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I'm new to Android, just purchased a Sony Xperia Arc S.

So far I haven't been able to figure out how to do voice dialing (in car etc.). I've read that you can use Google Voice Search, but this fails if there is no data connection (and why do I need to send data to Google for an internal operation like this?).

Perhaps I am missing something? ( My 6 year old nokia feature phone does this :/ )

UPDATE:

It seems that the 'google voice search' way is the only method on this phone, so I've tried it out. However it doesn't seem to work for me (just comes up with 'did you mean', and a list of unrelated terms) - perhaps its an accent thing. So I'm still looking - currently I'm unable to dial while driving, which is pretty important to me.

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Have you tried Vlingo… Use its in-car mode too... –  Sachin Shekhar Apr 19 '12 at 10:25
    
@SachinShekhar - No, I'll take a look - thanks. –  UpTheCreek Apr 19 '12 at 10:30
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Regarding the Internet requirement, the voice processing is done on Google server so needs Internet. –  roxan Apr 19 '12 at 10:46
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@roxan - yeah I assumed so, but I don't want to share this information with Google. These phones are more than capable of processing voice locally - it's disappointing that there doesn't seem to be such a capability built into Android :( –  UpTheCreek Apr 19 '12 at 10:55
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3 Answers

"Voice Control without Internet by K&J Software" app seems like all you'll need.

Description from the Play Store:-

Unlike most voice applications on the the market which require internet connection, this application installs a light-weight speech recognizer on your phone, so it can run locally WITHOUT internet connection. You can make your own speech commands to start an app, call a friend or browse a website. Speech commands can be defined by phonetic alphabets, so it literally supports any language.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.KnJSoftware.VoiceCommander&hl=en

I haven't tried it out yet, but it looks promising and has decent ratings. Not sure how well it performs..

It also seems you can set the "voice dialing feature" through this app. Hope it works out well! :)

Note: Free version has a few limitations.

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Looks interesting - thanks –  UpTheCreek May 21 '12 at 11:00
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Last time I checked hands-free voice dialing is not possible with Android.

http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=9817

Put simply, Android is NOT car-friendly telephone.

In fact, Android phones may be banned from use while driving in some states, as Android does not support hands-free operation.

Perhaps, nothing wrong with that if we consider it as just a small internet tablet and not demand full telephony capabilities from it.

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If you enter the dialpad to call, you should see a microphone icon that you can click to voice dial. You can also add a voice dial icon to your home screen.

As for needing a data connection, it's not the processing that's the issue - it's the amount of data that would need to be stored on your phone in order to do that processing that's the problem.

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Thanks, I'll try that. I don't buy your comment about the amount of space required on the phone for voice dialing though - my ancient Nokia phone is able to do this. –  UpTheCreek Apr 19 '12 at 11:50
    
Just checked - there's no microphone icon on the dialpad screen on my phone :/ –  UpTheCreek Apr 19 '12 at 11:55
    
Perhaps your phone doesn't support voice dialing then? –  Logos Apr 19 '12 at 15:43
    
I can't comment on your Nokia, but I do know that Google's processing employs a huge database to compare the sample you submit to it. I imagine part of the reason for it is simply a different design philosophy: Google makes cloud-based software services, and Nokia most likely produced an app exclusively for their own brand in a time when cell bandwidth either didn't exist or was expensive as heck. –  Logos Apr 19 '12 at 15:46
    
The Nokia approach was very simple. You record a 'tag' and it tries to match what you say to the (v. small!) db of recorded tags (no voice-to-text required). Google however seem to be using their general purpose voice-to-text service for this, which must match multiple accents etc. (so yeah, that's going to be big). One could argue that a general voice-to-text system is complete overkill for a voice dialing system, and less fit for purpose (e.g. it can't deal with foreign name pronunciation). –  UpTheCreek Apr 19 '12 at 16:03
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