voice

Aria, the Siri-like personal assistant for Windows Phone, is free for a day on Windows Phone Store in India. 

The app is different from other similar apps for Windows Phone since it uses the native Windows Phone Speech Recognition for commands instead of processing on online servers. This way the app doesn’t hit your mobile data usage much and also tends to works faster. Also, apart from the obvious US and UK English language support, the app works well for Indian accent as well.

More →
2
loading...
29
loading...
27
loading...
0
loading...

Back in March, upcoming changes to the backend of Bing and its voice capabilities (aka TellMe) were revealed with the promise that those improvements were coming to all Windows Phones. Those changes included significantly faster searches, more accurate transcription and improved accuracy in noisy environments.

Microsoft has just let it out that these changes are now official. That means if you pick up your Windows Phone right now and try to transcribe a text message or do a voice Bing Search, you should noticed the improvements. As these updates come from Microsoft’s servers, there is no OS update needed.

More →
7
loading...
95
loading...
71
loading...
0
loading...

Windows Phone 8 brings numerous enhancements to the TellMe service aka the speech engine behind Windows Phone. One area that has improved is voice dictation for email messages (as opposed to just text) and developers can also now incorporate STT/TTS into their apps directly, which is especially useful for things like Twitter or blogging apps.

More →
2
loading...
24
loading...
41
loading...
0
loading...

Viber with voice support coming to Nokia Lumia phones

This morning, Viber, the company behind the popular and free VOIP communication software announced the soon-to-be available Viber app for Windows Phone, adding to Viber Messenger. The new version of the app, developed with assistance from Nokia themselves, now supports HD voice calls, bringing the app up to full Viber standards.

Viber has had a long route to get to Windows Phone, especially since their service required deeper integration with the OS, which was not available for early iterations of the software. Now, in conjunction with Nokia, the new Viber app has full voice-over-IP protocol support, allowing users to make and receive free calls over their data connection. In addition, users can of course continue to use the free messenger aspect of the app.

More →
2
loading...
24
loading...
75
loading...
0
loading...

At the start of the year I took up driving with gusto, you see, being a Londoner I have really had little need of a car. For one reason or another, it had started to become a nuisance not driving so I decided to change my wicked, public transport loving ways and get a license to burn fossil fuels. I took an intensive course and recently passed. During the process of getting my license I bought a Lumia 800, of course, it is a wonderful device but wanted it for those free and extensive driving maps. So how does Nokias’s mapping software get on? I have been testing it for a few weeks now, read on to see how well it works.

More →
4
loading...
5
loading...
27
loading...
0
loading...

Hey DJ!, previously known as Speak To Play, is a Windows Phone app that enables users to tap a button to speak, and state clearly an <artist>, <song>, <playlist> or <genre> and the app will start up whatever matches in your music collection. Sounds pretty neat already, right? We previously covered the app when it was rebranded, was updated with new features and had its price tag slashed.

Now we're excited to report that Hey DJ! has been bumped to version 1.8 and is now completely free for the next 72 hours (until July 31st). So if you haven't already purchased a copy for your Windows Phone, you'll want to do so now while it's on offer. Once the period has closed, the pricing will return to $0.99.

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
32
loading...
0
loading...

In what should be a very exciting addition for developers, Windows Phone 8 will finally give access to Voice Command (aka TellMe).

According to the leaked Windows Phone 8 SDK, developers can add functions to their app that uses the Voice Command feature, enabling customers to launch the app with a sub-query which will take them to a specific area of the app:

"Users can use voice commands to both launch your app and execute an action. For example, a user using the Contoso Widgets app could press the Start button and say "Contoso Widgets, show best sellers" to both launch the Contoso Widgets app and navigate to a 'best sellers' page, or some other action that the developer specifies."

(An example of this would be Jay Bennett adding a feature to our WPCentral app whereby you hold the Start button to access Voice Command (TellMe) and say “WPCentral, go to reviews”).

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
38
loading...
0
loading...

Although many people are using Ask Ziggy on Windows Phone these days, the search for a viable alternative to the iPhone’s Siri continues. While we’re unsure of what Microsoft has planned in this arena for Windows Phone 8, WP7 users certainly want options.

A new alternative is on the Marketplace now called simply enough ‘Assistant’. It’s made by Speak To It and while it normally costs $0.99 it’s going for free now for the first 10,000 downloads.

It uses the same Nuance voice engine as Ask Ziggy, so in that regards it’s not necessarily any better nor worse. But the UI design and layout are quite nice. You get a custom Avatar to interact with and a choice of 4 different voices (UK and US English). The app can learn your name and you can name it too (we called ours Siri of course).

More →
6
loading...
0
loading...
28
loading...
0
loading...

We've mentioned that popular messaging app TalkBox a few times here at WPCentral. The service is not only a way to send messages and photos to your contacts on the go but it also allows you to send those popular voice-clips, you know for those too lazy to type.

That'd be us, actually.

Speaking into your phone and sending the message, especially if you're like us and bathing in AT&T 4G LTE speeds, seems like the next logical step in instant messaging. TalkBox has that service down pat and what's more, it's cross-platform meaning you stand a good chance of your non-Windows Phone friends being able to use the service (it's available on iPhone and Android).

The app went into a public beta a few weeks ago and the developers behind it are putting on the final touches as we speak. Tonight they've released this teaser vid which shows you what to expect.

So should you be excited? Yeah, you should. We've been using it off and on for weeks now (going back to the alpha days) and the app is fast and sharp looking. It's just pretty. Plus it works well.

We'll keep you posted when the app is finally available on the Windows Phone Marketplace for all, which should only be a few weeks at most. Or if you wish, sign up at the TalkBox site to register your interest.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
26
loading...
0
loading...

Microsoft is set to close down the Bing 411 service on June 1st, 2012. Bing 411 is a toll-free number for American residents that enables callers to search using voice and Tellme technologies. The free service provides users with local business search, weather and traffic reports, driving directions, sports scores, and stock quotes to name but a few.

Should you attempt to use Bing 411 (1-800-246-4411) you'll be greeted by a message stating the service will cease operations on the provided date. This follows the closure of Google's GOOG-411 back in October, 2010. With Bing services integrating into Windows Phone, will we miss the Bing 411 service? 

Source: LiveSide

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
16
loading...
0
loading...

We mentioned TalkBox way back in November coming to Windows Phone. The popular messaging app derives its name from the ability to do press-n-hold a button to send mini-voice clips to your friends, basically making it a lazy man's chat program.

The app was in private beta for the last week and we've been running it during that time on our Titan II. It's undergone quite the makeover from its alpha days and we have to give the TalkBox team a nod for making it well designed (we really like the splash screen).

The service is free, it can scan your contacts to find other TalkBox users, allows you to send pics, type back and fort, share location and of course send those voice clips.

The service has been on iOS and Android for some time, is in beta on BlackBerry and even alpha on dying webOS. That's good news as it means it's not a new service, allowing you to connect up to the rest of your non-Windows Phone users.

The app won't be in the Marketplace for a few weeks as the company has just opened up its pilot program for all of those who can side-load (aka developer unlocked devices). So if you feel like lending a hand or just want to give it a go, head to the source link to read the details and grab the XAP file.

Source: TalkBox

More →
5
loading...
0
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...

We covered the app Speak to Play at the end of January as being one of the first voice-controlled music apps for Windows Phone. In short, you tap the button, tell it to play <artist>, <song>, <playlist> or <genre> and the app will start up whatever matches in your music collection.

From our opinion, the app worked quite flawlessly but we lamented that you still had to find the app, launch it then hit the microphone button--a few too many steps in our mind. Luckily, the app has under-gone a little makeover since we last reported on it and it has the following new features:

  • Renamed - the app is now called "Hey DJ!" instead of "Speak to Play"
  • Pin 'Speak now' to the start screen - Like Soundhound and Shazam, you can now put a virtual button on your Start screen. Tapping it launches the app and it automatically goes to "listen" mode, enabling 1-touch listening/playback
  • Price drop: The app was $1.99 but has now dropped to $0.99 with a free trial

The app still works well from our end and we really do like the ability to play music with a single-tap now. If you haven't paid for it yet, the new $0.99 price is much more fair and reasonable. So if you're a music fan, we have to give this a recommendation.

Pick up Hey DJ here in the Marketplace for $0.99

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
23
loading...
0
loading...

We have to admit, we hadn't thought of the idea to control a video game solely with your voice. Even with Kinect for Xbox 360 we still picture using other methods for interaction. But the developers Pah! see it differently and they believe you can have a lot of fun with just sound.

Pah! originated on the iPhone where it became an instant hit (in fact, you can watch tons of videos on it via YouTube). Later it moved to Android where it was also successful and now Windows Phone users get to try out the voice-game craze. Developing the app wasn't easy, we're told by the developers Labgoo, due to the more restricted environment but they managed to get it working anyways.

The game is a simple side scrolling shooter but you control your ships upward movement by saying "Ahhhhhhhhh..." which will raise you (you then naturally sink a little). To fire at incoming objects you shout "Pah!" and your laser will fire. By using both voice gestures consecutively you can successfully guide your ship all the while trying to not laugh.

The game isn't meant to be Splinter Cell, just a simple but fun game using some unique interfaces. And we have to agree it is a bit of a hoot though we'd never play it in public. What's really neat though is you can now download this game at this moment for your Windows Phone. Just head here to the Marketplace. Only downside is there seems to be no trial so you'll have to plonk down  $1.99 for the chance to humiliate yourself in front of others.

More →
0
loading...
7
loading...
25
loading...
0
loading...

For those of you who go back to the Windows Mobile days, you'll remember an instant messaging service called Palringo (www.palringo.com). The program was its own IM service, which allowed things like voice-clips to be instantly sent along with photos and files. In addition, it was also a multi-client meaning it could support and connect (by proxy) to other IM services such as AIM, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, ICQ and more. Finally, it had support for custom Groups which were basically permanent chat rooms that one could create and invite people to, in addition to supporting iOS, Android, Symbian and Mac/PC desktops.

We reported a few months ago that Palringo was finally going to support Windows Phone, heck we even showed some early screenshots. Now, v0.5 Beta is live in the Marketplace free to use for all. Of course that beta tag means it is still in development, so all won't be perfect, but we've been using it for the last day and half with little to no issues.

The app itself is fairly well designed and what it lacks in beauty it makes up for it in functionality. We hadn't logged into our Palringo account in nearly two years yet when we did, we were instantly reconnected to our old services and up and running within a few minutes (creating accounts on the device seems to be problematic for some, so perhaps use the web first, then login). Messages were sent and received instantly, the Live Tile is double sided showing the numerical notification on one side and the message on the back.

Voice clips, arguably one of the best features, were easily recorded and sent instantly. Likewise, the second device received them nearly instantly too--impressive for a 3G connection.

Overall, even for a beta we like where Palringo is heading with this app. We imagine the final version will cost a few dollars, but so long as they keep it below $4.99 (what IM+ Pro charges) we don't see a problem. For those looking for a multi-client IM app and even sending voice clips, we have to recommend you give this a go.

Pick up Palringo beta here in the Marketplace.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
26
loading...
0
loading...

The ability to play your music via voice command was something that Windows Mobile users were accustomed to back in 2006. To not have the ability to say "Play <insert artist>" on a Windows Phone in 2012 is a bit absurd but we'll assume that something had to be cut for those 500 new features in Mango.

However, an app is now available that fulfills this task: Speak To Play by developer Puno-Z. The app is a clean, minimalist design with a large microphone graphic that you "push to speak". From there you can tell it to play an artist, song, album, playlist or even genre.

In our usage with it tonight, we'll agree with those multiple five-star reviews in the Marketplace--it works very well. We had no issues with it recognizing what we wanted to do and it gets the job done. It's of course still not as nice as being able to run TellMe via the Search button "from anywhere" in the OS--having to launch an app and then push the button is still more task-intensive than we'd like. But until Microsoft blesses us with this function, Speak To Play is the next best thing.

The app fetches for $1.99 in the Marketplace with a free trial. That's a bit high in our mind but if you think you would use this feature a lot then it's probably worth it. You can of course trial it before you buy to make sure you're getting what you want. Pick it up here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Ben H., for the tip!

More →
0
loading...
1
loading...
38
loading...
0
loading...
29

Ask Ziggy update now live on the Marketplace

We recently covered a neat little Windows Phone app that rivals Apple's Siri. Ask Ziggy is a completely free (ad-free too) speech recognition app, which goes one step further than Windows Phone itself. Mathematical questions, commands (posting to Twitter, Facebook, calling a contact, etc.), general questions are just a few tasks that can be completed. While the app was already available (and has been since mid-December) a recent update has been pushed through that brings a few fixes an a UI refresh.

There are a number of features that the developer has planned for the future, including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and language translations. Should you be continuously finding yourself having to watch a Siri demonstration, now you can fight back with this little beauty. You can download Ask Ziggy from the Marketplace for free. Be sure to keep an eye on the official website for more information.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
23
loading...
0
loading...

If there was an over-hyped technology in late 2011 it was perhaps Apple's Siritheir voice recognition/information application for the iPhone 4s. Now we'll admit that Siri is quite a strong piece of tech one that we wish Windows Phone had built-in in addition to our Bing Voice service, but the marketing machine behind Siri was a tad overwhelming. Then again, there's no denying facts: Bing Voice while pragmatic for certain tasks is still behind Apple's Siri in some ways.

However, developer Shai Leib has given us Windows Phone users an option: Ask Ziggy. The new app is a free, ad-free and as far as we can tell, completely unique. We spoke with Leib about his project and how it works:

"Ask Ziggy uses Speech Recognition to translate human speech into transcribed text, which is displayed in a speech bubble. The transcribed text is analyzed for patterns to detect commands or general queries. Commands are interpreted and routed to routine phone tasks such as emailing, texting, calling, social network updates, and getting directions.

When a general question is asked, a mixture of mash up technologies and web scraping is employed to search the web for relevant responses. Pattern matching is used to summarize a direct answer from a web page. Several passes may be required to find a concise answer. A direct answer is then spoken out loud, and displayed in a speech bubble. When a direct answer cannot be summarized the user is prompted by speech to click on their search bubble to see web search results based on their spoken query."

That's some pretty impressive work for a single developer if you ask us. The actual voice-recognition software is based on Nuance but the data fetching and matching are all his doing. And it works. That's one thing we want to stress here, we didn't find this app gimmicky at all but instead quite useful for mathematical questions, random trivia, posting to our Twitter/Facebook/Live, getting directions, flight status and more. Having the phone read back to you the answer in a clean, minimalist setting makes it feel smart. Heck, it even got our Monty Python question right (see YouTube video).

The version you see in the video is heading to the Marketplace as we speak but you can grab the slightly older version right now. Give it a go--it's free, useful and really quite an extraordinary app. Leib also has a lot of plans to further refine and enhance the experience including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and even language translations. Check out the Ask Ziggy website here for more info.

More →
5
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

For those looking for a way to use their Windows Phones as virtual walkie-talkies, you may want to keep an eye on Talk2Me, a new app from NTWorld. The app allows you to record 15 second voice clips which you can then send to your friends and family. They receive the message and that's that, no typing involved.  The app comes in two versions: paid ($0.99) and free (ads), but when we bought the app we noticed our ad bar did not disappear. Perhaps just a bug on our end, but be warned.

The app does have a few downsides: you can't lookup anyone via phone number or email just yet, though the developers seem keen on adding that ability in the future. Also, this is a Windows Phone-only system, meaning your friends on Android or iOS won't be participating. Having said that, it did work when sending and receiving voice clips with no issues. Toast notifications alert you to a new message in addition to the Live Tile counter.

The graphics and UI could use some work being very basic and blocky, but if you're in it just for the voice-messages, this is really your only choice at the moment. We do know that TalkBox should be out soon and even Palringo should make a return, so keep that mind.

Pick up Talk2Me here in the Marketplace for free or $0.99. via WPCentral Forums; Thanks, @sedp23, for the tip!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
19
loading...
0
loading...

Pages