask it like Zooey does… or you can say “is it going to rain?” “Do I need an umbrella?” “What’s the weather like?” “Is it nice outside?” And, unlike GVA, it’s not just looking at a list of commands — it’s taking the important words of the phrase and putting them in context.

          Apple has a long way to go (Siri flakes out quite a bit and can’t launch apps), but in some areas, it’s miles ahead.

          • How can Android’s implementation be a step back if it existed 2 years before Siri? If anything Siri’s “step forward” is just a function of it being much newer. Google’s “Assistant” or “Majel” will blow away Siri, but that will also just be a function of it being newer.

            You can’t fairly compare a new technology to an older one and say things like “the new one is sooo much better” and not sound like an idiot. Of course it’s better in some, if not most, areas. It’s freaking 2 years newer.

          • @google-9e66d161daeccef81687c8ed2eafa4c9:disqus Maybe not the best phrasing, but it’s about how people like
            @buckley101:disqus trade on the false claim that Google Voice Actions is just the same as Siri. Whether or not Apple just has the advantage of time, it did move the game along, and it’s important to note when someone does things substantially better (not necessarily up to where we’d like it, but better).

            It’s perfectly alright to point out deficits… when someone steps up to the plate much later with nothing really new (see: Samsung S Voice). But the GVA/Siri parallel comes across as the same kind of flawed complaint as those who say Macs “cost twice as much” when it turns out they’re comparing a $500 Pentium dual-core Dell Inspiron to a $1,000 MacBook Air from this year with a Core i5. Everything is equally important if you make no distinctions in quality.

          • By the way, I didn’t mean for it to sound like I was calling you an idiot.

          • @google-9e66d161daeccef81687c8ed2eafa4c9:disqus No problem, I knew what you meant. Whether or not Majel pans out is another matter…

        • iCloud may not be anything to write home about, but i’m incredibly envious of iMatch

        • angermeans

          I love the voice recognition that has been in android since the nexus one, but your wrong. Siri is a completely different service than the voice recognition software in android. Why do you think google isn’t satisfied and is rumored to be working on project Majel. I own both the galaxy nexus and iPhone 4s and there are huge differences. The voice recog on android is just that Siri you have conversations with and can do much more. For example, while driving I can ask to read my texts and then in the same conversation I can reply while also updating my calendar or reminders. The point is both software has a long way to go and I felt the same way as you and other android users felt that Siri is just a feature that is cool for a couple days and then you will never use it again, but I was wrong. It is very useful whereas the voice rec on android is a feature I really never use.

      • noyfb

        In other words, stop trying to be the poor man’s iphone

        • Diablo81588

          Last i checked, they’re the same price. Moron.

    • what Joanne responded I am impressed that a stay at home mom can make $5234 in one month on the computer. did you read this web link LâzýÇãsh5.Çom

  • Force closes on me 🙁

    Rootzboat v.404-8.2-Insatiable_Iguana

  • skatenaked911

    i installed like normal, works fine. no need to be rooted

  • necroscopev

    Gave it whirl on my ISC Bionic Rom and it just kept force closing after every voice command, tried about 6 of them before i gave up. Oh well.

  • Doesn’t work for me.. I get network error on everything.

    • Samvelavich

      what device do you have?

    • me either gnew on verizon with black ICE

    • nightscout13

      You’re holding it wrong – Steve Jobs

  • I took it out of /syste/app and reinstalled it regular. No more network error but pretty slow. I asked it to call my local Petsmart and it couldn’t find it. I asked Google Voice Actions to and it connected me immediately.

  • Smooth918

    This has been pissing me off since last night, No matter how many times I install and uninstall I get the same message: “Unfortunately S Voice has Stop, MF! You didn’t even start. I’ll just wait…

  • Tom Luley

    Getting network error please try again everytime I try to speak to it. Weird.

    • This happened to me when I “accidentally” sideloaded the app as well as doing the above method. Deleting all the data and both .apks (data/app and system/app) and then doing it all from the beginning it worked fine. I found you don’t actually have to install the S-Voice.apk once you reboot, but maybe that was just me doing something wrong.

    • Falcon34

      This is what I get for the majority of what it’s supposed to do. It gets an occasional text correct, calendar scheduling, and weather. Nothing else works for me on the list it gives to try out. It doesn’t even open my calculator like somebody else says it does. So far this is nothing I will ever use in daily practice, but maybe I can show it off to somebody as a “look what my phone can do now” type app.

    • nightscout13

      You’re holding it wrong – Steve Jobs

  • Its slow (maybe from server load), but I could look up a lot of this stuff faster. I guess the hands free aspect is what draws people in but Google Search does just fine for a lot of stuff I need. This has a hard time understanding me.

  • nsnsmj

    Yeah, this is just a skinned Vlingo. I knew Samsung wasn’t capable of this on their own. I’ll wait for Google to finally upgrade Voice Actions to Project Majel or whatever it’s called.

  • Destroythanet

    “Now, this may be something that all voice recognition apps struggle with, but is simply another reason why I think these tools, including Siri, are toys at best.”
    Agreed. Doesn’t Apple still call Siri a “beta” even though it uses it as the main selling point for the iPhone 4S in its commercials?

    • Yeah, Apple’s trying to have its cake and eat it too, but at least it’s honest that Siri’s not done yet. Samsung’s going to launch S Voice as though it were complete, but it’s not even close.

  • Michael

    Can’t even download. Has this been taken down already?

  • Works on my Gnex although I get force closes when I attempt to search the web. Also, the only app that I can start is calculator…If I say any other app it just keeps asking which app I want to open.

  • yeah i guess im not alone on the network error thing. i cant do anything.

    • nightscout13

      You’re holding it wrong – Steve Jobs

  • Mark

    I’m not rooted and I have it downloaded. How come?

  • tallen1331

    today I keep getting a “network error,please try again”, where yesterday it was working fine…

    • fartbubbler

      same here.

      • Mine worked fine this morning until I moved it into system/app. I deleted it and rebooted but now I get Vlingo Media crashes… And it is still showing in my apps?

        • Sean Bello

          select “move to” and move it to your SD card and delete it. that’s how I got it out.

  • teh_Jughead

    just say GPS/Bluetooth/WIFI on/off and that will work.

  • Sujeeth

    Can u please put the video tutorial of the process to install in galaxy s3 in detail please.

  • Jon

    The one thing I wish I could do is set calendar appointments by voice. Does this do that? Are there any voice apps for android that currently do that?

    • yes you can

      • Jacob Bowen

        What do you use?

    • Jacob Bowen

      for that I actually set up the google calendar text in my contacts and then I just use the Google Voice Actions that comes with Android to “Send Text to Google Calendar” Works flawlessly. Only issue is you can only post to your main calendar if you keep more than one.

      SMS Short Codem 48368


      • Jon

        I don’t know how I never knew this was possible before, but thank you! This is a great solution for me.

  • gujupmp88

    everything works for me except for setting an alarm. galaxy nexus running aokp

  • Towelie420


  • Why are we moving it into /system/app?

    • Doesn’t work well as a sideoaded app. On the GSIII it’s a system app.