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A Tour of Voice Control on the new iPhone 3GS, with Video

One of the great new features of the new iPhone 3GS is Voice Conrol.  This new feature allows you to call contacts, dial phone numbers, play music and more.  While voice control for a phone is not new, it is new for the iPhone and it is only available on the new iPhone 3GS. I did a quick video tour of Voice Control this evening, just jump to the end to skip the written stuff…

voicecontrol1 200x300 A Tour of Voice Control on the new iPhone 3GS, with Video

Voice Control is launched by holding down the home button while on any screen, even if the phone is locked.  Once it launches, you hear a couple of beeps which indicate that it is ready for your voice command.  There are a number of things that you can say, such as “play songs by … ” or “next song” or “shuffle.”  You can also ask what song is playing or what artist and a few other iPod commands.  For dialing phone numbers simplay say: “call <contact>” or “dial <phone number>.”

Here’s a list of commands:

Command What to say
Get basic help Say “help”
Call someone in contacts Say “call” or “dial” then the name in the contacts list. If the person has more than one number you can elaborate and say “mobile” or “home.”
Dial a phone number Say “call” or “dial” and then the phone number.”
Make a correction Say “wrong”, “not that one”, “no”, “nope.”
Control Music Playback Say “play songs by ,” or “play artist “, “play album “, “play playlist
.”
iPod Control Say “pause,” or “next song,” or “pause music,” or “previous song,” or “shuffle.”
More information Say “what song is this,” or “what’s playing,” or “who sings this song,” or “who is this song by.”
Genius Say “genius,” or “more songs like this,” or “play more songs like this one.”
Cancel Say “cancel.”

The voice command list is rather short, but it’s not bad for a first iteration. We were hoping to see the ability to launch applications (like the new voice memo’s app?) but that function is noticeably missing. We can only assume that a future software update will enhance this feature further and we look forward to those enhancements. Also, I tried to use the voice function using a Plantronics bluetooth headset but no-go. You must hold down the home button (or Apple pause button on included headset) to launch. It will also not use the mic on your bluetooth device, so keep the phone close … or use the included headset.

The good: very accurate, even understands my 5yo when he speaks at it (which he loves to do). Easy to launch (home button for 3 seconds or headphone pause button for 3 seconds).

The not-so-good: A rather short list of commands. Does not work with many bluetooth devices.

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