DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT USING THE VOICE COMMANDS ON THE SMARTPHONE(LIKE SIRI)INSTEAD OF THE KEYBOARD? I HAVE A FRIEND WHO USES THE VOICE COMMANDS ALL THE TIME AND I FIND THIS UNUSUAL. Fran, Albany
Dear Fran: This is one of those questions that deserves an up or down vote from fellow readers. There are situations where hands-free helps: for example, if you are in the car alone or helping older people navigate a rideshare app.
There are other times when voice-overs are annoying: say you are in a crowd of people and your friend returns a text. Unless your friend is ‘all thumbs’ or vision impaired, you could point out the downside to exclusively relying on voice commands. The ever-listening nature of smartphones make them useful, but also downright creepy. You might pass on this USA Today article to your friend: it suggests that you adjust the permissions on your smartphone and periodically clear the history and cookies.