Voice Dialing is one of the more useful features missing from the iPhone. Users therefore have been turning to the App Store for a voice dialing app that is both reasonably priced and accurate at the same time. Perhaps one of the most popular ones at the moment is Say Who, a free app that works reasonably well. The simple interface works well especially when you are trying to make a call while driving. Once the app starts, you can press down anywhere on the screen and say your contact’s name. Say Who will accept first and/or last names, nicknames as well as digits of the contact. When a contact is found, the default setting of AutoDial will automatically connect you to the first of the results found in about 3 seconds. Turning AutoDial off will allow you to choose which of the returned contacts you want to dial.
Performance wise, I found Say Who to be quite accurate. I would say that about 9 out of 10 times the app returned the contact I wanted to call. It may not be the first on the list of contacts found, but it is there. If a contact has several different numbers, you can narrow the search down by saying ‘cell phone’, ‘home’ along with the name as well. One of the major concerns for those using this app is that you need network connectivity for it to work. Excuse Me Services, makers of this app, claim that the iPhone cannot handle the processing power required for analyzing your speech. Therefore your voice is sent to their servers to perform the recognition. This whole process hinges on your how zippy your 3G network is. On average, Say Who was able to return contact results in about 5 secs. At one point, my network was acting up and results took anywhere from 7 to as much as 15 seconds.
What about security? Is your privacy at risk by using Say Who? Not according to Excuse Me Services. I emailed them about this issue and was told that nothing is ever stored on their severs. On their website, they have this to say:
We do not collect personal information (and as such, definitely do not rent, sell, or share your information). For a complete policy on privacy with Dial Directions
There you have it. If they say so, it must be true right? Right??? I am sure no matter how many promises and official statements are made, there will be users out there not willing to risk their data being sent off to third party servers. I for one will be using this app as long as its free, especially for when I am driving. I don’t really mind the 5 second wait to find a contact. Better this than having one eye on the road while the other digs through contacts.