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How To Video: Use voice commands on your Android phone
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How To Video: Use voice commands on your Android phone

3:30 /

As Apple announces the Siri voice command system for the iPhone, Android users may be wondering what took them so long. Sharon Vaknin has some tips for using voice recognition to complete helpful tasks, using apps that are available now.

-Hey everyone, I'm Sharon Vaknin for CNET.com and today, I'll show you how to use voice commands on your android phone. When Apple announced Siri, the voice recognition system for the iPhone 4S, every android user was like hello we can do the same thing. Some android phones can stock the proprietary voice command service like Nuance, but I've a couple of other options that I think work much better. Let's start with Google voice search, which uses voice actions to complete your task. If you don't have it yet, download it for free from the market. To get started, press and hold the search button on your android phone called voice search or if your phone doesn't have that button, long press the home screen, select widgets and add the Google search widget. Now, press the microphone and speak a command like get directions to target, you'll driving directions to store near you or e-mail Christopher Parker, subject: hello, message: are we still meeting today? And the phone will compose a message using that format. There are 10 total voice actions that you can use to get things done, which you can view by tapping the microphone, pressing help, and sliding through the options. You will one called note to self. So, if you're driving and a brilliant idea comes to mind, launch voice actions and say no to self. I should start using voice control more often. You'll get an e-mail with the transcription and the voice recording. Voice action is good for basic task, but if you wanted to do more fun things like update your Facebook status or find movie tickets, you should try out with Vlingo. Grab it for the android market and launch it using the search button or other widgets to a home screen. Now, to tap the microphone or long press the search button, select a Vlingo and say a command like by movie tickets for the Lion King in San Francisco. The Vlingo will complete the command and show you all the movie times. If you tap the Vlingo icon, you will see a full list of voice commands and at the bottom there is an option to hear incoming messages, tap it, turn it on, and Vlingo will read incoming text messages out loud to you. -Message, want to get dinner tonight? -To reply by voice, open a text, tap the microphone button, and speak your reply. -Sure, let's meet at 6. -You can also get e-mails played back to you by going to settings, safe reader settings, checking this box here and adding e-mail account. If you like Vlingo more than voice actions, set it as your default app by long pressing the search button, checking this box, and selecting Vlingo. Next time you tap and hold the button, you will immediately be prompted to say a command. Vlingo also has an in car component for hands free commands, which Antuan covered in an episode of Tap That App. -What would like to do? -Play with both of these apps to figure out which one is right for you and realize that they might not always get what you're saying, but they are smart, so the more you use voice commands, the better the apps get and understanding you. If you have any questions or have suggestions for another voice command app leave me a comment on my Facebook page and visit howto.cnet.com for more videos like this. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs.

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