Speech Recognition Apps Abound for iOS Devices
As this is being written in the spring, rumors are circulating that voice control technology will be deeply integrated into iOS 5. Whether in iOS 5 or later, it seems inevitable that much of our interaction with our devices will eventually take place just by speaking.
Of course, there are already many apps that use speech recognition, and ever since the 3GS, the iPhone has had a basic voice control feature that lets you make calls or request particular songs just by speaking into your phone (see sidebar page 38). But the forthcoming developments will go much further.
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There are a lot of apps that claim to do speech recognition. In reality, what those apps typically do is record your speech and upload that recording to a server that does all the heavy lifting. Examples include the very popular Dragon Dictation, Vlingo and most importantly, Siri, which was actually acquired by Apple. This method can be effective when you have a fast network connection but the Holy Grail of speech recognition needs to be performed in-app.
The iPad and a few well-chosen apps help me stay organized and on schedule.
As a busy mom, wife, and techie, I need to stay organized and on schedule. My iPad has become an integral part of my everyday life. My desktop computer is now primarily used for synching my gadgets, backing up data, and large Photoshop projects. Gone are the days I sit in my home office for hours communicating, creating, and researching.
Speed.Dial ($0.99) is a simple app that lets you add contacts to your home screen. It puts an app-like icon on your home screen that includes the contact's picture and name. If you want to call the person, you just tap the icon. The app makes it quick and simple to add a contact.
Most people are honest, at least here in rural Iowa. I know that if I lost my iPhone, they'd likely try to return it. But I've often wondered how easy it would be for them to contact me if they did find it, especially if they weren't familiar with the iPhone. One solution is to put your contact information on the lock-screen of your device, so that it's readily available if someone should find your iOS device. A free app, Take Me Home, lets you easily do this. The free version is fully functional, and comes with an attractive home screen.