App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Depending on the individual, there are all sorts of uses for an iPhone. One that I’ve seen fairly consistently at expos and other places that require some form of dictation documentation is a recorder for interviews. But with the inclusion of voice recognition technology, the possibilities increase exponentially. Voice Assistant doesn’t necessarily blow the lid off the concept, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Using Voice Assistant is a simple matter of tapping, then talking. Tapping the giant microphone button on the main screen (after choosing a native language) starts the recording, and any words spoken will be analyzed and transcribed by the app. Once the desired word, phrase or whatever else is recorded users can then transfer it to another source such as an email or Google search.
The benefit to being to straightforward is that Voice Assistant is incredibly easy to use after some initial setup. Anyone can transfer their words to their Twitter account, SMS, and more with virtually no effort. And while the voice recognition isn’t 100% perfect, it’s a heck of a lot more accurate than autocorrect. Then again, blindfolded carousel darts can be more accurate than autocorrect.
While Voice Assistant can certainly be useful under the right circumstances, it’s still fairly limited. Being able to search for YouTube videos via voice is novel, but it’s really not essential or even all that necessary. The same thing could be said for Tweeting. It’s a cute idea and all, but I have a hard time imagining anyone without some form of physical disability using the feature for an extended period of time. Conversely, I imagine this sort of thing could be very useful to someone with said physical disability.
If I had to pick one aspect of Voice Assistant that would be the most useful, I’d have to go with the transcribing of spoken words to text. It’s like having a pocket stenographer. Super useful for interviews and even dictating wordy emails or other written projects, but it will require some tweaking after the fact for punctuation and the like. Still, it’s something that anyone looking for a fairly accurate verbal note-taking app should look into.