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Over the past several weeks, my email productivity has skyrocketed on my commute after the over-the-air update of my Verizon Droid to Android 2.1. As part of this update, Google released a voice-to-text feature that can be used to fill in any text field, most importantly email bodies. Answering emails by voice is natural, like speaking to a person. I respond to emails just as quickly with voice as with typing, but it does require more forethought before composing. It’s a feature I can no longer live without on any mobile device.

Recently, the input mechanisms for computers have changed dramatically with the addition of touch screens and voice to keyboards and mice. Voice and touch screens have promised great innovation for many years, but their true potential has required hardware and software advances that have been been commercialized to great success only very recently. But what a swift change they have made!

Today, my Droid has three input mechanisms: keyboard, touch and voice. Switching between them is effortless and natural. Depending on the length of the content I need to write or whether I am in the car, on the go or in a quiet place, it’s simple to decide which one to use. Accustomed to this modern convenience, I find it’s difficult to return to devices of previous eras. Once beloved, I find my Kindle and it’s scroll wheel a prehistoric, lumbering beast, frustrating to use. 

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3 thoughts on “Responding to emails via voice

  1. I agree with you, especially re: the Kindle. Whenever I use mine I invariably try to touch the screen. I find that more inconvenient than the backlight screen on an iphone/ipad – which is exactly the opinion Amazon is praying against.

  2. intrigued. what is the context? how does the work flow go? are you alone on the road or surrounded by people? Do you digest your emails via voice as well?

  3. There isn’t speech to text, so you do have to look down and read a bit. I’m alone in the car when doing this or walking down the street. It’s a huge time saver.

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