We know you’re good at talking *on* your phone, but are you talking enough *at* your phone? We live and Tweet by our tech, and our smartphones are smart for a reason and yet we still do a lot of the work. Let them help you cross off your to do list, be the personal assistant you wish you had and prove you right when you’re in a heated debate about exactly what Britney is tasting in “Toxic” (a “poison paradise,” duh). To get you more acquainted with your phone’s talking capabilities beyond the occasional call, here are eight of our favorite things you should be telling your right (or left!) hand gadget to do for you.
First of all, figure out how to summon your smartphone. We took Motorola’s Moto X and its Moto Voice for a spin with the help of our resident tech expert Lisa Raphael. This Android smartphone has a fun twist on the traditional voice control function — you set up a phrase so your Moto X knows when you need it to listen to you without having to press any buttons. You could set it up so that every time you say “Hey there girl,” “Listen up, phone” it knows you need it.
To summon Siri, you press down your iPhone’s home button. If you’re plugged into power, you can even use Siri in handsfree mode (most helpful when you’re driving and she is mapping your route). Cortana is there to help after tapping the search button on your Windows Phone or holding it down to launch the feature in listening mode. Got your phone’s voice assistant ready for your command? Let’s do this.
1. Say Hey to Your Friend in London… Or the One You’re Late to Meet: Texting can be tough when you’re running from A to B. Maybe your hands are filled with groceries, you’re trying to do five things at once or perhaps you’re even on your bike! Dictate a “thought of you today” message to a BFF across the country on WhatsApp or a quick text to tell your pal when you’re five minutes away from their apartment. Even if you’re more, like, eight… or fifteen minutes away.
2. Post Your Facebook Status: Trying to avoid Scandal spoilers (What!? Our friends on the East Coast watch it THREE HOURS before us!) but still want to make a joke to your FB friends about Jake’s dance moves in that last ep? Post a status to Facebook in a snap over voice control.
3. Help Prove You Right: Guys. Googling was so 2013. Now when you need a little friendly fact checking (you know what we’re talking about — heated pop culture debates that just need a little back up from a handy dandy search across the Interwebz), your phone is your source of information. Simply ask your phone those hard hitting questions, and let it do the dirty work for you. Perfect your “told you so” shrug now.
4. Get Me to Brunch: Whether you’re driving or walking, ask your phone to navigate the best way to get there.
5. Remind Me to Send Grandma a Birthday Card: It’s time to bring “note to self” back. Reminders are a #girlboss’s best friend so set them up whenever a light bulb goes off.
6. Play Taylor Swift. Again: Or any artist… but we know you want to watch the “Blank Space” video at least one more time. Co-DJ with your smartphone and ask her to open YouTube and queue up TayTay ASAP… without even touching your phone. That’s right — you can queue up any song you want totally hands-free.
7. Take an Epic Selfie: We love a good photo op, but would rather concentrate more on our pose than our tech. Ask your smartphone to take a selfie for you, so you don’t risk missing your good side while you fumble for the button.
8. Shut Up: Way harsh, Tai. But f’reals, as much as you love that lil gadget, sometimes you need it to shh for a sec. Moto X will adapt to you, which means it will learn to go silent during your meetings, lunches and other appointments. Not only is this clever, but it means that less people will accidentally discover that “No Flex Zone” is your anthem, er, ringtone.
What do YOU tell your phone to do? Tell US below ;) And follow hashtag #mymotox on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see how other folks are talking to their phones.
This post is a collaboration with Moto X.