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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds a lot like sour grapes. The iPhone is by far the best cell phone on the market and is the reason all the other cell phone companies are starting to actually put features in their phones to compete. I do feel bad if voice dialing really was a deal breaker but that's why you do research before you buy a new device.
The great thing about apple is if you got a bad phone (can't hear/static) just return it and they'll give you a new one.

June 17, 2009 8:22 p.m.  
Blogger alupone said...

Yes it does AT&T had it for the Iphone 3G. I have paid for it @ $4.99 / month. Not sour Grapes, but Apple has always for gotten about its existing customers. Only a Jerk Like you would call it Sour Grapes. This could ands has been a life savings feature you moron.

June 18, 2009 1:53 a.m.  
Blogger Steve said...

We don't have AT&T in Canada, it's Rogers and they don't have anything remotely resembling voice-dial on the 3G.

There are a few iStore apps for the iPhone that fake out voice dial, some require pre-recording the contacts, but all require holding the phone in hand... this is illegal and dangerous while driving. One can't just hit the call button on the headset, yet.

Given Apple's final business direction, I'm still hoping for a bluetooth-enabled 3rd party app for voice dial. Maybe soon?

June 18, 2009 9:02 a.m.  
Anonymous Niles said...

Sour grapes or not, the problem is that apple has no reason for not enabling voice dialing on the 3G or any other iphone model for that matter. The device has all the hardware required and the most adaptable interface possible. The only reason apple is not including it is because they didn't have enough features packed into the 3GS to make it a worthy upgrade. The answer wasn't to find a way to make it a more compelling device, but rather to cut otherwise implementable features from the previous models.

I own an iphone, an ipod touch, a mighty mouse, and a mac book pro. I also own a home grown PC, a dell PC, and an HP laptop. I started moving over to apple because the map addicts all told me that the premium i would be paying wasn't just buying into a better product, but a better company. I PCs have never been in the shop. My iphone, ipod touch, and mac book have all been in the shop 2 times or more. My blue tooth might mouse will no longer connect to any computer (the HP or the Mac). Now apple screws 3G iphone users because they can't figure out how else to make the 3GS a better product. I am thinking that after spending over $4500 in one year on apple I am not getting the premium I paid for.

June 19, 2009 12:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are in luck. My iphone 3g had also gone bad as the conversation was not heard by called party. I took it to apple store and they replaced it. So as long as there are apple store in canada they should be willing to help you by exchanging your 3g with 3gs for nominal charge, if any.
The phones have 1-year manufacturer warranty that apple honors.

June 19, 2009 6:15 p.m.  
Blogger R said...

The 3GS sucks as well with voice dial. You cannot initiate a voice dial call from the BT headset controls. You have to start on the Iphone, and you don't hear the voice prompts coming through the BT audio. DOH!!

June 22, 2009 2:53 a.m.  
Blogger Steve said...

Oh wow.

I'm sure voice-dialing from-the-headset on 3GS will be fixed soon... uh, yeah, right. Should be in the next software update, right? Yeah that's it.

Oddly enough, I won't hold my breath this time.

June 22, 2009 10:07 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was all set to buy the 3GS, but lack of support for bluetooth voice dialing is a deal breaker. I live in California, and hands free dialing is required when driving.

I don't understand how anyone in California can buy an Iphone.

Are there any third party apps that will work with the 3GS to enable bluetooth, or is this something that Apple has crippled.

June 28, 2009 8:49 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to jailbreak that beast. I bet dev community will have a patch to enable this on the older iphones soon. Everyone knows that the iPhone is a totally gimped phone, but jailbreaking it turns it into possibly the most powerful smartphone with a huge base of "unauthorized" applications available. All of the new features in the 3.0 firmware were stolen from the efforts of the jailbreak dev team including copy/paste. In fact before the 2.0 firmware the only way to get new apps on your phone was through the jailbreak, then Apple decided they needed to have a little app store to compete with the jailbreakers. Now with each firmware release, they steal a little more from the dev community, but they'll never kill off the jailbreakers because they have such a locked-down platform that it will always be gimped in one way or another. It's all about greed and limiting choices for Apple.

July 02, 2009 4:14 p.m.  
Blogger skins74 said...

I totally understand what most of you are saying. You should all ways completely check out something like this especially with such a commitment. However the way I see it if buy the a car that is known to be the best car out there, you wouldn't expect to have no tires on it. Which is what we have here. Don't get me wrong I love my iPhone. But like a car without tires it then become something pretty to stare at in the drive way. You end up saying things to your non iPhone friends like "yeah but they'll update it." when you know in you heart that it should have been there in the first place. Again the iPhone can do so many other things you can somewhat let go of things like voice dial. But it will always be in the back of your mind as to why it isn't already there. And that same friend you make excuses to has a phone that voice dials, transfers pics over bluetooth, mms, video and he got the phone free with a bag of organges.

July 04, 2009 5:11 a.m.  
Blogger bravebull said...

I have a Cardo Scala S-800 bluetooth headset and can use it to call three of the numbers in my favorites with just one, two or three pushes of a button on the headset. Though this is not "voice dialing", at least I can legally call three of my numbers while driving in my handsfree state.

July 06, 2009 12:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the 3GS does supporrt voice dialing via BT, you need to update the OS to v3.1. apple IMMEDIATELY addressed that bug. Apple doesn't make the hardware, they make the software and all the software running on their hardware runs flawlessly. the hardware is just some made in China shit just like most of everyone elses. thats why I use Nokia...iPhone is only #1 in the north american market, the Nokia N95 is #1 in almost all other markets but still the voice dial lack on it also. the Nokia is smaller and packs more punch than the Apple.

August 04, 2009 9:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said it! For some reason non-thinking people are head over heals in love with the i-phone. I suppose because they are non-thinking people, and get off on cute icons sliding across the screen.

The i-phone lacks basic features that a high end phone should have. Voice dialing. Full blue-tooth support. Replaceable battery. The list goes on and on.

I-phone is a toy that just happens to make phone calls. It is not "the best phone ever".

Unfortunately, finding a really good "smart" phone is getting hard these days. All of the manufacturers seem to be catering to the entertainment crowd instead of looking to build solid phones that are reliable as a phone and business tool.

February 23, 2010 12:48 p.m.  
Anonymous generic cialis said...

Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

November 24, 2010 4:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was gifted with a 3G as a company phone and thus can comment without the bias of 'having been gypped'.

Were I to shop for a phone, voice dialing capability would be an expectation, an automatic assumption for all but the most feature-limited 'kid' phones.

Voice dialing has long-since become ubiquitous in the mobile phone market. Granted, hardware based speech recognition is faster, more reliable and more accurate, but the 'limited' capacity of the 3G (to hear Apple tell it) is still more than capable of recognizing 'Call Dave'.

IMHO, many of Apple's decisions are based more on market share in units sold and in ensuring that it's stock chart continues to ramp upwards.

I've stayed away from Apple products since my first computer (a Commodore 64), after experiencing a friends Apple II.

If I had been shopping for phones and bought this one, then discovered the lack of voice dialing, it would have been returned before the battery had been fully charged.

December 02, 2010 10:55 a.m.  

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