This will be a life saver -- literally -- for folks who use their handsets while on the go (driving etc.) and have Bluetooth headsets on. Mango will be taking speech recognition beyond simple app opening commands. Should you receive an SMS, the phone will announce via speech stating who the text is from and ask if you would like to hear it. You will then (should you choose to say so) be listening to the message your contact sent you.
Not only do we have text to voice, but we have voice to text. Should you say "reply" once the phone has completed reading you the message, you can then record your reply and it will preview what you've said. On confirmation the text will be sent to the recipient. All hands-free.
Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
The big question is will the Speech SDK be available to third-party developers so they can incorporate Speech features in their apps.
One question I wish would be answered, is microsoft going to fix the actual SMS display? On my focus, if i have it upright, my keyboard takes up about 60% of the screen, so all I can see is where I am typeing, what was last said, and the time of the message above that one. Dear god if I put it on it's side and try to type with both hands, I can only ever see what i'm typing at that time and if someone messages me, I have to scroll back up to see what was said. I wish they would condense this area down so I can read instead of having such large thick text boxes.
Losing screen real estate to the virtual keyboard is the usual drawback to not having a physical keyboard. It's not something that needs fixing and it's certainly not specific to WinPhones; it's just something you should consider with your next phone (or consider exchanging if you're still within your window).I enjoy the screen real estate, which is why I jumped for the HTC Arrive and I love it. Still, these voice features sound great and I can't wait until we get them.
Excellent feature, love the intuitiveness of it. I frequently miss text messages when I'm out and about listening to music/podcasts and my phone is out of view. Makes perfect sense to make the notification type adapt to the user's mode of interaction with the phone at that moment. It would be nice if you could set this notification for other types of messages from certain people or groups of people.
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