The use of voice commands on mobile devices is growing. Framingham, Mass.-based digital agency Stonetemple has published a study showing how Americans interact with their smartphones -- particularly how they use voice commands.
It asked 914 smartphone users over 30 years old 10 questions on how they interact with their devices. It wanted to know how perceived social pressure impacts people's willingness to use voice commands with their smartphones.
It asked questions to find out where people used voice commands across locations such as at home, in a restaurant, in an office, at a party, at the gym, in a restroom, or at the theatre. The data was then segmented by gender, age, income, and marital status.
The company discovered that the gender gap between how men and women use voice commands is significant.
Almost 10 percent more men than women use voice commands in different situations compared with women. Willingness to use voice commands is also skewed more toward younger survey respondents.
Men are more than twice as likely to speak commands to their smartphones at a gym or a public restroom, and 3.5 times as likely to do so in a theatre compared to women. Men -- 18.3 percent -- also said they are likely or very likely to use voice commands with their phone in a public restroom.
Only 9.1 percent of women said the same. Also, 3.2 percent of women are likely to speak commands to their phone in a theatre, but the figure is significantly higher for men at 13.2 percent.
People tend to be most comfortable using voice commands when they are by themselves, then with friends, followed by when they are with people they do not know very well.
High earners lead the way in using voice commands. Those with an income over $100,000 use voice commands with their devices in public places significantly more than other income categories.
Furthermore, 70.6 percent of people said the reason they like to use voice with their personal assistant (Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana) is because "it is fast." However, 70 percent of respondents aged 45 and older said it was because "I don't have to type."
However, we get annoyed if we hear others using voice commands: 41.8 percent of respondents get annoyed by voice use by others in public (they responded agree or strongly agree) compared to 27.9 percent who disagree or strongly disagree.
And 51 percent of participants believe that their personal assistant understands them well or very well. Only 14 percent thought they did so poorly or very poorly.
Over half of respondents (52.1 percent) would like to use voice to unlock their phone. Microsoft Windows Hello uses biometric facial recognition to unlock Windows 10 phones. However, you do need to hold the phone to use this feature.
There is still hope for those of us who prefer to use our fingers to interact with our devices: 80.1 percent of respondents said that they prefer to type their texts in by hand. Only 14.9 percent prefer to use their voice.