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Summary:

Remember that firmware upgrade for the XV6700 we mentioned last night? After getting a good night’s sleep to prepare for the experience, I ran the upgrade this morning. It went without a hitch and actually came with a surprise as well: looks like Verizon has bundled […]

Voice4 Remember that firmware upgrade for the XV6700 we mentioned last night? After getting a good night’s sleep to prepare for the experience, I ran the upgrade this morning. It went without a hitch and actually came with a surprise as well: looks like Verizon has bundled a third-party voice dialer with this upgrade; either that or I always had it and never noticed. (Goodbye Microsoft VoiceCommand!)

There’s a few installation points worth mentioning so read on for those as well as some screencaps of the install and the new Voice Speed Dial application.

Right off the bat, I should mention that if you run this firmware upgrade, the EV-DO radio will constantly be on going forward. If you don’t want that radio on when your device is powered on, then this isn’t the upgrade for you. Keeping the radio on will use more juice throughout the day, so be advised. Oh and if you plan to use the push e-mail feature, you’ll need to be synchronizing with a Microsoft Exchange Server running SP2. OK, ’nuff said on the disclosures!

The firmware upgrade is very straightforward and only took me about 20 minutes with a USB connection between the XV6700 and the Samsung Q1. I didn’t see any option to backup the old ROM in the installation, which is a little disappointing. The first screen tells you what version your current files are and what version they will be after the upgrade.

Msfp1_1

Not many choices here, just *gulp* Update or Cancel. First for the upgrade is the radio image.

Msfp2_2

As shown in Red, you don’t want to disconnect the device you run the risk of "bricking" it. I’d recommend any phone upgrade to be done in a powered cradle if possible; if you run out of juice while doing this…well…let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

Msfp3

Stage 2 happened so fast that I missed it, but it basically looks like Stage 3 above. Only it’s 2. Not 3. ;) After a few more minutes, I saw this screen and knew I was in the clear.

Msfp4

Isn’t just special how you’re told you can continue to use your device as usual….but with the increased benefits? I did a soft reset of the XV6700 after this and had to run through all of the hoops you have when you first get a new Windows Mobile device. Once I aligned the screen and did a few quick configuration settings in ActiveSync, new mail started to arrive immediately. Looks like the push e-mail is working just fine. Nosing around the menus is where I saw the Voice Speed Dial option:

Voice_1

Tucked at the bottom of the Settings screen is the Voice Speed Dial option. Previously I had Microsoft Voice Command on the XV6700, but since I hadn’t installed it just yet on the "new and improved" 6700, I figured to check out this application. Right off the bat there’s a huge difference: you need to record "voice tags" with this application. In Microsoft’s Voice Command, there’s no training involved and you definitely have more voice options. Clearly, it’s a much more intelligent application than the one that Verizon includes, but the Verizon application is free.

Basically, you pick a contact in the Voice Speed Dial setup and speak to record a voice tag for the phone number of the contact. Think of it as a verbal speed dial command. I tend to call my significant other the most, so I wisely recorded her cell and work numbers in the application. Here’s what the app looks like after recording the voice tags. You can see intuitive buttons to record a tag, play back a recorded tag and delete a tag.

Voice2      

This firmware upgrade automatically assigns the record hardware button for Voice Speed Dial, which saves you configuration later on. Another nice feature is the ability to add voice tags for applications; if you click the Application tag, you get a list of your installed apps where you can record a tag for each.

Voice3

Usage of the Voice Speed Dial is simple: just press the hardware button and you’ll be taken to this screen while the device listens for you to speak a voice tag. If it finds a matching tag, it executes the call or application launch; I only used it for a few minutes, but it seems fairly accurate. It will also repeat the recorded tag back to you so that you know the proper command is run or caller is dialed. All in all, a nice little add on to the XV6700 firmware upgrade.

-kct

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  1. Verizon Releases Firmware Update for XV6700…Finally! Thursday, June 22, 2006
  2. Bye bye Treo, hello XV6700! Thursday, June 22, 2006
  3. Well, after seeing Kevin had no issues I decided to do the upgrade. Everything went according to plan. I got all the same screens as Kevin. I received the Condratulations screen which said perform a normal reset on the device. I took it out of the cradle, did the normal “soft” reset and then…..nothing. No lights, no screen…nothing. It now sits here like a black paper weight. I did everything I could do to revive it. Take out the battery, perform a hard reset…which by the way did come up with a screen that asked me to confirm the hard reset. However after confirming, the screen blanks and then back to paper weight. ARRRRRRRGGGGGG!

  4. I wonder if it will allow initiating calls from a BT headset? That is a failing of MS Voice Command, IMHO.

  5. Make sure the screen is not turned off by tapping it. I’ve seen a device “play dead” like this before and it was really just the screen off.

  6. Yeah, tried that. It’s way dead.

  7. Well, Verizon tech support could not revive the paperweight. Although their only option was the hard reset which I had already tried. Funny thing…I ordered another extended battery (I seem to have misplaced my other one) for it and it will be delivered today. HA! The battery in it will last a lot longer now that it won’t power up. Oh, Verizon said it was under warranty and they are sending another one out overnight. Sooooo, don’t bother to call me unless you want to hear my voicemail. Withdrawls…..no email via mobile. :(

  8. Kevin C. Tofel Thursday, June 22, 2006

    Sorry to hear about the “bricking” Stu; I hope that the new unit that Verizon is sending ALREADY has the new firmware. It really bothers me how unstable these upgrades tend to be. If they’re not 99.999% flawless, they shouldn’t be made available. Keep us up to date!

  9. I hope it has the new firmware too. Although I seriously doubt it. Hmmmmm….should I upgrade or just wait…..If I do, I’m going to wait until Monday so I can still get another phone overnight. That is if I get the new phone tomorrow of course. This phone I have was supposed to be an overnight delivery but instead took a week. Oh, I couldn’t make the Geek Greet the other day. I don’t have a NY trip scheduled until next month. Any more in the works? How about a midwest excursion. Plenty of room and my place in St. Louis!

  10. I saw that UTStarcom had an update for the Sprint version as well. I’ve downloaded it, and I expect I will be checking that out in a few weeks. I sure am loving my new phone!

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