Moto X: Do consumers even want to control their phone by voice?

Summary:One of the defining features of the Moto X is the ability to always be listening for your command. I haven't seen people embracing any current voice control technology and don't think it is a big deal.

Moto X: Do consumers even want to control their phone by voice?
Image: Motorola

Yesterday Motorola showed off all the details of the Moto X with one of the main differentiators being the voice control functionality. While it follows what we have seen with Google Glass, is saying "OK Google" out loud to your phone something that actually appeals to the masses?

I like to look around and survey the people on my Sounder train commute for mobile device usage. On most days I see more than 75 percent on a phone, particularly in the afternoon. However, no one is using Siri or other voice control apps and very few are even making phone calls. I don't enjoy hearing people's conversations with others and I just am not sold that voice control is something that is very desirable.

Apple promotes Siri in commercials, but on my iPhone I used it about once every two weeks to create a reminder. I don't see many people using Siri or any of a number of good alternatives on Android. Windows Phone has solid voice control integration, but again I never use it and almost forget it is even there.

See also: Motorola bets on customization features with $199 Moto X and With Moto X, Google may make Android, Motorola more approachable

The Moto X looks to be a good mid-range Android phone, priced the same as high end smartphones, and the ability to choose your own color scheme may be appealing to some. As I stated before I am not a fan of exclusives, but really can't believe they are just making this customization exclusive to one carrier here in the US.

The hardware looks good and I hope to try out a Moto X. Maybe it will change my mind and get me to start talking to my phone, but I doubt it since Siri never got me to use my iPhone more with voice. I do love the Made in the USA idea and would like to support the concept.

Will the Moto X be the device to get people to start using their voice more to control their phone or will the voice functionality be fun for two weeks and then never used again?

Topics: Mobility, Android, Smartphones

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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