25/04/2016

Control any device with your voice

Control any device with your voice

Get your computer, phone or tablet to do your bidding with voice control software
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Browse the web from your PC using Google Voice

If you’ve got an Android smatphone you probably realize you can browse the web using Google Voice. You can now also use your voice to search the web on your PC or laptop. You have to use the Chrome browser and will need a microphone on your desktop PC or laptop. Go to www.google.co.uk, click the microphone icon next to the search box and click Allow. Next, tell Google what to search for when the ‘Speak now’ message appears. Click the microphone icon again when you’ve finished speaking. Google is also previewing other forms of web-based voice control. Now speech-recognition features will let you dictate text into online forms and comment boxes, as well as composes Gmail messages. To try out this service, plug in your microphone, go to the Web Speech API demonstration at www.snipca.com/9877, click the microphone and start talking.
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Quickly dictate documents in your browser

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You can dictate notes from Chrome without needing to open any software. The easy-to-use Dictation website (ctrlq.org/dictation) is little more than a blank document and a button to start dictating. Give the website permission to access your microphone, click Start Dictation and say whatever you want typed out. To save what you’ve dictated to your computer as a .txt file click Export, My Computer and Download, or email it by clicking Send As Email and filling in the form.

Master Voice controls in iOS

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Newer iPad and iPhones have a voice assistant called Siri built in. The current version requires an active web connection to work. When the newest version of Apple’s iOS software launches later this year, you will also be able to use some Siri voice controls without being connecting via Wi-Fi. To launch Siri, hold down the home button on your device. When the voice- control screen appears, Siri is active. You can tell it to “find Bob’s address” (assuming Bob in your contacts list), “set up a meeting with Tim at 9”, “set the timer for five minutes” and so on. To search the web say: “google” followed by whatever you want Siri to look for. The list of the commands Siri can understand is at www.snipca.com/9880. You can also use Siri to dictate email, send text messages and create voice memos.

Get better dictation options for iPhone or iPad

 
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Siri is clever, but isn’t terribly good at taking dictation. The free Dragon dictation for iOS (www.snipca.com/9937) is far superior. Download Dragon Dictation, tap Europe as your region and choose whether you want to allow Dragon to access your contacts. We recommend giving it permission as it permission as it can then recognize your friend’s names when you say them. When Dragon dictation is set up, you will see the “tap to dictate’ screen. Speak calmly and slowly for the best results. You can edit notes afterwards using your iPad or iPhone’s keyboard. Tap the share icon to send the text as an email or text message or post it to face book or Twitter. To get similar functions in Android, use the free ListNote Speech/Text NotePad (www.snipca.com/9938). The Dragon Notes dictation app for Windows 8 (www.snipca.com/9939) is fantastic at recognizing speech, but you’re limited to recording 30-second clips, which is a bit rich given it costs $16.99.

Speak to Google to control your phone


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Android phones and tablets now have a built-in voice controller called Google Search. If yours is an older Android device and doesn’t have Google Search installed get it from www.snioca.com/9875. Add it to the Android home screen as a widget them tap the microphone to the right of the search box to launch the Google Voice function. You can pose questions and Google Voice Search will go online to retrieve the answers, you can also use the app to control your phone or tablet. For example, if you say “open Gmail” your email inbox will appear. Say “open camera” and the camera will launch. To compose an email, for example, you can say: “send email to Joe Bloggs, subject launch tomorrow, message, Can we meet 10 minutes earlier?”. An email will be created, filled in and send to Joe Bloggs without you having typed anything. For lots more voice-control functions and commands go to www.snipca.com/9876.

Get better Android voice controls with Utter

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Google Voice Search only works with some preinstalled Android apps. You won’t have this gripe if you use Utter (www.snipca.com/9879) instead. It’s still in a beta version but works well and recognizes many more voice commands than Google Voice. Once you have installed Utter, go to the Android home screen, press and hold the screen then select ‘Apps and widgets’. Scroll through the widgets list, tap Utter and add one of the widgets to your home screen Select English (United Kingdom) from the list of languages, and tap ‘Google Text-to-Speech Engine’, then ‘eng-gbr’. Now, when you tab the Utter icon on your home screen it will ask: ‘what can I do for you?’. You can respond with a spoken command immediately. Cleverly, Utter works with almost any app on your phone or tablet and has hundreds of command options. Start Utter, then Tap view command List to see the full list.

Control your PC with Windows Speech Recognition 

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Your computer has its own speech recognition tool, called Windows Speech Recognition, which works in all version of Windows. Microsoft advices you to use a headset rather than a microphone to get the best results. Plug this in first. Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, then Click ‘Ease of Access’, then Windows Speech Recognition to launch it. In vista, 7 and 8 you can simply search for ‘speech Recognition’ in the start menu or Charms bar. For information on how to install and use speech recognition in Windows XP go to www.snipca.com/9872. for all windows versions click through the setup. Choose ‘manual activation mode’ if you want to turn Windows Speech Recognition on and off by clicking the microphone icon in the System Tray. Choose ’voice activation mode’ to launch itusing a voice command, and click ‘yes’ to ‘running Speech Recognition at start up’ if you want it instantly available. We recommend you complete the Speech Tutorial next as this lets Windows’ speech-recognition engine attune to your voice and vastly improves how well windows understand your voice. Once you’ve set up speech recognition Start Voice- control mode by saying “Start Listening”. To launch a program such as Word say: “Double-Click Microsoft Word”. To switch to a program that’s already open, say: “Switch to Paint” (for the free paint program). To open a file, say: “Double-click” followed by the file name. if you don’t know how to express a command, say: “What can I say?”. To speech using Speech Recognition mode say “Stop Listening”. For a list of windows voice commands, go to www.snipca.com/9942.

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