Kids these days. Every one of them has a cell phone, and none of them seem to be able to peel their eyes off the screen. Multitasking is great and all, but maybe not replying to your email while crossing the street would have saved you the embarrassment of walking straight into that signpost, eh? At one time I had the brilliant idea to walk around recording people accidentally running into things… but alas, Google has already thwarted my evil scheme with their latest update to the voice search app.
Voice search has always been one of my favorite features, and the new version made me fall in love all over again. First off, if you don’t have your phone set to automatically update your applications, you may need to go to the android market for a manual update. Click on your menu, then market, and when you get there enter “voice search” in the search bar. Click on voice search, and there should be an option to update – that is, if you do not currently have the latest version. After the download is complete, go back to your home screen.
You can either enter voice search through the applications menu, via a shortcut on your homescreen (if you’ve set one up), or by holding the magnifying glass icon on your phone. After a few seconds a window should pop up. When you see the microphone just tell the phone what you want.
Here are some of the voice commands you can use:
Text – send text to (recipient) (message) – example: send text to John Jones Can you pick me up a hoagie?
Email –send email to (recipient) (subject) (body) – example: send email to Todd Evans, Bowling, We need an extra bowler this Saturday.
Directions – navigate to (location) – example: navigate to Worldstart headquarters
Place calls – call (contact) (phone type)- example: call Andrea Fufaro mobile
Listen to Music – listen to (artist/song/album) – example: Listen to Cake, Mexico, Prolonging the Magic
Note to self – note to self (note) – example: Note to self pick up dog food on the way home
Search Google – (query) – example: Pickles
Open Website – go to (website) – example: go to Worldstart.com
View a map – view map of (location) – example: view map of New Orleans
Another way to use your android without taking your eyes of the road, sidewalk, your date, etc., is to use the accessibility services on your phone. These settings: Talkback, Kickback, and Soundback, were designed to help the visually impaired. Talkback will tell you what screen your phone is on and what applications you are opening. Kickback uses haptic responses – that’s fancy talk for vibrations – and Soundback does the same using sound effects to let you know what your fingers are doing without ever having to look down. If you want to activate any or all of these service just click menu>settings>accessibility>turn on accessibility and chose the services you would like active.
There you have it! You can now email while alert, get directions without taking your eyes off the sidewalk ahead, and browse without bumping your nose.