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voice control (voice assistance)

Voice control, also called voice assistance, is a user interface that allows hands-free operation of a digital device. Voice control does not require an internet connection to work. Communication is one way (person to device) and all processing is done locally.

Voice control is an assistive technology that's built into most mobile operating systems. Typically, the feature is not turned on by default. Instead, the user has to look for it in settings and turn it on.

The technology is designed to work with Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana and can perform many of the same tasks. Popular commands for voice control on a mobile phone include:

  • Swipe right
  • Scroll down
  • Turn up volume
  • Mute sound
  • Open _______ (app)
  • Go back
  • Take screenshot
  • Rotate to landscape
  • Make emergency call.

Voice control uses natural language processing and speech synthesis to provide aid to users. Some operating systems allow the user to customize commands. The video below provides instructions for how to use Voice Control in iOS 14.

This was last updated in August 2017

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