Voice Shortcuts Launcher: Personalizing your voice commands

September 20, 2012
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The beauty of newer smartphones is that you don’t need to cramp your fingers by navigating menus by physical buttons. Just use your fingers to swipe and tap and you can breeze through the various functions of your phone. There are days, however, where you feel so worn out from the week that don’t want to expend more energy than you need to. Don’t you just wish you could control your phone with your mind?

Technology hasn’t gotten that far yet, but there’s definitely an app that will help you launch certain applications when you don’t want to swipe and tap. Developed by Project Trinity, Voice Shortcuts Launcher doesn’t require you to touch your phone’s screen to perform certain functions. That is, except to tap on the app’s widget on your home screen.

Like it says on the tin, you can launch things using your voice. This concept is not new and some virtual assistant apps can already do this for you, but Voice Shortcuts Launcher is an app that you can customize to your needs. And it doesn’t talk back, which is certainly a plus in my book.

When you first launch the app, there will be no commands available. Start populating it by tapping Add Voice and when the app prompts you, speak to it. Say “E-mail” perhaps and once the app has recognized your speech, associate an action to your voice prompt, such as your e-mail inbox. During my test run with Voice Shortcuts Launcher on our HTC Sensation test device, I added the “Email” command which was linked to the Gmail app and “Drop box” which was linked with, you guessed it, Dropbox.

Voice Shortcuts Launcher isn’t just limited to associating voice commands with apps. You can also access contacts with a spoken word. Imagine how easy it would be to call your workmate when you are too sick to navigate your address book.

Now that you have some voice commands saved, it’s time to put them to use. You have the option to tap Run on the app to launch your apps using your voice commands, but who wants to be limited to that? Add Voice Shortcuts Laucnher’s widget to your home screen so when you tap it, you can immediately speak to it and tell it what to do.

I highly suggest enunciating properly when you add voice commands to Voice Shortcuts Launcher’s repertoire. I mumbled a few times when I attempted to add voice commands and the app did not recognize my words properly. When I attempted to launch the apps using my voice, I was successful a number of times. Unfortunately, I was not able to test mumbling my voice commands but I highly suggest enunciating properly anyway.

Voice Shortcuts Launcher is a free app but it is ad-supported. Ads appear at the bottom of the screen but are far away from the app’s Add Voice and Run buttons. At the moment, there is no free ads-free version of the app but if ads don’t bother you, this is certainly a hands-free way of interacting with your phone.

Launch apps with the power of your voice with Voice Shortcuts Launcher. You can download it for free from the Google Play Store.

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