A little over a month later and one of the biggest challenges using AirPods has to be the primary means of control, Siri. Within Wi-Fi networks or strong cellular service, Siri usually works reliably, even if with some delay. Step into an elevator or subway, and that voice control interface is rendered useless. Without a good internet connection, Siri just doesn’t work and that means pulling out your phone or using your Apple Watch for controls. It’s a first world problem, sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t push for a better solution. However, even if it’s temporary, there is an offline option to use for now…
Voice Control Stories January 30
Voice Control Stories December 23, 2016
A few days after having received my AirPods order, I’ve quickly come to realize how the lack of accessible audio playback controls can hinder the overall experience. In my previous reviews of true wireless earbuds, I’ve consistently brought up on-device controls as a positive or a negative. When you remove the wire and the controls so many of us have gotten used to, offering a new means of control is necessary.
With the AirPods, the main and only means of audio playback control is by double-tapping above the AirPods’ stem. Based on your settings this either activates Siri, allowing you to speak all of the basic playback commands, or controls play/pause for audio. Double-tapping and only being able to play/pause controls aren’t enough for daily usage, but relying on Siri, especially when internet connections are weaker, makes for a cumbersome experience at best. These issues highlight the need for Apple to introduce an offline mode for Siri.
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Voice Control Stories February 24, 2016
Apple currently plans to use its next major release of the Mac operating system, known as OS X 10.12, this fall to continue to expand Siri across its product lines. Last year, Apple implemented Siri as cornerstone features of both the Apple Watch and new Apple TV, and for 2016, Siri is planned to finally make its way to the Mac.
Voice Control Stories October 1, 2014
One of the problems the new iPhone 6 models present is where to put it when you’re in the car. You may not want to keep it in your pocket for obvious reasons, especially the iPhone 6 Plus, and the new models are larger and slipperier than ever. Keeping it in the seat next to you probably means it’ll end up on the floor. With the larger displays and new features introduced with iOS 8, using a car mount is more useful than ever. I’ve been trying out Kenu’s Airframe+, which supports even the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (with a case too), and I’ve found using a car mount offers up a number of benefits. expand full story
Voice Control Stories July 5, 2013
Apple is testing a local, offline version of Dictation voice input for iOS devices, according to strings of code found inside of the iOS 7 beta. The code, which was discovered by Hamza Sood, is located inside of both iOS 7 betas, but it is not present in iOS 6. Currently, when an iOS user uses their voice to input text using Dictation, the iOS device will use software that uploads your speech to the cloud to be converted into text. Because this relies on an internet connection and a cloud backend, this could sometimes mean errors and long-loading times, as well as some unwanted data usage…
Voice Control Stories April 4, 2012
Popular third-party Android browser Dolphin made its way to the App Store in August of last year bringing highly customizable gestures, built-in translations, and a dock-style sidebar for quick access to tabs, bookmarks, and speed dial. Today, developers MoboTap Inc. pushed out an update to the iPhone app that, among other new features, introduced voice search functionality called “Dolphin Sonar.”
Dolphin Sonar is super easy to use and can do almost anything. Instead of typing, tap the microphone at the bottom left or just shake your phone (because who doesn’t want an excuse to do that!). Then say what you want to say and Dolphin will do the rest… use your voice to search the Web, find exactly what you’re looking for on sites like Facebook or eBay, bookmark your favorite website, and (like a real Dolphin!) use Sonar to navigate. Ask Dolphin to search on Facebook or create a new tab…all without having to type a single letter.
Other additions to the update include the return of the URL keyboard “by popular demand,” new search engine options to switch between four default settings, three font size options for browsing, and the ability to dim the screen with a single tap using “Night Mode.” Like the default Safari browser, Dolphin will also now save images directly to your iPhone’s photo album. You will also get the usual stability and performance enhancements when you grab version 4.0 of the Dolphin browser on the App Store (iTunes link). expand full story