By Adam Z. Lein | January 24, 2013 12:00 PM
Have you ever wanted to use Google Voice while driving by using voice commands and speech recognition? With the new soon-to-be-released version of MetroTalk that’s possible on Windows Phone 8! It was only a few weeks ago when we saw MetroTalk 3.0 add lock screen integration for Google Voice, and now MetroTalk version 3.1 adds voice commands and speech-to-text features that can be accessed from the centralized speech UI built into Windows Phone 8. In other words, this 3rd party Google Voice app can be used by pressing the Bluetooth voice dialing button on your Bluetooth headset. It doesn’t replace your phone’s normal calling and texting features either which means you can use your Google Voice number when you want to or you can use your normal mobile number simply by using different voice commands.
The way it works is essentially the same as how the speech UI works for normal phone calls and text messages except you have to start by saying “MetroTalk” and then follow by a command like “Text so-and-so”. Then MetroTalk launches and listens for the message that you want to send. It will repeat the message that it thinks it heard from you and then allow you to try again, cancel, or send the message. It’s very well done and quite comprehensive. One problem that’s more of a Windows Phone issue is that when you use MetroTalk voice commands to make a call, the operating system requires a confirmation from the user. On one hand that’s a good thing since you may not want 3rd party applications to be calling all sorts of phone numbers by themselves, but on the other hand it means you have to touch a button on the screen to complete a Google Voice call.
MetroTalk is available in the Windows Phone store as a free ad-supported version as well as an ad-free version for $1.49. If you don’t see version 3.1 with speech UI support in the store just yet, try back again in another day or so and look for the update.