I’m considering buying a smart phone of some type. I don’t really need an internet connection, but I’m assuming that all plans require it. What I need most is to be able to place reminders (doesn’t have to be a calendar, just a list for me to access later) in 3-4 different lists. Since I mostly remember to add to these lists (I work in 3 locations) while I’m driving, I need the phone to reliably complete the task through voice recognition.
Which smart phone should accomplish this most effectively?
Well the great news is both Android-powered phones and the Apple iPhone can do this function easily. Android and iOS (iPhone’s operating system) both have a built in voice-to-text feature on the keyboard, allowing you to speak to the phone and have your words typed out.
There is a bit of a holy war between Android and iPhone users,though, so I’ll say up front I’ve used both and I prefer iPhone. This isn’t because Android is a less advanced product – in fact most Android phones I used offered better screens and far more customization options then iPhone. So why did I choose iPhone? It’s really simple to use. Apple may limit your choices in some ways, but most of the features just work. When I turn the key to my car I want it to start, not ask me if I’d like to allow the key to access the spark plug.
The iPhone’s voice recognition operates using Siri, Apple’s voice assistant. If you hold down the home button for 3 seconds you will receive a prompt and you can tell Siri what you would like. In the example below I’ve told Siri to remind me at 6:00 to call my father.
Siri converted my voice to text then showed me the reminder and asked me if I wanted to create it. I said Yes when prompted and Siri created the reminder for me.
You can also ask Siri to schedule an appointment, when a movie is playing, for sports scores, directions, to call someone, to send texts and a host of other functions.
So what’s the downside of Siri? It does use data to communicate back to Apple’s servers and the internet to get information to process your requests, so a data plan is required.
Which iPhone do you need? If you want the latest and greatest the iPhone 5 starts at $199 on contract with major carriers, but you could also get an iPhone 4s which has Siri for less. The choice is yours.
P.S. Android’s voice recognition works also works very well, and Samsung in particular has built in a host of easy to use commands into the Galaxy S III series of phones. If you want to get an Android powered phone, this one would be my recommendation.