Mobility

Configure Samsung's S Voice for a more efficient mobile experience

Jack Wallen highlights some of the S Voice capability, and how you can use this tool to make your mobile experience even more efficient.

If you've purchased a new Samsung mobile, like the Galaxy S III, then you have a voice command tool that can make your mobile life incredibly more efficient. With S Voice, you can command your phone to do your bidding — even from the lock screen!

Out of the box, S Voice works great, but there are ways to make it even better. By default, here's what S Voice can do:

  • Voice dial (sample "Call Chauncy mobile")
  • Text message (sample "Text Chauncy message, 'Are you free tonight for dinner?'")
  • Search Contacts (sample "Look up Chauncy")
  • Navigate (sample "Navigate to Louisville, Kentucky")
  • Memo (sample "Memo Send Chauncy a birthday card")
  • Schedule (sample "New event Lunch with Chauncy August fourth at 1PM")
  • Task (sample "New task Finish Chauncy birthday gift")
  • Music (sample "Play playlist Chauncy's favorites")
  • Social update (sample "Twitter update Happy birthday Chauncy!")
  • Search (sample "Search origin of name Chauncy")
  • Open app (sample "Open Facebook")
  • Record voice (sample "I am recording my voice for Chauncy")
  • Driving mode (sample "Driving mode on/off")
  • Set alarm (sample "Set alarm for 6:00 AM")
  • Timer (sample "Set timer for 60 minutes")
  • Weather (sample "What is the weather for today?")
  • Simple settings controls (sample "Turn Wi-Fi on/off")
  • Get an answer (sample "How man gold medals has the U.S. Olympic team won?")
  • Local listing (sample "Find restaurants")

Now, let's take a look at some configurations that can help S Voice become even more efficient for you.

Wake up command

This is one of the coolest features of S Voice. Instead of having to unlock your screen, open up the S Voice application, and then speaking your command, you can configure S Voice to wake up (and be at the ready) from the lock screen. Here's how to pull this off:

  1. Open up S Voice
  2. Tap the menu button
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap the Wake up command (make sure it's checked)
  5. Tap Wake up in Samsung unlock (make sure it's checked)
  6. Tap Set wake-up command
  7. In the Set wake-up command window (Figure A), tap Wake up S Voice
  8. Figure A

    The S Voice on the Verizon-branded Galaxy S III.
  9. If you've already set the command, tap Change command
  10. Tap the speaker button (Figure B) and repeat the command four times
Figure B

As the screen says, make sure the command is a 3-5 syllable word (or words), otherwise the command won't register.
After you've successfully added the command, you can test it by tapping the power button on your phone and then tapping it again. From the lock screen (Figure C), speak the unlock command you just recorded, and S Voice should open immediately. Figure C

If you don't want to go immediately to S Voice, just swipe the screen as you normally would.

From the Set wake-up command screen, you can also set commands for other functions, including:

  • Check for missed calls
  • Check for missed messages
  • Open camera
  • Check schedule
  • Play music
  • Record voice

Each of the above functions can be activated from the lock screen by setting a simple voice command.

There's one caveat to enabling the wake-up from lock function. It sets the mic to listen at all times, which will quickly drain your battery. You can get around this by enabling the Only listen while charging function. This means the wake up command will only work when the device is plugged in for charging.

In order to enable this feature, do the following:

  1. Open S Voice
  2. Tap the menu button
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Only listen while charging (make sure it's checked)

That's it.

Locale and social settings

If you plan on using your home address with S Voice, you'll need to enter that information in the Setting window first. Here's how:

  1. Open S Voice
  2. Tap the menu button
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Scroll down to the Home Address section
  5. Tap Home Address
  6. Enter your home address
  7. Tap OK

Now, you can speak commands like "Navigate to Home Address," and the navigation app will open with directions from your current location.

You can also integrate S Voice into your social applications (like Twitter and Facebook). To do this, you must authenticate to the application you want to use from within the S Voice settings. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Open up S Voice
  2. Tap the menu button
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Scroll down to the Social Settings section
  5. Tap on the app you want to integrate, and enter your authentication credentials for that app

Once this is done, when you speak a command like "Twitter update The Galaxy S3 rocks," it will post it to your account.

The Samsung S Voice application is an amazing tool that will go a long way to make sure your Samsung Galaxy mobile experience is extremely efficient. If you are the proud owner of a Galaxy S III, make sure you give S Voice a try. Once you get used to the tool, you won't look back.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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