On the new Moto X smartphone, the only thing you have to do to activate the virtual assistant is say "Okay, Google Now." That's it. You don't have to press a button or tap on the display at all. It's always ready for your voice commands via its "Active Listening" feature, making it a truly hands-free experience.
Of course, all Android's can run Google Now and set up reminders and calendar events, but it's not as intuitive as this.
Active Listening will automatically adjust to your current settings. If you're in a meeting (the assistant fetches such data from your calendar), your phone will automatically go into silent mode. The assistant can also detect when you're driving and will automatically read aloud and respond (initial setup required) to incoming messages.
Now, your Samsung Galaxy S3 does come with S Voice, though it does not have a feature like this exactly. But as we've seen in past softModder guides, it's pretty easy to replicate the Moto X's cool functions, whether it's flicking the camera on or installing Active Display like notifications.
Unfortunately, we can't get the exact same hands-free experience as on the Moto X, since there's a special chip installed that allows for it to conduct its awesomeness, but there is a next best thing, and it's called Utter.
Utter! Voice Commands is one of the most comprehensive voice commands programs that you'll find on Google Play—and it's currently free (in beta).
I would advise listening to the voice tutorial as soon as you open Utter for the first time; there are a ton of things that you'll want to get acquainted with. For a more in-depth walkthrough of the features, check out the developer's (Ben Randall) own video below or his post on XDA.
Similar to Moto X's awesome Active Listening feature, you can have Utter available in the background. It will not monitor your current state, but it can be accessed by saying the phrase "Wake Up." Once awakened, you can then give it any number of commands from the extensive commands list.
The application is still in beta and does have some glitches that I noticed. Setting up calendar appointments or events sometimes does not compute, and when playing music the device seems to stutter. However, this may only be a problem with my device or set of commands, so do not take my occurrences as matter-of-fact issues.
For the things that you're not comfortable using Utter with, like calendar requests, you can always rely on Google Now. Yes, you will have to go to the application itself to speak any commands, but it still does a pretty good job.
Plus, Google Now can even remembered my birthday...
Although thats just them using my information to creepily send me a virtual Google cake.
If you were jelly of the automatic message dictation and response on the Moto X, you can get a similar feature using DriveSafe.ly.
DriveSafe.ly reads text messages and emails aloud in real-time and automatically responds (you can toggle this on or off in the settings) without drivers touching the mobile phone.
Tapping the settings button brings up the small pop-up menu where you can manage your preferences.
You can change the amount of words to be read from a text message (25 or less for the free version) or email and alter the audio settings and much more. The free version give you $25.00 dollars worth of credits. Sending a single text message cost 50 cents, so this could run out very quickly. A premium version is also available for a $13.95 annual charge, or by subscription at $3.99 per month.
Or, you can give ReadItToMe a try instead, which even knows how to decipher textspeak and internet jargon. The pro version is much cheaper all around.
Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions.