Voice control may sound fascinating to you. The ability to speak instructions to a mobile phone is so James Bond that anyone should be excited about it. If you live in a country like Nigeria, you may want to rethink the practicality of this feature though. Why?, You may ask me. The answer stares you in the face: look around you: we are a noisy country. Insert “very” before the “country”.
I try saying “Okay Google Now,” but there is a sputtering, wheezing Tiger generator at the back of the house that muffles everything I say. The Tiger is ours. It is a very small one. Under the noise of the puny thing, it is pretty tough getting voice commands recognised. The neighbours have a much larger one that drones everything. Consider that we have become ingenious at using the big gen’s noise to cover up Mrs. Mo’s ecstatic utterances when the spirit gets to moving, and you might as well forget about using voice control when Biggie is on. Then there are other generators from other neighbours….
If you own an air-conditioned car, you are not the average Nigerian. Have you ever tried using voice commands in Lagos traffic with your car windows down? Or even on a freeway with your car windows down? Now, try using voice commands in a danfo or BRT bus during rush hour. Or at Jankara market or any other market for that matter. Or during a football match. You have got to be kidding me. You know how it is taking a call is in such conditions.
Truth is, if you are unable to use voice commands in the above scenarios, it is pretty much useless for the most part. It remains a gimmick that you will soon forget about and go about using your mobile phone the regular way. It is a different story if like me you live on a quiet secluded island in the Caribbean…
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.