Vocal Offers Mac Voice Control via iPhone 4S

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    When the original iPhone was released, it had no third-party apps, no voice control, no games, and no to-do list -- among many other things. But it was still revolutionary, completely different than what came before, and over time many of its shortcomings were addressed by hardware and software updates.

    The same is true of Siri now. It has very little in the way of third-party integration, and there are many things that it cannot do -- but there is much promise. One piece of evidence to this future potential is Vocal, a new app that allows voice control of a Mac from a Siri-equipped iPhone 4S.

    Vocal works by pairing a free application that installs on the Mac with a $1.99 app that is downloaded from the App Store. It allows the user to send commands and dictate text straight to the Mac, using the voice recognition feature on the iPhone 4S.

    Lex Friedman at Macworld used his copy of Vocal to "control iTunes; send emails and tweets; look up definitions; select, copy, and paste text; search Amazon and Google; print; and create new documents." He reports that some commands are more successful than others, but on the whole:
    The app updates its library of commands over the air, making updates and new feature additions easy for Vocal's creator, Matthew Roberts. He explained the thinking behind the software to The Next Web:
    Vocal is available for the iPhone 4S on the App Store for $1.99 [Direct Link] and the free companion app for the Mac is available directly from Vocal's website.

    Article Link: Vocal Offers Mac Voice Control via iPhone 4S
  2. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Shows pretty clearly the direction in which the device interface wind is blowing.

    Nice to see development in this area (expect to see much more), but I'll wait for Apple's own implementation of it.
  3. BanterClaus macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    This is awesome. With this ingenius input method it's literally possible to get Siri to do just about anything!
  4. Nobita macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    La la land
    Wow, this is really slick. It won't be long until you can say: "Send this excel file to my boss and protect it with his public key".
  5. HackerJL macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2009
    No luck myself with it. Cant get it to connect, tried 3 different networks, etc. See when I get home.
  6. appleguy123 macrumors 603


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    That's awesome! I hope it works as well as advertised.
  7. Force332 macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2011
    That is neat and all but if he really didn't have much time like he said, (I know this is just a demo) wouldn't it have been easier to do this the old fashioned way?
  8. tarasis macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2007
    Here, there and everywhere
    That looks surprisingly neat and for $2 hard to resist trying out.
  9. brettr macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2010
    Even if you did have a lot of time, why would you want to go through all of this?
  10. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    worth the $2!

    even if you just use this to dictate text to emails or docs, it's worth the $2.

    I've been looking for this functionality.

    Sure, it's not perfect, but give it time.

    A solid 1st time go around however!

    Great app!
  11. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Now I need to upgrade to a 4S! Damn, this would go nicely with my Mac Mini HTPC. I would use it to download files, play music or whatever without having to turn on my TV. Then when I want to watch something, just tell it to open up Safari for Hulu or Netflix.

    Search American Dad on Netflix, play Season 2 Episode 5. *drool
  12. jclardy macrumors 68030


    Oct 6, 2008
    I'll be waiting for Apple's implementation of Siri on the mac. This is cool, but it needs to be integrated deeper into the OS to become more useful.

    As a developer it will be nice to be able to be typing code and say, "Siri, look up the documentation for this class" and have it find it for me without me having to move my hands from the keyboard. Also for issue tracking, being able to say something like, "Siri, add a new issue to my current project named ..." and have it create a new issue on GitHub or whatever you use. By doing it off the top of your head you don't lose your train of thought as you open a browser, navigate to the project, open the issue tracker and type out the issue. Also it would be great for commenting code as you are typing it.

    Of course this will take a lot of third party integration but it will be there one day soon.

    Rather than having my voice commands being the primary interface, I would want it to be in the background, doing the menial tasks that would otherwise distract from the task at hand.
  13. pmz macrumors 68000

    Nov 18, 2009
    For pure dictation, this is really great.

    For laziness, this is really great.

    For actually accomplishing tasks faster, this is useless.
  14. appleguy123 macrumors 603


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    inb4 it's removed because it hurts the sales of Nuances non-free products available for Mac.
  15. tarasis macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2007
    Here, there and everywhere
    Ah misread - thought you where referring to a user "inb4" as opposed to short cutting the English.
  16. norrismantooth macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Took 3 minutes to do what I could've done in 30 seconds.
  17. dethmaShine macrumors 68000

    Apr 13, 2010
    Into the lungs of Hell
  18. skwllboy69 macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009

    I can't seem to be able to connect my 4S to my Macbook pro. any ideas on how to help me ?
  19. DocNYz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2008
    East Coast, USA
    This is part of the vision Steve had since the 80's, it's definitely heading that way don't worry, everyone seems to keep forgetting Siri is still in "beta" ...

    It's going to be awesome in the future when you can just say those macro, conceptual commands that really encompass a crap load of actual actions and the computer/device does it all for you, correctly, without you having to think at all what you're saying to it or how you phrase it.

    Also just checked their official website and the ability to add "custom bookmarks" / commands is going to be very useful.


    It also says that if you want a new command, email them and they'll "add it instantly, over the air, to Vocal for Mac."
  20. flottenheimer macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2008
    Up north
    Pretty soon Siri will be integrated into all Mac products. The Mac, iPad, Apple TV, iPod.

    To work more naturally it needs to become way faster and it needs to not be dependant on me pressing a button when I want to give commands (that will requre a lot of work on the intelligence - but a simple implementation where it constantly listens for the word Siri could also work, I guess).

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