New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

Summary: There are a ton of great functions in Windows Phone Mango and after spending a few days connected via Bluetooth I am sold on the hands-free voice recognition technology.

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I recently wrote that Windows Phone 7 is the most stable mobile phone OS and I wanted to follow that up with some other examples of why I find it to be an excellent choice for consumers. Over the years, I have tried different 3rd party applications and integrated services to try to control my iOS, Android, Symbian, and BlackBerry devices just with my voice. Some apps and services did well, but NOTHING has functioned as well as Windows Phone 7.5 (aka Mango) from Microsoft. Android has pretty advanced voice recognition, but I still have not found it as seamless and accurate as Windows Phone Mango. This capability may even have some people picking up a new Mango phone when they launch in the next couple months.

There were a few instances in the last couple of days when I really dove into using the new Windows Phone Mango voice-to-text features and I was blown away by the capability and performance and like Adrian wrote in August this one feature may be the "killer" feature for many consumers. Chris Weber, president of Nokia USA, recently stated that this functionality is a game changer too and after using these features this past week I completely agree. Bill Pardi wrote up some more thoughts on speech in Mango on the Windows Phone Blog. Let me give you the details on my experiences.

Mowing the lawn and texting

My daughters were watching a high school football game on Saturday afternoon and I was home mowing the lawn with my Dell Venue Pro in my pocket streaming podcasts through the JayBird Freedom headset. My oldest sent me a text message to give me an update on the score and this is the progression of what happened next:

  • Tone comes across the headset.
  • WP7: Message from 253-555-1111 or caller ID name.
  • WP7: You can say read it or ignore.
  • Me: Read it and then the phone reads me the message.
  • WP7: You can say reply, call, or I'm done.
  • Me: Reply. State your message. WP thinks then states what you stated.
  • WP7: Send or say again.
  • WP7: Send and then the message is sent and the podcast started back up.

Keep in mind I NEVER touched my phone or headset and performed all of this while actively mowing my lawn with a push mower. My Dell Venue Pro, with RTM of Mango installed, translated what I spoke perfectly so that my daughter received what I intended.

Driving the car

On Sunday, I was in the car with a couple of my daughters leaving a soccer game and my daughter sent a text to my wife to share the score and game status. A conversation then followed via text in the car and this is how this experience went:

  • Incoming text tone came across the Bluetooth SuperTooth HD speaker.
  • WP7: Message from Dayna Miller.
  • WP7: You can say read it or ignore.
  • Me: Read it and then the phone reads me the message.
  • WP7: You can say reply, call, or I'm done.
  • Me: Reply. State your message. WP thinks then states what you stated.
  • WP7: Send or say again.
  • WP7: Send and the message was sent.
  • WP7: Message from Dayna Miller.
  • WP7: You can say read it or ignore.
  • Me: Read it and then the phone reads me the message.
  • WP7: You can say reply, call, or I'm done.
  • Me: Call.
  • WP7: Calling Dayna Miller. The call is made and conversation follows.

My daughters were blown away that I did not have to touch ANYTHING and the entire conversation took place completely hands-free with such accuracy. They both said they wanted a Windows Phone 7 device next.

I then showed them how you could press and hold the Start button (yes, I did finally have to touch the phone) and perform the following functions on Windows Phone 7 Mango:

  • Call (name, number, voicemail)
  • Find with Bing. "Find coffee in Seattle"
  • Open apps. "Open Maps" "Start Office"
  • Text people. "Text Dayna" You will then be prompted through commands like those above.
  • Other functions such as call another person while on a call, press numbers, and save speed dial.

This amazing voice technology is powered by Tellme advanced speech recognition and as I stated gives you a completely hands-free experience. I would like to have more control over my Zune Music, similar to what the powerful Microsoft Voice Command software provided in Windows Mobile. Once you try it you will think it is magical and like I tell people Windows Phone 7 needs to be used to understand why it is so compelling.

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, Windows

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57 comments
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  • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

    WinPhone, I think, is one of those things that you just have to try to feel the magic. Microsoft just needs to get its marketing right this time around.
    Right now, no matter how cool they want to make it look the ads always make it seem like a wannabe. They need to throw some attitude behind the OS. It can surely steal customers from Android, if not from iOS.
    Damn, can't wait to get my hands on a Mango Device
    regsrini
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @regsrini In other words, Microsoft needs to have some leather clad woman beat up a bunch of CGI robots to convey the message?
      Your Non Advocate
      • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

        @facebook@... Ouch!
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

        @facebook@... Yep, but you remember that Leather Clad Woman don't you? It caught my attention and at first quick glance the robots looked like the one from the fox football animation...

        Then I said, wait a minute what is this and that chick is pretty cute.

        Of course it was the Bionic Commercial.
        slickjim
      • Bionic babes

        Say this for Microsoft: they aren't that dumb. They're not as good at it as Apple, but at least they are trying to tell you what their product does and why you might want to buy it. That Droid Bionic ad is just stupid.

        Half the people with cell phones still have feature phones, which means they still need to be told why a smartphone is better than what they have now, and why a particular smartphone is the one they want. The Bionic ad does none of that. It just leaves you wondering what the product is, what it does, and why anyone would spend money to run that ad.
        Robert Hahn
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @regsrini <br><br>Got my Mango RTM installed yesterday on my HTC Trophy...the speech recognition is unbeatable. The added features are sweet. I think my phone is even faster then it was before and battery life appears to be improved as well. This update is sweet! Thanks MS for making the best Smartphone OS and continuing to build upon it by releasing a great update like Mango! MS Does it again! Now if they could just get the brain washed apple fanatics to realize they're wasting time and money on IOS driven devices.
      Rob.sharp
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @regsrini <br>See this article: <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/20/drivesafe-ly-2-0-responds-to-text-email-while-you-drive/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/20/drivesafe-ly-2-0-responds-to-text-email-while-you-drive/</a><br><br>Sounds a lot like <a href="http://www.DriveSafe.ly" target="_blank">DriveSafe.ly</a> it even has almost the exact same prompts in the spoken menus. It's a little disappointing that MSFT won't let developers like us create apps like this and just does it themselves. Of course, I'm biased because I'm from <a href="http://www.iSpeech.org" target="_blank">iSpeech</a> and I think our technology is the best... at least our text to speech and speech recognition<img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
      hahrens@...
      • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

        @hahrens@... Microsoft is working on TellMe speech SDK for Windows Phones and Nuance just released an SDK for Windows Phones. And you cannot give your core phone experience to developers which will fragment the market.
        pradeepviswav
  • Windows Phone: Microsoft's OS/2?

    Like OS/2, it seems knowledgeable people think it's technically very good, it's just ordinary users who can't understand why they should buy it.
    ldo17
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @ldo17
      I'd counter that and say that WinPho 7 and Mango are as intuitive as ever. That is why I said, you need to see it to believe it.
      regsrini
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @ldo17
      Well I think that is why some of these basic abilities will be important. Sending/translating a text message by phone's usefulness will be evident almost immediately after the first time it happens while you are driving. Not that I think people should be composing and receiving text while they are driving but they are going to do it anyway. And this method is far better than them fumbling for their phone, looking down and pretending to not be on the phone while they drive. Speech recognition is one of those things that any average joe can appreciate.
      rengek
  • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

    no thanks Android is the best
    shellcodes_coder
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @shellcodes_coder
      Thank you for that compelling argument for Andriod, love all of the facts around why.
      ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

        @ItsTheBottomLine <br><br><i>".. love all of the facts around why."</i> <br>One word, Marketshare.<br><br>PS. Stolen from the Win fanboys. That explanation works for them. So I figure I'll give it a try.
        Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

        @ItsTheBottomLine Because Voice Commands using MS technology often screws up in the cars so why should this be better?

        Also, Androids Dictation Feature is by far the best I have seen in such a small device, it is flat out awesome.

        Are these features a good idea from MS? Sure they are, I just don't think they are anything special.
        slickjim
      • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

        @Peter Perry
        it seems you have a mango device on hand, otherwise you wouldn't have said this <i>"Because Voice Commands using MS technology often screws up in the cars so why should this be better?

        Also, Androids Dictation Feature is by far the best I have seen in such a small device, it is flat out awesome."</i>

        Otherwise your statements are just FUD as usual on WP7 and Microsoft.
        Ram U
      • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

        @Return_of_the_jedi

        I'll admit, I laughed.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @shellcodes_coder And why would this be? What makes the speech recognition on Android so much better than the speech recognition on Mango? I'll be the first one to tell you I think it sucks on iOS and is my one major gripe about that platform - and it sucks because it does not seem like it's fully integrated with the OS but its there more as an afterthought. I went from WM to iOS when the iPhone 3G first came out and the one thing I missed from WM - and still do - is the way Microsoft Voice Command integrated with the platform.

      So tell us all just how Android's speech recognition is so much better than Mango's?
      athynz
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @shellcodes_coder Which Android are you referring to? The one on HTC? Samsung? Sony?
      rtd2c3po
    • RE: New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat

      @shellcodes_coder
      Android is by far the worse in just about every aspect. The hardware should be fast... but the OS bogs it down. Can't wait to get a dual core phone with a good OS.
      kstap