Would you ever pay for a Voice Command type of service on your mobile handheld? Remember, I said "service", so this is a recurring monthly fee. I’m a little skeptical of the business model, but when I hear about MobileVoiceCommand over at Windows for Devices, I was intrigued. So much so, that I downloaded a free 3-day trial and put it to task. All in all, it’s not bad; not perfect, but not bad. By comparison with my limited usage, I’d say it’s almost as good as Microsoft’s Voice Command which you can buy or the limited Voice Speed Dial that Verizon includes with the XV6700.
The MobileVoiceCommand service is only supported on certain devices at this time, and those are few. Here’s the rundown:
- Blackberry 7100i
- Blackberry 7130e
- Blackberry 7520
- Treo 600
- Treo 650
- Treo 700p
You’ll note that these are devices on the Sprint network, however my XV6700 on Verizon Wireless is essentially the same device as the PPC-6700, so I took a chance on the download (which did work). After a short installation, you’ll find that when you press and hold the Record button your device (at least on the XV6700) you get the following window, indicating that the application is listening.
Once done speaking you just let go of the button and the application "does it’s thing", which is interesting since it’s not immediate. I’m not sure why, but there’s a delay of several seconds after commands. My gut tells me that the application sends data back to a service hub via your wireless connection and this hub is where the voice processing takes place. Why do I think that? Three reasons:
1. The service requires a wireless data plan.
2. The installation was about 500 Kb; way too small for a full fledged voice app.
3. It’s a service!
Sure there are pros and cons between an application and a service, but features could be easily added to the service at any time from a centralized area. As far as features, there’s a pretty impressive set in MobileVoiceCommand:
- No training necessary
- Call contacts by name (how did that jk get in here?)
- Look up contacts by name
- Voice activated Calendar entry (I tried this with a fake appointment and it worked well)
- Short e-mail entry by voice
- Voice activated web browsing
- Weather lookup (tried that too; see below)
- Stock quote lookup
- Sports scores
- Movie times
- Top stories
You can see that the list is more extensive than similar applications; again, this is the benefit of a service. The monthly fee is $6, and there’s no discount for a yearly subscription; it will set you back $72. Would I use it? Not likely because there are features I don’t need; most of what do via voice is dialing and contact lookup. However, some folks with the supported devices could benefit and you’ve got 3 days of a trial to find out if it’s for you.