Voice Dialing in the works for webOS | webOS Nation

Voice Dialing in the works for webOS 67

by Jason Robitaille Wed, 10 Feb 2010 10:02 am EST

While looking over webOS files for my Really Silent Ringer Switch Mute patch, I happened to notice something I must have missed many times before.  The file, /usr/lib/luna/system/luna-systemui/app/controllers/bar-assistant.js is used for many many patches, but tucked away in this javascript file, in the audioInit function, is this Mojo service call:

this.audioVoiceDialingNotificationSession = new Mojo.Service.Request('palm://com.palm.audio/voiceDialing', {
        method: 'status',
        parameters: {"subscribe":true},
        onSuccess: this.handleVoiceDialingAudioNotifications.bind(this)});

The way the audio (volume, mute, etc.) is currently managed by service calls to com.palm.audio with separate subsections for the different areas of audio (system sounds, phone audio, media audio, ringtone audio, etc.). Evidently this seems to indicate a voiceDialing subsection has been set up, although isn't currently used (obviously).

That's not all. As our very own Jonathan Ezor has pointed out to me, more voice dialing references can be found in the ALSA configuration file at /etc/asound.conf and in a few files in /etc/audio/b/.

A bit much information for the average user, but the point is this: Palm has had voice dialing in mind for a while now. Obviously they're a small company and need to direct their focus as best as possible. CES showed us what they've been working on for some time now. While it's extremely doubtful voice dialing will make it for webOS 1.4, it's pretty obvious it's on their mind and they do intend to add it at some time in the future.



What I am waiting for is a way to record my phone conversations. That is the only thing that I am lacking from my Treo, which used to record all incoming and outgoing calls automatically.

Ditto, me too from my Treo 680 days :)

callrec is a must have for me over any other app from palm right now

absolutely. This app needs to be addressed by Palm, & soon.

I was also a user of CallRec, a wonderful application. Not only did it automatically record all calls, you could also record the surroundings, like a face to face meeting or a lecture for example, or make a quick audio note to yourself. This ability was huge for me. It is the final "catch up" for me on webOS, all the other enhancements and abilities are gravy.

How about recording them using Google voice and the gdial app?

Isn't google voice only for incoming calls? So it doesn't work for me especially since less than 1% of my calls are done to my google voice number.

I'm right there with you. This feature can save your life.

No seriously it really can. Say in the court room.

Of course it's illegal in many US and international courts to record the proceedings - especially without the knowledge of the judge.

Just saying.

good catch Jason and Jonathan! i look forward to seeing what other surprises are still left under the hood

Now we're talkin'!! (and the Pre will finally be able to listen!)

The webOS 1.4 update will open up the use of the mic. and with it, a Shazam app, Voice memos, Call recorder, (CallRec?), Voice dialing/app launching, are all possible!

Very nice. Very nice indeed.

Yeah, it's fair to assume microphone access is in the cards for the new sdk. You can't record video without microphone access (well, technically, you can...)

Recording phone calls. Even my Razr could do it !

very very excited! Palm is doing such a great job! I really appreciate how well they have kept this OS updated! it's like the phone keeps getting Newer! IF they keep this up I'm sure when my contract is up it will be another Palm device for me! ? Love you Palm ?

They arent doing such a great job.. They're doing a shit job.. It should have been in the phone from the beginning.. Just like proxy support on wifi networks should have been.. Just like proper bluetooth car kit support.. All of which, 8 months after launch, are not.

Shoot kid, Aren't you glad the first generation of their new phones didn't:

- Cost $600, with a $200 price drop soon after
- get released without 3G access
- Take 2 years to get MMS and Copy/paste
- take 2 years to get video recording

I could go on - but you get the picture?...

I bought my phone as is. All these updates are gravy. If you wanted more, you should buy more. Palm is doing a great job. Most other phone companies would just put out a new phone with video recording. It's nice Palm continues to take care of their customers.

"but i don't know how to choose a phone based on my needs".

Then choose something like the Palm Pre smartphone that is fun and easy to use. Has an awesome camera for taking sharp, beautiful and well exposed pictures. It runs 3D games. It runs multiple applications at the same time. Will run Flash 10.1 to access over 100,000 Flash games on the Internet, plus run Flash videos smoothly. Has a built-in keyboard that slides under the screen. Has a Touchstone back-cover so you don't have to connect your phone with a cable to the outlet to charge it. Simply place your phone on the Touchstone base and it starts to charge automatically upon contact. The Palm Pre phone gets major new features (such as video recording) add practically on a monthly basis (10 updates in 8 months). Plus the phone updates its operating system (webOS) over the air without having to connect the phone using a cable to your computer.

-1 What are you talking about?

great news I love my pre and it keeps getting better

icing on the cake, being my pre

This is a great find guys. Are all of these references to voicedialing pointing to anything on the phone that has actually been implemented, just not exposed? In other words, could a homebrewer take advantage of any of this now like was done for Precorder or is it all just placeholder code?

btw, minor grammatical error. I think the word "is" is missing (bolded below):

The way the audio (volume, mute, etc.) is currently managed is by service calls to com.palm.audio with separate subsections for the different areas of audio (system sounds, phone audio, media audio, ringtone audio, etc.).

Wow, the WebOS 1.4 update will bring us Video and Calendar improvements! And in the future we might see Voice Dialing, the Pre might finally catch up to the "Smart-ness" of my Treo!

I guess you're set for life, since you have everything you need in a phone. This article is about a webOS device that has multitasking and an acclaimed operating system.

Excellent, I hope this comes soon so I can use it with my new Blueant bluetooth speakerphone! Great find Jason and Jon! Keep up the amazing work.

this is a huge thing for me, I miss being able to voice dial with my BT headset. Once you get used to dialing with your voice you can't go back.

That's great. I'm glad WebOS is adding another useful feature. But ummmmm....Am I the only one waiting for a voice memo app?

That's great! Now just keep it free (i remember my Centro charged for Voice dialing if i remember correctly) and allow the microphone to be used for other apps (Shazam). Also, I think you guys should do a programing tutorial, because I want to program but I'm a little lost.

I also would love to see some "speech to text", and "text to speech" functionality come to the Pre.

These features, usually reserved for the blind, and those with limited sight, will be useful for sighted users, while driving, where one shouldn't be trying to focus on a small screen.

I'd love to be able to double press the press the power button/volume button, to activate a voice activated "speech to text" app, to "dictate" a quick text. Or, be able to have the option to have incoming text messages "read aloud" by the
Pre, again, great when driving.

Oh, and BTW, and off topic), if you haven't checked out the beta YouView app (visual voicemai), you should! (You need to set up a free YouMail.com account, and that's where you need to go to get contacts configured correctly until webOS 1.4 drops)

...it's going to be a great app for webOS - the ability to set custom, or "smart" greetings for contacts, as well as the "ditch" feature for unwanted callers,all for free, make it a "must have" for me. (Text transcriptions of voice mails for a fee is available), It is going to be released to the app catalog once webOS 1.4 fixes an issue with contact syncing.

...another reason this is a big update!

Thank you for the YouView tip, ToddK. That's exactly what I was looking for.

Doesn't Google Voice do all that. I know mine does.

This is good news indeed. If and when voice dialing and/or recording comes to the pre, it would be nice if apps such as Dragon Dictation (currently for the iphone) will also be made available in the app catalog.

Bring it on! Voice dialing is a must! Used it every single day for years with my trusty old TREO 650 and I miss that app the most with my new PRE.

Your right kcspre.Voicedialing would make my jabra sp700 bt visorspeaker an absolute joy to use. love it already though.

Suggested campaign slogan for Palm (inspired by an old BASF commercial):

Palm doesn't do everything the Droid does.
Palm does everything the Droid does, better.

That is a great idea. Only problem is....thats not true. As much as I love my Pre, unless Palm starts making it more responsive and better speed all over, I'll take the Droid. If only Verizons prices weren't ridiculous..... and I dont like how they send the same text message 3 times....

I'd be happy to have an intelligent debate on that topic with you. Hop on over to http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pre/229773-palm-doesnt-do-everything-d....

Send the same text message 3 times -- what are you referring to? I have never had that happen on my Sprint-based Pre.


wrong even at this early and non complete stage the pre is still a better phone then most phones out there def the droid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB9bxFe15jk. Once the GPU is implemented hopefully with 1.4 or soon after there will be no slow down due to the graphics handling the pixelizations like it was intended to.

Oh boy, I cant wait for the frustration.

Call Keith.
Beep - Did you say call Teeth ?

Call Keeeetthhh
Beep - Did you say call jeep?

My Palm Pre will finally be just like my 2003 Moto Razor with both video recording and voice dialing. What a smart phone!

The new voice recognition software is light years better than in the "old" days, I'm confident It will work as well, or better than, some of the others I've used.

I know a blind person that uses a voice dialing app on her BB, and it works great.

When Palm adds voice-dialing to WebOS, I'm hoping they include good old-fashion voice tags. Advanced voice-dialing was never 100%, whereas my experience with voice tags was significantly better. I don't mind at all about having to train my phone with my voice, after all, I'm the only one that uses it. Luckily, my Parrot Minikit Slim bluetooth speakerphone has voice tags, so I never really missed the lack of that feature on my Pre (and I only really need it in the car).

So it seems we are within just a few more WebOS releases of Palm having implemented all of the expected features of a Smartphone, combined with all the cool new unexpected or improved features, all within one year of launching the phone on June 6, 2009.

Good plan, great execution

Now if we could just get them to nail the marketing campaign side of the house...

Unless you are being sarcastic,i disagree. People lost interest when they saw it wasnt "up to par" right away. Palm lost a lot of people by putting out an incomplete phone.

No, I am not being sarcastic at all.

The features they had day one were enough to make me and my wife switch from our Treo700w/Motorola Razr phones on Verizon to the Pre on Sprint. We were Verizon customers for 10 years.

For me, the way the UI handled multi-tasked apps was the killer feature. Second was Synergy -- I had mail/contact/calendar/chat accounts spread across Facebook, Exchange, Google, LinkedIn, AIM). Now it's all in one place. Thirdly was the Homebrew apps and patches.

Combined with the great plans and pricing of Sprint -- and I was sold.

Now I get awesome 3D games, and Video Recording and Flash are on their way. This phone just keeps getting better.

could of cost a lot more by holding on to it and going bankrupt while baking in Voice Dialing...

I agree fully. Apple took so long to bring their phone up to par. They JUST got video and MMS. I am expecting to see huge advertising, now that they have apps, 3d games, and video.

Audiopro69 we need you to come up with an advertisement...for the other guys!

Voice-activated dialing should have been included from the start. This is a feature that is included many lower-end phones.

Don't just sit around and wait for it, though. Tell Palm to add the feature today:

Palm will stay a small company unless they sell more phones.
They will sell more phones by giving us what we want.

I recently had to recommend a Samsung Android Phone to my daughter-she wouldn't be satisfied with the PRE

BUSINESS Apps (why all the effort into 3D games?)
Where is Docs 2 Go (their "LAUNCH" partner) ?
A FAST dedicated gmail app.
Control of SMS and Incoming calls with Blocks and Alerts
BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP - Can't trust info on phone without syncing to the desktop.
The Classic Program syncs some of my Files by WiFi, you're telling me the PRE can't do this ?
Transfer files by Bluetooth
Voice dialing would be great especially with new State Driving laws

RELEASE the APIs!!!!

(Yes, I'm patched to the hilt....)

I REALLY Miss my Treo 700p


What exactly would a "fast dedicated gmail app" do differently? You can do almost everything with IMAP, and I for one would prefer general improvements to the email app that benefit all users, and I use Gmail exclusively these days.

There is nothing wrong with recommending the Samsung phone. I love the durability of Samsung. Not all people would want a Pre, even with all your listed functions. My wife will always be a blackberry person, no matter what the Pre does. For business though, the Android would not be my choice. It would be blackberry or Palm.
1. BUSINESS Apps - Yes they need more.
Docs 2 Go - who knows, maybe before too long............
A FAST dedicated gmail app - Why? The e-mail on the Pre is great, you can look at them as a whole or break down by e-mail address. Also, the web based Gmail is fairly good and responsive.
BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP - have this through Google for address book. They are never going to let you backup the apps. They are in the cloud. Other docs can be backed up through USB.
Control of SMS and Incoming calls with Blocks and Alerts - have this through google Voice and Youmail.
syncs some of my Files by WiFi (or blue tooth) - this is definitely needed, it should be noted though that the iPhone also has issues with this. My buddy gripes all the time.
Voice dialing - if it works. I

but you can list the same concerns on every phone out there, so whats your beef im confused. Though Palm addresses these issues faster, and more efficently then any other company has hence the outrages amount of updates since launch. The phone was incomplete when it came out, but palm had to release it since they were money poor, and needed to enter the market(smart idea in my opinion). Now its like the tortus and the heir the heir of course being android and palm the tortus, but in this story the tortus has more endorence and the rabbit will fall asleep really fast (hence the nexus one selling only 80k units so far in one month double wood)

It wasn't incomplete - it was what it was. Buy it or don't - your choice but don't bitch to us about it.

If it didn't have the features you expected maybe you should have tried reading the available information before purchasing?

I brought it for what was in the box when I brought it. If you brought it for something else then I suspect that's more your problem than mine.

What I got was everything I expected plus a whole lot of extra stuff for free over the last six months. Pretty happy am I.

'outrages [sic] number of updates' Yep, I'd rather sit around for a few years waiting for iPhone problems to be fixed. Anyone? Who's with me?

Everyone has problems, but not everybody fixes them promptly. Seems strange to complain about Palm fixing them but I guess it takes all kinds...

So this is what I told Palm: In the past voice recording was a top business priority, in which was available on your Treo models. Since the invention of your latest line of Smartphones, people are still waiting for this update. I have had my phone for five months with the promise of this capability and still not seen results. I have chosen the Palm Pre because of Palm's history of electronic devices being capable of keeping up with the fast paced lives of business people. To be frank, I am disappointed. I see apps being created such as Talladega Nights and Bogus Caller, which have nothing to do with business productivity. Other smartphones, such as Android and iPhone have this included. I would think this would be a top priority for Palm. This feature was available on the "has been" phones of the past but is not included on your smartphone of the future. Ditto for document editing. These are no brainers! Lets get with it, shall we?

Thanks Techie for that link.

It makes me happy that the boys have set a fine resident homebrewer such as JR up to post articles on here. They always make my day!

Thanks, Jason!

I can't believe I am the first to bring this up, but...

If the Pre Plus on Verizon has voice dialing, then Palm already enabled that on Verizon's version of With that being said, they already have ALL of the code done for enabling it on 1.4 (maybe a few modifications might be necessary), and as such, we should see it in 1.4.

Now, if Verizon's Pre Pluses don't have voice dialing, then we can still expect it to come as the Verizon Pre Pluses were listed as coming with it.

Geez. In the article that says Voice Dialing is almost certainly coming, half of you are STILL complaining about "how it should have been there from the start." What is wrong with you people??

email on the pre is terrible, we certainly need a gmail app. The mobile gmail webpage is poop. you have to hit refresh all the time, or it doesn't render properly. Syncing takes basically all day with the email program. Perhaps there's a workaround, but I didn't need any workarounds with gmail on my katana. Just get a gmail app. If your satisfied with out it, good for you. I'm always thinking if I had realized how much better the android gmail experience would be (downloading files, viewing images, serverside search) I would have gone that way. Hopefully palm will catch up.

umm maybe the gmail is better on android because its ummm Google. I'm not sure what your looking for, though most people believe the email is fine including me. I'm sure there still making different gmail apps, and will soon please you and anyone else who has a problem with the current one. Of course you could go get you a nexus one, since it seems there in need of more sales help then the lotis lg (nexus one 80k sold)

You know I didn't realize how useful voice dailing is until I notice I didn't have when I was on the road the other day. I am glad to see that palm is picking up the game. I am very happy that I did not switch to the hero, I know the Pre has lots of tricks up its sleeve.

I really really miss voice dialing. The short-key press and hold only works intermittently for me and is limited in the number of contacts. I loved voice dialing on previous phones...most of them not nearly as capable as the Pre.

Let's see it! (say-it?)

I don't see how you would activate this feature. Especially since the pre plus removed the center button. It wouldn't make much sense to have to activate this feature somewhere on the touchscreen, because most of us would want to activate this hands free, like when the phone is locked, so you would need a hardware button.

And what I really need is voice memos.

The center button is still there on the Pre Plus, it is no longer a physical button but is now more of a touch screen button of sorts (I forget what they call it now exactly).

Great news even for the Plus! I can't wait to see many more updates, and the area that was replaced by the touch is called the gesture area...