How do I use Voice Control?

iPhone 3GS or later and 4th generation iPod touch

Voice Control is a neat feature that allows you to use voice commands to control your phone, music playback, and more. To activate Voice Control, simply hold down the Home button until the Voice Control screen appears. You will hear a beep, indicating that the device is waiting for a command. Voice Control works best when you include brief pauses between the words in your commands and speak naturally as if you're talking with someone on the phone. Here are the commands you can use:

When activated, Voice Control lets you dial numbers and play songs with voice commands.

  • voice controlSay "Call" or "Dial" and then speak the desired phone number: This dials this phone number.

  • Say "Call" or "Dial" and then speak the person's name: This dials the phone number associated with person if they are in your Contacts list. If you have more than one number listed for the contact, you can specify the number you want to call by saying "Call John work" or "Dial Kathy home."

  • Say "Play music," "Pause," "Next song," or "Previous song": This controls your iPod app music playback.

  • Say "Play" and then say "Artist," "Album," or "Playlist" and then speak its name: This plays a specific artist, album, or playlist from your iPod app.

  • Say "Who sings this song?" "What song is this?" or "What's playing?": This gives you information about the song that's currently playing.

  • Say "Play more like this," "Play more songs like this," or "Genius": This causes the Genius feature to find and play tracks similar to the song that's currently playing.

  • Say "Shuffle": This shuffles your playlist.

  • Say "What time is it?" or "What is the time?": The causes Voice Control to tell you the current time.

  • Say "Stop" or "Cancel": This ends Voice Control.

Voice Control is also available in other languages. To change the language, open Settings, General, International, Voice Control and tap on the country or language you want to use.

Prevent Voice Dialing Mistakes?

The downside of using Voice Control is accidentally using one of the command words. For example, while you're listening to music, you might innocently say to a friend, "I don't want to call John." All of a sudden, your music cuts out and your iPhone starts dialing John-the one person you don't want to talk to. You can prevent this by disabling Voice Control. Hold the Home button down until you see the Voice Control screen and then tap on the Cancel button. In addition, you can disable it while your iPhone is locked (and still listen to music). To do this, open Settings, General, Passcode Lock, and switch Voice Dial to OFF.

May-June 2011
TOC Weight: