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