Voice Control for iPhone and iPod touch | iLounge Tips

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Voice Control for iPhone and iPod touch


New iPhone and iPod touch owners, did you know that holding down the Home button for three seconds at any time - including when the screen is off - activates your device’s Voice Control mode? Wait for the beep, then say “Play songs by The Beatles.” Your iPod or iPhone will recognize your voice and say, “Playing songs by The Beatles,” then start playback. This works on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch 3G (using microphone headset), and iPod touch 4G, and is extremely handy in a car.

Additionally, iPhone users can hold down the Home Button for three seconds, wait for the beep, and say “Call [Person’s Name] - Home” or “Call [Person’s Name] - Work.” The iPhone will automatically recognize your voice and the name, then call the person based on the type of phone number you specify. Voice Control lets you speak phone numbers, too: “Dial 716-123-4567.” It’s pretty accurate, so long as you remember to say the initial command. Other possible commands are shown on the screen while the iPhone or iPod analyzes your voice.

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You can also hold down the center (or only, depending on the style) button on the earbud control/mic and get the same result. It’s super nice when walking outside in freezing weather. I just wish I could get the current time like I can on the Mac.

Posted by Mike on April 14, 2011 at 1:40 AM (CDT)


I think my favorite use for this is asking the time when I’m wandering around and don’t want to pull the phone out. Unless someone is nearby.

Posted by R Derp on April 14, 2011 at 3:49 AM (CDT)


I have tried using this and have only bad experiences. Either it fails to understand what I am saying, or it does something different. Usually it tries to call someone instead of playing a song. Even when I tried to demonstrate the feature for a friend it started calling someone. So it doesn’t even work as a novelty. At least not for me….I work and move around in areas with a lot of background noise, if I should find a fault that’s not with the iPhone.

Posted by Chris B on April 14, 2011 at 5:43 AM (CDT)


[email protected], you totally can, I just did it the other day! Just said “Time” and it gave it to me.

I have yet to have it correctly interpret what band I want it to play music by, though.

Posted by Skwid on April 14, 2011 at 11:59 AM (CDT)


Hello, and welcome to iOS 3.0, circa 6/17/2009. How is this “news,” or even a “tip?”

Posted by Farnsworth on April 14, 2011 at 1:58 PM (CDT)



Jeez, dude. This is a helpful tip! I’ve been using an iPod touch and now an iPhone for years and didn’t know about this. Now, you could chalk that up to me being dumb—and you might have a point ;) Still, I bet there’s a lot of people who don’t know about this. No need to be so mean.

Posted by Clint on April 14, 2011 at 2:44 PM (CDT)



It’s not News - it’s a new bi-weekly tip for new(ish) readers and users of Apple’s devices. Obviously, as with any tips, some of our readers will be well acquainted with them, and some won’t, and it’s the latter group whom we’re hoping will benefit from this new feature.

Posted by Charles Starrett on April 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM (CDT)


I’ll take it a step further. Not only did I not know I could already do this, but I had been actively looking for an App that would! Not all of us are capable of memorizing the user manuals, and everyone has to learn things at their own pace. I enjoy and appreciate good usable tips like this!

Posted by Todd Eastman on April 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM (CDT)


You can initiate a FaceTime call with your iPod touch 4th generation as well. Just say “Facetime[Person’s name]

Posted by caspersoong on April 15, 2011 at 9:02 PM (CDT)


@9 Why would you want to make a facetime call when you have to hold the device up and look at the camera anyway?

Posted by Nobody on December 15, 2011 at 9:21 PM (CST)


Why Does nobody post this?
YOu can also ask it what time it is!

Posted by Your Mom on May 17, 2012 at 11:56 PM (CDT)


Sooo, the bottom touch part of the ipod no longer works so I cannot unlock it but i can listen to music by using the voice command. My problem is, that I am now “stuck” only listening to playlists and such. I really would like to listen to all my songs without having to keep telling it to choose a different artist or playlist. PLEASEEEEEEEEE HELPPP!

Posted by PLEASE HELP ME on September 7, 2012 at 5:21 PM (CDT)

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