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21 posts


#115937 12-Apr-2013 14:38
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I am a new (but 'older') iPhone 5 owner and completely hooked on its functionality, design and overall presentation.

However I am irritated by the Voice Control (VC) feature, in particular its ability to entirely circumvent the Passcode, its ability to be turned off entirely and its very poor speech recognition capability.

Here's my experience and results; I have owned many ipods over the years with the main purpose being to listen to music and podcasts in bed, using the timer function to stop the playback, usually after I am well asleep. In this regard I use the iPhone in a similar manner, setting it up on Timer then activating the Passlock and plugging in my buds.

Recently a friend texted me to say that I had called her at 3:41am - "was I OK and what was the call about?" I consulted the user manual (not too savvy in the early days of ownership) re obtaining call logs and she was right - there was a call entry to her there at 3:41am, and more concerning, there were at least 5x calls to places all over the world, none of which were known to me or my Contacts.

Now I read elsewhere that these calls are most likely to have been placed by VC outside the Passlock
although there is no way I could construct these numbers and speak them in my dreams (or nightmares!). This is presumably caused by my moving during sleep and the button getting 'leaned' on inadvertently for several seconds causing VC to kick in.

Now I have the Dial Out feature in VC disabled, however now I get the dulcet tones of the announcer telling me that the Dial Out feature has been disabled.

I conducted some rudimentary tests with VC and Dial Out enabled - it seems that white noise (hissing into the mic or rubbing the phone over the bedclothes) will easily provoke VC into dialing a Contact or constructing some random number and dialing it up (hence the overseas dial up entries). Also whistling the first 6x notes of the Star Spangled Banner (or any other tune) will get it going too.

On can only imagine the uproar if the phone dialed out to someone during more hectic bedroom activity!

This is a serious security breach of my iPhone - anyone could pick up my Passlocked phone, start up VC and provoke it into dialing one of my contacts, then as a joke or maliciously, sounding off a string of abuse or threats in my name. Proving to the police or others, that was not me becomes an up hill battle.

Dial Out has to remain OFF at all times which makes the whole VC experience rather pointless (not to mention its ability to sound off in my ear in the small hours of the morning). Apple's IOS engineers need to include user switches to control this feature.

I have a similar complaint with the Camera being available outside the Passlock - anyone could pick up my iPhone and take a few obscene or illegal photographs which are then added to my Camera Roll and will end up in the Cloud - worse I could be showing friends and family my latest holiday snaps on the 64" LCD TV only to be confronted with the 'other' pictures in the slideshow - nice!



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Ultimate Geek


  #798472 12-Apr-2013 15:46
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Hi - I'm sure that Apple won't be happy that you aren't enjoying your persoanl assistant AKA Siri. I do find it to be a useful feature when I want to initiate and dictate a text to someone, ask it to play a particular song or make a phonecall while I'm using my computer, etc. but if you don't want to use it and find that it's making prank calls then you might prefer to turn Siri off under your settings.
It seems odd that this has happened to you as it requires quite a deliberate push of the home button or middle section of the earbud control. Under the passcode lock settings you can remove Siri's functions when the phone is locked if you'd prefer.
Regarding the speech recognition in general - have you tried altering the input language? I seem to have good success with the 'Australian' setting but others seem to be better 'understood' with either 'UK' or 'US' language settings. I seem to remember reading that it also has the ability to 'learn' your speech, so perhaps it gets better with use.
I would suggest that if your phone is likely to end up in the hands of dodgy people who may take dodgy photos on your phone that you either change your friends/workmates, keep your phone in your pocket or maybe disable photo streaming.
Enjoy the phone and like most modern appliances you should be able to set it up to suit you - you shouldn't have to fear it or adjust your life around it.



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  #798481 12-Apr-2013 16:01
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Thanks for the responses Mike - I have no issue with Siri and find it to be a reliable system - it certainly points up my lazy speech! It does however require an internet connection. 

What I am bothered about the the Voice Control function of the iPhone - with Siri off, the phone reverts to standard Voice Control and this cannot be turned off - the dial-out function can and this useful but not the complete VC system - you can push the return button on any iPhone and be directed into it - if you've forgotten to disable Dial out, then your phone's fair game for any drunken yahoo at a party to play games with the phone. 

Same with the Camera



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  #798506 12-Apr-2013 16:33
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You might try using a different pocket? I use my top pocket for my phone. Never had a problem with a button press.

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Ultimate Geek


  #798528 12-Apr-2013 17:12
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Ah, yes, I'd forgotten about the fall-back voice control. I would perhaps suggest that enabling Siri but using the passcode lock to disable Siri having any access when the passcode lock is enabled might be the 'safest' option for those people who still live in the nineties when it was funny to dick around with people's phones.



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