I have had the Thunderbolt 3 days. I pressed on the app labeled "voice Dial" and it doesn't work, it only vibrates then brings up suggestions from the contacts list that I have to manually choose. The Verizon tech center near me had a serious bad atttitude and I was told that the device could not voice dial inspite of the icon name. I was clearly frustrated but not impolite or rude.
I called 611 and talked to the tech there and when the person there tried it on her own Thunderbolt she was surprised that it didn't work on hers either. After checking around, she recommended "voice action". I installed it and it worked the first couple of times I used it. After that it acts like it is working, it responds with a message on the screen "dialing home" for instance but just sits there and doesn't actually dial. I tried resetting the phone and it was no help. Even cheap phones have voice dialled for a very long time.
Bottom line, I still have 10 days to return it. I will only keep it if:
1) They solve the voice dial problem. Inspite of all the features it has it still has to function as a phone.
2) I am assured that a longer life battery is a definite in the near future.
thats how voice dial works on the thunderbolt. you say something, it gives you options to click from your contacts
If this is a big feature for you, you might need to try a 3rd party app or another device
[Update: Vlingo works after I disable WiFi. Note, I also notice that if bring up Google Voice Search (from the google search bar widget or by simply long press the search magnifying glass on the bezel) and say "Dial so-and-so", then it will complete the dialing and everything -- without any prompts, though, so it's subject to the accuracy of the match.]
From my understanding, the "bringing up of options to manually choose from" is the standard operation for any voice recognition based dialer, because of the limited accuracy -- the speech recognition performance isn't as good as compared to, say, regular Voice Search because (I believe) the voice recognition is native on the device, as opposed to Voice Search, in which the speech data goes over the network to Google. On the other hand, if I say "Dial xxx xxx xxxx" it's quite accurate.
I guess it's the ability to complete the dialing, handsfree, that you are missing? On doing a voice action with the Nuance app on the Samsung Fascinate, it gives you a prompt "Dial so-and-so?" to which you reply "yes" or "no" and it will dial for you. Unfortunately,
1) It's accuracy isn't as good as "Voice Dialer" (IMO).
2) It's not generally available (as far as I can see) I've only seen it on the Fascinate (my wife has one).
For general purchase, Vlingo is available, as 21sNow suggests. It has voice prompts for complete handsfree operation. But I haven't been able to get it to work on my ThunderBolt -- it says "unable to connect to server". 21stNow: Does Vlingo work for you? What phone do you have?
Since all they have to add is the voice-synthesis/prompt and dial, I expect a Voice Dialer with audio prompt will show up pretty soon for the ThunderBolt.
On general topic of handsfree voice interaction, I came across the http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Samsung-Modus-HM6450-Review_id2705 Bluetooth.
"Upon powering it on, we’re ecstatic to be greeted with voice instructions on how to pair it up – and in our case, we managed to connect it both to a Samsung Transform and an Apple iPhone 4. Astonishingly, there’s a ton of useful features with the Modus HM6450 that enable it to become the perfect companion – such as built-in voice commands, voice prompts, and support for Android’s Samsung Bluetooth FreeSync app. Essentially, the app is pretty intuitive and useful since it provides text to voice functionality – meaning, it’ll automatically read incoming emails and text messages to you. Although we’re subjected to a robotic voice when it announces messages, for the most part, it’s pretty accurate with its reading. Pressing the dedicated voice command button on the headset, you can quickly get access to common information like its battery level, connectivity status, and the actual time. Furthermore, pressing multi-function talk button will activate your handset’s built-in voice recognition service."
Vlingo works for me on a Nexus S. I use the Blueant Q2 headset. With Vlingo, it will work for calling someone. But both my headset and Vlingo will attempt to read incoming text messages to me, so I end up not being able to decipher the text message. I'll have to try this with my plain headset to see if the text message is understandable.
Vlingo doesn't have the greatest voice recognition, and it will dial without confirming what I said. I have found that adding the contact's first and last names to my phone book, then saying the first and last name when using voice commands to call helps with the voice calling accuracy.
Vlingo is a great app in its Android version. With a text-to-speech Bluetooth headset, there is duplication in some of its features.
I appreciate your help but it is not true that most phones will not dial from your voice alone. My Palm Centro, my son's Blackberry, my sisters Droid-X, even my old Motorola Razor would. At work I couldn't find anybody who's phone wouldn't dial by voice alone. The phones get around inaccurate voice recognition by repeating back the voice dial command for a yes or no confirmation. The Thunderbolt doesn't advertise voice "contacts" it says "dial" and it doesn't dial.
I find it disturbing that:
1) I called HTC directly and they confirmed that it wouldn't voice dial and they didn't seem to care that it wouldn't even though they advertise that it can. Similarly Verizon continues to advertise it that way. I have a problem when I am sold goods that don't have advertised features. Suppose the power windows in your car had a crank and what they meant by power is that you supply the power with your arm.
2) The voice apps like Voice Action etc just don't work ( even tried a paid one but the name escapes me) and there are a lot of user comments that these Android apps are hit or miss. No platform stability. It remindes me of Windows ME, a lot of features but no platform stability.
3) I did the routine upgrade of the maps on my Garmin GPS. The built in bluetooth now doesn't work correctly with the Thunderbolt. It says it is connected and I can dial from the Garmin proving that it is connected but the audio comes through the phone. My wife's and Son-in-law's phone have stayed working correctly. I am sure that the Verizon store can play with it for a 1/2 an hour and get it to work but bluetooth should just work, there shouldn't be any "gotchas".
There are even more gotchas with things that don't work, the phone goes back and in the future I will stick with Motorola.
Jimbo, have you tried Vlingo?
What exactly are you wanting to do? From reading what you have written, I think that Vlingo would be your solution, but I may be missing something. I can try to troubleshoot more with my co-worker's Thunderbolt so that I can be of more help.
One thing about advertised features on smartphones, companies will advertise that their phone has a certain feature even if it takes a separate, non-preloaded app to accomplish it. FM Radio is an example, as many phones don't come with an actual radio, but allow you to download an app that streams radio stations. I don't think that this is fair, so I understand your concern.
What other Androids have you used? I just tried a Samsung Fascinate at the mall and the built in voice dialer works exactly as I am used to. It repeats my dial request and asks for a yes or no answer to dial it. My sister claims her Droid-X also works that way but I have not personally used it so I can't personally confirm. I have done an internet search and the Droid-X does seem to act that way but I would not buy one with out trying hers first. This was my first/last Android phone but I can personally confirm that most phones out there will actually do dialing initiated purely by voice command. If it can't they shouldn't promote it that way, it is dishonest.
I can't have a phone where I have to pull over to the side of the road every time I want to initiate a phone call. That is not reasonable.
The reason it will be my last android phone, at least for now, is the hit or miss nature of the operating system/apps. The concept of the Android operating system is good but the implementation is simply not here yet. Don't believe me? Go to the android market and pull up an app, any app. More then likely the user comments are like this: "Doesn't work with my phone", "works great", "causes phone to lock", "works well" etc., you get the idea. My own brief experience was the same, about 50% of the apps I downloaded work. Android has a ways to go to move beyond being a techie toy and become a tool.