I wrote about the many benefits of the Jawbone Icon HD
but I wanted to separately call out one of the more mundane but critical features that the headset makes practical – voice texting. While voice texting is not unique to the Nokia Lumia 920 (it uses the native Windows Phone 8 features for this), it is one of the best executions of it I’ve seen. Pair that capability with the Icon HD (yes, pun intended), a remarkably well designed feature emerges. Suppose, while driving, I’m listening to John Rothfuss’s The Wise Man’s Fear on Audible and a text comes in. Now, we know I’m not to text and drive.
The pull to look, at least, is strong. Then I rationalize “I’ll just text back at the light”. The light changes quickly, for once, “Oh, I’m almost done”. Not good, now I’m texting and driving. When a text comes in with my current setup, assuming I have the Icon on, the book pauses, the phone reads “Text from …, read it or ignore.” I say, “Read it.” After reading, it asks if I want to reply or I’m done. If I reply, I can dictate the message. Windows Phone 8’s native application translates this with stunning accuracy into a message and reads it back to me to verify. Once I’ve heard it, I can send it, add to it or start over. No whacked out messages get sent. Now my hands are on the wheel, my eyes are on the road and I don’t feel compelled to pull over or to risk “just a quick message”.
Can you be distracted by voice texting? Of course, just as a hands-free phone call can distract you. For me, it is exponentially safer. If texting gets involved, just like a phone call, I’ll pull over and deal with it.
All of this is automatically handled when I’m in bluetooth mode; when I’m not using my headset, I just receive a “ping” notification and read it normally. When I’m done with voice texting, I pick up where I left on Kvothe’s adventures in my audio book. Life is good and just a little bit safer.