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Five Siri alternatives that give your older iPhone a voice

Elizabeth Fish | Oct. 11, 2011
After last week’s iPhone 4S unveiling, Siri was one of the most talked-about features. With Siri, the iPhone 4S will be able to answer just about anything you ask it, from the weather report to nearby points of interest. It can also read messages and notifications aloud and even let you dictate messages of your own instead of relying on the phone’s on-screen keyboard.

Voice Camera Pro

Unlike the apps above, Voice Camera Pro is designed to help specifically with one native iPhone app: the built-in camera. Instead of tapping around the normal camera app, Voice Camera Pro uses fairly obvious voice commands to launch the app’s camera, take a picture, view your photo library, and share photos. It also adds a few fun extras, such as snapping up to four photos consecutively. In loud conditions, you may need to use an external microphone (such as the headphone, mic, and remote pair your iPhone ships with) to clearly convey your command, but it’s worth a try for $2.

Voice Control

Don’t forget—your iPhone 4 or 3GS already comes with some voice-recognition functionality (as does the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch). The native Voice Control feature should really be given a little more credit—it’s not only good for calling people hands-free, but can also FaceTime contacts (on the iPhone 4) and control your music. Voice Control can additionally list artist names, shuffle playlists, skip tracks, or play music similar to the current song playing. For many users, Voice Control—accessed most easily by holding down the Home button on your device—is quite suitable for their needs.

 

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