Voice Apps: Have You Talked *To* Your Phone Yet?

9 years ago

Have you started talking to the hand yet? The hand with the phone in it, but no one on the other end? I have and I confess I was enamored after one use and will never look back.

I have an iPhone and I just discovered the Google Mobile and Bing apps for my phone. These wonderous apps will listen to your voice and tell you what you want to know almost immediately. For an iPhone user, this is welcome news because typing in a search string, or anything else for that matter, on an iPhone touchpad is tricky.

You open the app, touch the microphone icon, and it politely tells you it's listening. So you say something to it like "manager Yankees 1966" or "Applebees Austin, Texas" or "director of Gone with the Wind." In seconds you get your results, no typing required. I LOVE THAT! If you say a street address and zip code, it shows you a map and tells you how to get there from where you are.

The only limitation I've found is that it doesn't recognize words that are not part of normal discourse. For example, it can understand "Virginia" but not "DeBolt." (Right. I searched on my own name. It's all about me.) Even when it only gets part of what you said, it still cuts down on the amount of typing you have to do to make it right.

I know everyone is excited about the tech prospects for 2010. I am too. For instance, there's that rumored Apple tablet. That alone may be as disruptive a new gadget as the iPod. There are advances in green tech. Cars are getting greener, a very welcome technology change.

At this time of year, everyone wants to make their predictions for the most useful technology of 2010. Technobabble mentions cloud computing, the Apple tablet, and more wireless availability. Tech Crunch thinks it will be the Apple tablet, Chrome OS, HTML5, and realtime search. ReadWriteWeb talks about bluetooth and widgets—also known as apps like Google Mobile and Bing. Kristen Swanson says it's time to toss those old fashioned flash drives and move to the cloud.

Here's my prediction. I think it's all about mobile. It's about making mobile faster, easier, smaller, more powerful. It's about carrying the Internet in your pocket. where it can be voice activated.

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Virginia DeBolt
BlogHer Technology Contributing Editor|Web Teacher|First 50 Words

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