Windows Phone 7 Voice Commands

March 11, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Along with top quality input options such as gestures and the powerful keyboard, Windows Phone 7 features a great voice command system that can be used to provide you with a variety of software options, search options and even the ability to call up contacts with the power of your voice!

Ideal for hands-free use (such as driving) these voice commands are particularly useful for accessing Bing. With voice search you can find hotels and restaurants in your locality, and Windows Phone 7’s localization tools allow this to remain relevant wherever you might have travelled to!

Windows Phone 7 voice commands

Voice Search with Windows Phone 7

Sadly limited to North America, voice search on Windows Phone 7 is a powerful tool that allows verbal interaction with Bing. This allows you to perform searches relating to your location or simply search the web for a specific item.

In order to take advantage of this feature, first hold the Windows button – this instructs the device that you are about to issue a verbal command.

Next, say “Find hp computers” in order to search for computers by HP, or instead of “find” say “Search for hp computers”. Various results will be returned in different categories – a Bing search results page will be displayed, with results split into Web, News and Local.

Use Voice to Call Contacts

Of particular use when driving is the ability to call people by uttering a command. This system works superbly if you have your phone mounted on a dashboard holder with a hands-free system connected.

For instance to instruct your phone to call your secretary, you would hold the Windows button and say “Call secretary”. If there is only one number for the contact stored on your phone this would be enough; however if multiple contact telephone numbers are stored then Windows Phone will advise you of this with an on-screen message. For instance you might have an office number and a mobile number for the contact. To call the office number, just say “Office” – for future use, saying “Call secretary office” will call the office number.

Note that you can also call a phone number – saying “Call 01234 432145”will instruct your phone to call that number.

Launching Apps with Your Voice

Using the same technology and method, you can also launch your favourite Windows Phone 7 apps and games with a simple voice command.

For instance by holding the Windows button and saying “Open Twitter” you can open the popular social networking tool (if you have it installed); this also works for native apps, so you can command “Open calendar” to launch the calendar or “Open settings” to view the Settings screen! (At present there isn’t a Windows Phone app called “sesame”…)

Of course once open apps will require finger interaction. Clearly this is a very useful feature – but be careful not to launch software that you can’t use while driving!

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