Thursday, June 18, 2009

Voice Dial options for iPhone 3G

*** NEW LATE BREAKING NEWS - Proper Procedure for BlueAnt V1 @ v5.3 and iPhone G @ OS 3.0 ***

BlueAnt Tech support supplied me with a procedure, so I am paraphrasing below the procedure which has worked for me! (Kyle has described another method in the comments section below the post)

1) Put on the V1 then:

2) Ensure the V1 is in Idle mode - switched ON but not connected to any phone,

3) then click BAB - multi function button - and say “settings menu” then, “reset the V1”.

4) Then turn off the V1. (Good luck with this, I couldn't turn it off, but anyway...)

5) On the IPhone: remove the profile for the V1 on the IPhone by selecting “unpair”.

6) Then remove all numbers in favorites list and turn the IPhone Off and On (I did a hard-power off, that is top/sleep button and menu button at the same time, then slide to turn off)

7) Then pair the V1 with the IPhone and...

8) repopulate the favorites list.

...and Bob is your uncle.

So my original post below stands.

=> original post:

We all know this now, that the iPhone 3G does NOT do voice dial directly from the operating system, even with the new OS 3.0. This is a feature reserved only for the 3GS.

A quick key-word search will make this painfully clear, extremely painful in fact if you didn't have the foresight to check BEFORE you bought your iPhone 3G, which probably lead you here.

Despair not, there are some possibilities:

If it is illegal in your region to handle your phone while driving, like it is for me, I have found the following workaround, while incomplete, does the basics of what I need.

The BlueAnt V1 Voice Controlled Headset. It's not a cheap date though.

When pressing the BlueAnt button on the V1 it accesses the favourites list in the iPhone in the order they're laid out for its speed-dialling feature. Sort your 9 favourites in the proper order and Bob's your uncle. Like I said, this is enough for most of my calls, but there's no navigating through all your contacts.

Speed Dial slot #5, on the V1, is reserved for GOOG-411. So your favourite #5 becomes speed-dial slot #6. No biggy, just have to keep that in mind when putting the list in order.

Downloadable apps from iTunes (as of June 18th, 2009):

Keep in mind that all the apps suggested below require handling of the phone in order to dial, so no Bluetooth access. Personally I can't and won't use any of them while driving. Your own mileage may vary, so check your local laws, and sort out for yourself how dangerous you want to be when driving.

Fonix iSpeak - This one was recommended to me when I squeezed Rogers Wireless for a workaround to what I consider the no-voice dialling design flaw of the 3G.

There are also: Say Who LITE, Vlingo, Voice This from HRL, AdelaVoice Voice Dialer. There may be others.

I honestly had never even thought to check the iPhone for voice dialing capability; it just seemed so obvious a feature to have, but that is completely my bad. So I write this in the hope that I can help some of you out there who are frustrated with this, and maybe with themselves for not checking either.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

iPhone 3G does NOT Voice Dial

=> Click here for voice dial options for the 3G <=)

I bought an iPhone 3G a month ago – actually, one month and one day precisely.

I was looking to replace a really old Palm Pilot V and a p.o.s. Samsung mobile with a single device, and if there were games and videos on it, all the better.

I really wanted a Blackberry, but Bell wouldn't budge on the data-plan that I had to have with it. That is I had to fork over $70 a month. I don't want or need a data plan, and am not prepared to spend the extra 1000$ for the privilege. So I went with Rogers and got the iPhone instead at 40$/mo for three years.

To be honest, I'm a little excited about getting an iPod-like Apple device, as I've heard really glowing reviews about these things.

I quickly discover, however, that the iPhone has one major drawback – it doesn't do voice dial!

This is really a requirement in Quebec where provincial law states that you aren't allowed to mess with your phone while driving. You can talk as long as you aren't holding anything in your hand.

Given that it's really a high-end mobile device, I figured haplessly and without checking that it would obviously have voice dial. To my great chagrin I find it doesn't. Not a big deal, Apple is supposed to have a software update that fixes this particular problem. I wait patiently.

On the eve of 30-day expiration, while I am having supper with friends, the news comes out that the software fix for voice-dialling will not apply to the older 3G phones, making my brand new month-old phone an obsolete boat anchor in the process.

The iPhone 3G will never have voice dial because the software update, the OS 3.0, which has the voice dial feature does not apply to the 3G. The new one, the iPhone 3GS coming out in a week, does have the voice dial feature activated.

Now I'm stuck for 3 years with a major feature design flaw, which feature that I really, really wanted and that was in fact a deal breaker, if I had known.

It is entirely my fault for not checking. I have no one to blame but myself. Nevertheless I am still livid.

I call Future Shop where I am told to fuck off, in no uncertain terms. 30 days is 30 days, but maybe I can call Rogers to plead my case.

Rogers tells me to fuck off in no uncertain terms.

The worst part is that a little voice in my brain was telling me not to buy it right away. But I dismissed it as a long-ago grudge against Apple products.

I had major difficulties with activating the account, I had to visit Future Shop 2 days in a row, and then some issues with acquiring some of the accessories.

For some obscure reason I dismissed all this karma and was hell bent on buying the thing for some utterly stupid use: I just wanted a little entertainment for myself while working at the motocross track this summer.

To make matters worse still, a little over a week ago, someone broke into my truck and stole the car-adaptors for it.

And this week, my beloved iPhone has transmission issues where the party with whom I am trying to speak hear nothing but static. I can hear them just fine.

I shake my head.

For the longest time in my career as a system administrator I would refuse to support Macintoshes, another delightful Apple product, because they were by and large unsupportable in the traditional sense. And now I get bit in the ass by Apple and for the very same reason I refused to support their gear in the past.

I guess they got me in the end, didn't they?

That'll teach me to be magnanimous, in trying to be open minded and give-the-guy-a-chance.