Look, No Hands!

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When it comes to operating our smartphones I would be surprised if many of you out there were taking advantage of the plethora of hands free apps available. We have all been tempted to use our phones when we are in the car and utilising that travel time can be a big productivity booster. Here, we take a look at some of the best voice activated apps on the market.

Google Now

Most people would describe Google Now as Google’s version of Siri, actually it goes a lot further than that. You can set reminders, ask basic questions, or use it to send messages all by speaking to it but it also throws information at you that it thinks you might be interested in. Based on your previous searches it may deduce which sports teams you follow, what kind of food you like or your regular routes to work. From there it may offer news about your teams, special offers on in restaurants near you and even advise on traffic conditions before you set off to work! This is both incredible and scary at the same time, soon we won’t have to make decisions because Google can do it for us!

Write SMS by Voice

This imaginatively named app… I’m sure you have guessed by now what it does. The beauty of the app is it is designed specifically for sending text messages by voice and as such has done a slightly better job of it than the personal assistant type apps which try and do a lot all at once. It’s simple, it works and there is a lite version that you can try out for free.

Dragon Mobile Assistant

Made by Nuance the Dragon Mobile Assistant is a bit more simple than the Apple and Google equivalent and even comes with a specific driving mode to allow you to safely use your device on the road. So what does this assistant do that is different? It can update your social networks for you, read your Facebook news feed to you aloud, and share your location with your family or work colleagues—something Google can’t do. It will also learn your voice and so noone else will be able to use it.

Voice on the Go

Voice on the Go has been specifically designed with driver safety in mind. It only does a few key tasks but it does them well. With the app you can listen to email, compose, forward & reply to email, compose text messages, and call contacts. The service is a subscription that starts at £4.99 a month but comes with a number of discounts vouchers for high street retailers.

DriveSafe.ly

Another driving specific app DriveSafe.ly allows you to do all the regular things like messages and email but also allows you to set certain parameters for when the app can be used. So when you are driving and your attention should be on the road it will effectively stop you from touching your phone by locking you out of everything apart from the app. When you stop you can reactivate the rest of the phone and use it as normal.

Siri

The original digital personal assistant Siri has been around for a number of years now and when it first arrived on the scene a few years back everyone hailed the end needing to use your hands with your smartphone… clearly we were all wrong! So how can Siri help you today? With it you can search the web, send messages, make calls, tweet, set calendar reminders, get directions, and play music for a start. I don’t know a lot of people that actually use Siri, but it can certainly be useful for sending a quick message or getting it to read one out when your hands are otherwise occupied.