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iPhone Software 3.0 may offer voice control, dialing - report

post #1 of 90
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A new report is backing rumors of Voice Dialing support inside betas of Apple's iPhone 3.0 Software but adds that capability may be just one of several features included in a new Voice Services framework that may also facilitate voice control of the new OS.

Adding to discoveries of "Voice Control" preferences within the International preferences of the upcoming release, contacts speaking to Ars have located a number of function calls to voice control features apparently nicknamed "Jibbler."

While details are few and far between, the features appear to tie into the new version of the Springboard application that serves as the iPhone's home screen and application launcher. In particular, references to VSSpeechSynthesizer, VSRecognitionSession, SBVoiceControlDisableHandlerActions, SBSensitiveJibblerEnabled, and SBVoiceControlSoundCompletion were uncovered.

While those methods appears to be private at this time, meaning they're accessible to Apple but not third-party developers, it's speculated that they could initially provide support for Voice Dialing on current and future iPhone handsets. In addition, they could also provide an alternative means of controlling the iPhone's Springboard services.

"Jibbler may be controlled via the iPhone headset -- button squeezes could be used to record short voice segments from the user, which Jibbler will then interpret," the report notes. "Voice synthesis can then be used to give the user a response, similar to the latest generation iPod shuffle, which can 'read' playlists and track names -- the difference being that the iPhone hardware itself could handle real-time voice synthesis."

Apple has said it plans to release iPhone Software 3.0 sometime this summer as a free upgrade for all current iPhone owners. A distribution for iPod touch users will cost $10.
post #2 of 90
Voice dialing is something I've missed since switching to iPhone. Now if they could only make a decent ring tone that is loud enough to hear when the phone is in my pocket. I've pretty much given up on ever answering calls since I don't hear them ring most of the time anyway. Maybe I'm just getting hard of hearing...

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post #3 of 90
I'm so impressed- iPhone is finally getting all these phone features that everyone's had for years.
post #4 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Maybe I'm just getting hard of hearing...

Pardon?
post #5 of 90
I am amazed Apple doesn't post OS V3.0 in the app store and charge $5 for it. A very easy $50,000,000 indeed. It would still be a steal and only people here and other Apple forums would complain!
post #6 of 90
The iPhone could handle reading the iPod playlists and track names on the fly, but I think the simpler, more elegant solution is to do it ahead of time on your Mac/PC, like the Shuffle. But I would also like an API so developers can leverage the text-to-speech within a 3rd-party app, too.

The squeezing of the iPhone headphone is a bit of concern because the microphone is situated right where you squeeze the center. It' possible to not cover it, but you have to press it in the right position. Unless they change the headphone design it would seem to be to not be ideal.

PS: I also think that voice recognition and/or on-the-fly text-to-speech may only be available for the next iPhone due to an already constrained system.
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post #7 of 90
For a while I've had the idea to have the iPhone tell me the time, for example when running or doing something that prevents you from checking your watch while listening to music. You just squeeze the control button, say "What time is it" and the iPhone/iPod would answer "It is ten fifteen am", and then resume the music. It should be no problem to do this in other languages. But alas, I am not a programmer...
post #8 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Voice dialing is something I've missed since switching to iPhone. Now if they could only make a decent ring tone that is loud enough to hear when the phone is in my pocket. I've pretty much given up on ever answering calls since I don't hear them ring most of the time anyway. Maybe I'm just getting hard of hearing...

I agree, I almost always miss my calls - either it's too quiet or I've accidentally switched it to silent as I put it in my pocket...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roos24 View Post

For a while I've had the idea to have the iPhone tell me the time, for example when running or doing something that prevents you from checking your watch while listening to music. You just squeeze the control button, say "What time is it" and the iPhone/iPod would answer "It is ten fifteen am", and then resume the music. It should be no problem to do this in other languages. But alas, I am not a programmer...

OS 8 and 9 (and 7?) supported that. You could say things like "Tell me a joke" and it'd tell you a really bad joke. It'd certainly have it's use on the iPhone if it worked reliably.
post #9 of 90
This is well needed even over cut and past... This feature making using a phone so much easier and faster.

The simple fact that it does not have tradition keyboard it is a required feature when trying to drive and make a call. At least a phone with a keypad you can always feel and dial and not have to look at the phone.
post #10 of 90
The loudest ring-tone on the iPhone, in my opinion, is Old Phone.

I'm sooo glad we're going to finally get voice dialing!
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post #11 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I am amazed Apple doesn't post OS V3.0 in the app store and charge $5 for it. A very easy $50,000,000 indeed. It would still be a steal and only people here and other Apple forums would complain!

x-many iPod Touches times $10. I think 13M units of them were sold at last count. If 80% buy the update that is $104,000,000.

What surprised me is not the free update to the original iPhone when it's over the two-year hump. past the contract period and past the 24-month SOx accounting model. My best guess is that Apple is trying to spin the rest of the industry to follow with long-term, rich updates, too.
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post #12 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I am amazed Apple doesn't post OS V3.0 in the app store and charge $5 for it. A very easy $50,000,000 indeed. It would still be a steal and only people here and other Apple forums would complain!

I have a better one- post a Take 3 for Apple TV (it's been 1 yr 3mos and counting since Take 2) with Safari in it. Charge $15 and see how fast that would sell. I would buy it in an instant.
post #13 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I am amazed Apple doesn't post OS V3.0 in the app store and charge $5 for it. A very easy $50,000,000 indeed. It would still be a steal and only people here and other Apple forums would complain!

Agreed and thanks Apple for not, as of this moment, following your suggestion!

Re: ringtone being low - MStone - research shows that we lose the high end of the spectrum as we age (read: listened to Rock & Rock, Rap, Ect. at high volumes when young). NY Times (can't find the link) did an article on this that included an MP3 to test your hearing. I tried it on my laptop speakers - nothing. Put on Bose headset and could barely hear the high pitch. It is said that kids have very high freq ringtones that adults can't hear (no kids, don't know about this). Makes sense.

Have your tried the Alarm ring tone? I have my iPhone set on vibrate as well as ring tone - that helps most of the time.

Way to go Apple!
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post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I'm so impressed- iPhone is finally getting all these phone features that everyone's had for years.

Hey smart pants, try to build a phone from scratch yourself. Apple has to go around all the patents and rules that other phone companies have and make things on their own.

Steve's vision of an iPhone was to make it as simple as possible so that anyone and their grandmother can use it.
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post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

The loudest ring-tone on the iPhone, in my opinion, is Old Phone.

I'm sooo glad we're going to finally get voice dialing!

I love Old Phone and find Alarm to much louder! Obnoxious as well!
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post #16 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

x-many iPod Touches times $10. I think 13M units of them were sold at last count. If 80% buy the update that is $104,000,000.

.

I thought it was $20 last time?
post #17 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

This is well needed even over cut and past... This feature making using a phone so much easier and faster.

I think that API for 3rd-party HW is so much bigger than cut/copy/paste. That is going to be huge. I think that all handheld device manufacturers need to watch out. They could easily get trounced by start-ups using the iPhone/Touch to build a better device.

Personally, I think the shake to undo feature is more important than cut/copy/paste. I've certainly used it a lot more since installing the Betas.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

The loudest ring-tone on the iPhone, in my opinion, is Old Phone.

That must be why I have never had an issue with it.
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post #18 of 90
Does this mean we can ask the phone politely to copy and paste?
"Please copy web address"
"Please paste in e-mail"

If we ask politely, will it then do the functions we've been wanting for a while?

Funny... I've had these voice features on other phones for a long time now. I know a few people who use the voice dial function religiously. Others like me never touched it. Glad to know they are bringing that feature along.
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post #19 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Hey smart pants, try to build a phone from scratch yourself. Apple has to go around all the patents and rules that other phone companies have and make things on their own.

Steve's vision of an iPhone was to make it as simple as possible so that anyone and their grandmother can use it.


The best part of this is talking to people with Blackberry's about iApp envy. Seems they'd happily trade voice activated commands just to have ANY user created apps. Brilliant stroke Apple - just brilliant. Thanks also to all the iPhone app developers!
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post #20 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I thought it was $20 last time?

The first update in January 2008 was $20 and included a whooping 5 additional apps that could have easily been included with the original iPod Touch. This was still within v1.x.

For v2.0 they made the update $10. I am assuming they will make the next one $10, as well.

http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/softwareupdate.html
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post #21 of 90
As someone who uses voice command constantly on my windows mobile phone, I can say with 100% certainty you guys will LOVE IT.

It's going to make your life so much easier. On my phone, I hold down the send key and I can say anything from "Call Bob Stevens" to "What's my battery level?" I can even launch applications and run media with it.

Apple should have no problem doing all that and more. The only complaint I've ever bad about voice command is how background noise can interfere with it. I bet if Apple puts some time into it, they can put in some kind of noise cancellation.
post #22 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ByronVanArsdale View Post

The best part of this is talking to people with Blackberry's about iApp envy. Seems they'd happily trade voice activated commands just to have ANY user created apps. Brilliant stroke Apple - just brilliant. Thanks also to all the iPhone app developers!

Then WHY DON'T they? Simple- because their Blackberrys are usually corporate tools and their corporate owners a.) need a reliable carrier, b) want their phones easily serviced and 3) don't want clogware Apps on a corporate phone.
post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The first update in January 2008 was $20 and included a whooping 5 additional apps that could have easily been included with the original iPod Touch. This was still within v1.x.

For v2.0 they made the update $10. I am assuming they will make the next one $10, as well.

*

http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/softwareupdate.html

Wait a second, it cost money just to update the software? You're talking about just on the ipod touch right? Not the iphone as well?
post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Steve's vision of an iPhone was to make it as simple as possible so that anyone and their grandmother can use it.

So typing in the phone number rather than speaking for the last 2 years is simpler?
post #25 of 90
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post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Then WHY DON'T they? Simple- because their Blackberrys are usually corporate tools and their corporate owners a.) need a reliable carrier, b) want their phones easily serviced and 3) don't want clogware Apps on a corporate phone.

As previously discussed many times, there are many companies shifting to the iPhone completely or allowing their employees to choose. The ones that are shifting completely are finding that it's cheaper than using RiM's expensive HW, expensive per unit licensing, and single point of failure for all data transmitted and/or the iPhone SDK is giving them opportunities they never had before.

Your comment about Blackberries needing a reliable carrier doesn't hold water as AT&T sells Blackberries. That is not to say that AT&T's network is perfect, is good in your area, or the best choice for everyone. But neither is Verizon, or Sprint or T-Mobile. There are pros and cons to everything, things are not so simple as to be black and white all the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iStink View Post

Wait a second, it cost money just to update the software? You're talking about just on the ipod touch right? Not the iphone as well?

Yes, just for the Touch.
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post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Voice dialing is something I've missed since switching to iPhone. Now if they could only make a decent ring tone that is loud enough to hear when the phone is in my pocket. I've pretty much given up on ever answering calls since I don't hear them ring most of the time anyway. Maybe I'm just getting hard of hearing...

I have this problem all the time as well, but even though I am not young myself I am pretty sure it's the iPhone at fault and not your hearing. As one gets older one loses the high frequencies, but you have to have some serious hearing issue to have the whole world go quiet.

One HUGE functional problem I have with the iPhone in this regard is that there are actually two volumes on it not one, but the iPhone only has a single volume control that decides on the basis of context which volume to adjust. This means that one can often turn down the volume of the ringer by mistake thinking one is turning down the overall volume or turn down the overall volume thinking one is merely turning down the ringer.

A second problem is that the "silent" switch is way too easy to trigger. Given that I don't go to many meetings, I basically never have a need to use this switch but I pick up the iPhone on a regular basis to discover that it's been switched on for who knows how long and that I've missed calls.

The silent switch is one of the few physical switches on the iPhone as a sop to business and to venues like movies where they want you to turn off your phone. Given how infrequently it's used by the average person it would be totally workable to have the switch in software only but it's a physical switch so that when a security guard or a cop walks up to you and asks you turn off your phone, that you can't use the excuse of not knowing where the switch is.

One more annoyance that results from our security obsessed, conflict-centred world.
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post #28 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

So typing in the phone number rather than speaking for the last 2 years is simpler?

Simpler for Apple to focus on their core first. This was there first phone, they were told by everyone they were going to fail. Same thing with the retail stores, but they started small and worked there way out as they got a handle on things. Making cut/copy/paste and voice dialing on a device with no buttons can't be easy to do from scratch. It's taken immolators over 2 years to blatantly copy the iPhone and they still aren't to market (I'm looking at you Miezu).

There is still an issue with how voice dialing would work the current model. I see no easy button to push to make it feasible for everyday use. I think they will need to add a button and I think they will be releasing a new BT headset and headphone/mic that has this capability.
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post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The first update in January 2008 was $20 and included a whooping 5 additional apps that could have easily been included with the original iPod Touch. This was still within v1.x.

For v2.0 they made the update $10. I am assuming they will make the next one $10, as well.

http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/softwareupdate.html

In all fairness, the original $20 update was made long before the app store got going and we had an idea of the intrinsic value or the market-based worth of iPhone applications.
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post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Voice dialing is something I've missed since switching to iPhone. Now if they could only make a decent ring tone that is loud enough to hear when the phone is in my pocket. I've pretty much given up on ever answering calls since I don't hear them ring most of the time anyway. Maybe I'm just getting hard of hearing...

Just make a good loud ringtone with GarageBand either from a song you like or from your own recording and have that for your ringtone. It works wonders for my father to have his screaming grandson calling hiim to answer quickly his iphone! In garagBand you can manually increase the output volume.
post #31 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

As previously discussed many times, there are many companies shifting to the iPhone completely or allowing their employees to choose. The ones that are shifting completely are finding that it's cheaper than using RiM's expensive HW, expensive per unit licensing, and single point of failure for all data transmitted and/or the iPhone SDK is giving them opportunities they never had before.

Your comment about Blackberries needing a reliable carrier doesn't hold water as AT&T sells Blackberries. That is not to say that AT&T's network is perfect, is good in your area, or the best choice for everyone. But neither is Verizon, or Sprint or T-Mobile. There are pros and cons to everything, things are not so simple as to be black and white all the time.

Well in NYC it does matter- as most corporate Blackberries used are from Verizon- it simply has a better track record here. Which companies allow employees to change carriers and/or phones if they have a corporate rate with another? RIM's hardware is more expensive than iPhone's? Where is that documented?
post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

In all fairness, the original $20 update was made long before the app store got going and we had an idea of the intrinsic value or the market-based worth of iPhone applications.

The SDK was announced in October 2007 and stated to be available in February 2008, the five app iPod Touch update was available in January 2008 at MWSF, the SDK was delayed but made available in March 2008 and the App Store went live in July 2008.

Funny how in retrospect so little time has actually passed between the original iPhone release and the SDK announcement, but boy was it an area of contention for a long time.
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post #33 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I'm so impressed- iPhone is finally getting all these phone features that everyone's had for years.

I'm not an Apple apologist by any means, but Apple is choosing to build a real mobile computing platform rather than just another phone built with whatever components and software happen to exist in the marketplace at the time.

It's the dedication to building something with an eye for the future, rather than creating throwaway technology, which tends to make new features take a bit longer. That and navigating the minefield of patents, as someone else mentioned.

I'm sure when voice control capabilities come to the iPhone/iPod Touch, they'll go far beyond simple voice dialing, and there'll be an easy way for application developers to take advantage of voice control in their apps. Likely with a way to add your own voice commands to the predefined set. Possibly even with a speech-to-text interface for message composition/email/notes. That's my wishlist anyways...
 
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post #34 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Well in NYC it does matter- as most corporate Blackberries used are from Verizon- it simply has a better track record here. Which companies allow employees to change carriers and/or phones if they have a corporate rate with another? RIM's hardware is more expensive than iPhone's? Where is that documented?

That is NYC. AT&T needs to up their network, which partly means more bandwidth and partly means using the better 850MHz spectrum over 700MHz. Or People that want to use Verizon's network won't be able to use the iPhone, but to suggest that people don't use Blackberries on AT&T isn't true. Anecdotal experiences often don't make for a sound argument regarding the whole.

RiM requires server-side HW to connect to a company's Exchange server. This server pushes for RiM to Canada and then to all Blackberries. This was a great setup years ago but it's a bit antiquated and expensive. In these economic times and with smartphones developing even faster these days, I foresee RiM having to change their business model and lower prices to stay competitive. They don't make their money on selling a few million handsets, it's from getting that data pushed to their handsets.
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post #35 of 90
Have you seen the Blackberry site lately?

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/

I can't quite put my finger on it but something seems rather familiar.

Hmmm!

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Then WHY DON'T they? Simple- because their Blackberrys are usually corporate tools and their corporate owners...

...don't want clogware Apps on a corporate phone.
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post #36 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Have you seen the Blackberry site lately?

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/

I can't quite put my finger on it but something seems rather familiar.

Hmmm!

I like RiM's site better than Apple's. Too much clutter on Apple's site.
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post #37 of 90
They don't have one of these either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I like RiM's site better than Apple's. Too much clutter on Apple's site.
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post #38 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvavvas View Post

Just make a good loud ringtone with GarageBand either from a song you like or from your own recording and have that for your ringtone. It works wonders for my father to have his screaming grandson calling hiim to answer quickly his iphone! In garagBand you can manually increase the output volume.

the problem with using any kind of loud ring-tone is that when you have a headset on and the phone rings it's like driving spikes into your eardrums. Even the "classic" phone ring offered by Apple as one of the choices is way too loud on a headset.

Personally I hate phone calls and "phoning" people, and much prefer email, text, or any of the more literary communication methods, but this volume problem is really an inherent flaw of the "my phone is also a media player" concept. As long as the phone needs to ring when laying on a table loud enough to be heard across the room, but also be used on a headset at a something like a tenth of that volume, the problem will always be with us.

I am hoping against hope that the next iPhone will use the second backlight notification system Apple recently patented so I don't have to actually answer the phone anymore and just have to remember to look at it every once in a while to see if anyone called.
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post #39 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvavvas View Post

Just make a good loud ringtone with GarageBand either from a song you like or from your own recording and have that for your ringtone. It works wonders for my father to have his screaming grandson calling hiim to answer quickly his iphone! In garagBand you can manually increase the output volume.

I have a ring tone which I made but exactly how do you install it on the phone?

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post #40 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Voice dialing is something I've missed since switching to iPhone. Now if they could only make a decent ring tone that is loud enough to hear when the phone is in my pocket. I've pretty much given up on ever answering calls since I don't hear them ring most of the time anyway. Maybe I'm just getting hard of hearing...

That's why I have my BT headset on all the time - I can't hear the phone while it's in my pocket... but in my case I KNOW I'm hard of hearing.
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