PdaNet (the add-on application by June Fabrics Technology Inc.) came to the rescue one more time (see day #15 when I used it with the Treo 700w). I reinstalled PdaNet today and therefore was able to use the Motorola Q as a modem to connect my laptop to the Internet. With the Verizon broadband network, I am able now to connect at broadband speed.
Recording voice memos
Another thing I did today is record some voice memos on the Motorola Q which was quick and easy. From the Start folder, you select the Voice Notes icon, and then press the left button to record. The sound quality was okay but not great. I haven’t compared it side-by-side to the Treo 700 sound quality, or the iPod voice recorder that I recently got from Belkin, but I think it is comparable.
The voice recognition application however on the Motorola Q seems to be quite impressive. I probably will need more time with it to see if I continue to use it, but it seems to be very practical and my first impressions are quite positive. Once you start the voice recognition application from the Start folder, it prompts you to say something, and you have several commands that you choose from including the “Call a name or number”.
So if you say “Call John Smith”, it searches your contacts, and tries to find a match. In the three times I tired it, it found the exact matches. It asks you then to confirm that the match is correct by saying “yes”, “no”, or “repeat”. Then it looks up the phone number(s), and it asks you to choose whether you want to call the home, work, or mobile number, also by saying “work”, “home”, or “mobile”, and then it dials the number.
You can set up a speed dial for a phone number, but you can also setup a speed dial to launch an application such as starting e-mail, calendar, or any other application in the Start folder. With the Motorola Q, you assign a number to a speed dial (instead of a letter) which can be a single or double digit number. Number “1” is reserved for calling your voice mail.
The way you invoke the speed dial is by pressing the number you assign and holding it for an extra second or two. If it is a double digit number, you press the first digit and release it, and then press and hold the second digit. I used for instance number “3” as the speed dial to launch Internet Explorer. So now from the home screen, I can press 3 and hold it for a second or two in order to browse the Internet.
Setting up a speed dial to call my office voice mail? not really!
When working with the Treo 700, I was able to create a speed dial which, not only dials the phone number, but then waits for the line to pick up and dials extra digits such as voice mail system commands, a password, and so on. Therefore by pressing one single key, I was able to pretty much relax and wait for technology to do the work, and then listen to my voice mail. Not only this, with the Treo 700, I was also able to setup a speed dial that included a calling card number, a PIN number, and an international phone number with automatic pauses in between (see day #7 and day #16).
Unfortunately entering pauses and extensions doesn’t seem to work with the Motorola Q. When I entered the pauses and extensions, the Motorola Q didn’t wait for the line to pick up, so it kept on dialing. Not very useful. I tried to find a workaround, but so far, I haven’t been able to find any documentation relating to this issue.
Speed dial + Voice recognition + Bluetooth headset = True hand-free operation
By setting up a new speed dial that launches the voice recognition application, and after having setup the Bluetooth headset (which was quite easy), now I am always one digit away (only one digit) from a true hands-free experience with access to all the contacts in my contacts list. Not bad!
More on navigation and usability
The back button on the Motorola Q seems to be pretty helpful. It takes you back to the previous screen, similar to what the browser “back” button does when browsing the Internet. I found myself using the back button frequently to track my path and get to a previous screen that I want to use again.
Having a “forward” button would have been helpful as well but the home button and the list of most recently used applications in the home screen give you a similar effect. Overall I continue to be quite pleased with the ease of navigation and the usability of the Motorola Q.
As I mentioned when I started to use the device, the Motorola Q proves that not all Windows Mobile implementations are exactly the same. I find the Motorola Q implementation to be simpler and more efficient than the Treo 700w implementation. However we should keep in mind that the Motorola Q is also not as full featured as the Treo 700w and that exactly where the the trade-off is. I will be commenting more on this tomorrow, which is the last day for the Motorola Q. And then, I will move to a new device as the experiment continues.