S Voice, Samsung’s voice assistant, comes preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone and the Galaxy Note II tablet. It’s easy to access from your device, packed with convenient capabilities, and even knows a few cool tricks to help simplify your life. Read on to see what hands-free is all about.

With S Voice preloaded and pre-enabled on Galaxy S III phones and Galaxy II tablets, you’re ready to go hands-free right out of the box. Learn how to get started with S Voice and how voice control can help you do more with your device.

Getting Started

To launch S Voice, just press your mobile device’s Home button twice. Or assign a voice command to wake your phone and launch S Voice—even if your phone is locked at the time. The default wake-up command is “Hi, Galaxy,” but you can customize it to whatever you want—something practical like “Give me S Voice” or something fun like “Awaken to serve your master!” To prevent confusion, just make sure it’s not a phrase you normally utter around your phone.

Do More With S Voice

Spend some time getting to know S Voice. After you familiarize yourself with its capabilities and how to most effectively interact with the software, you’ll be hooked on the convenience of hands-free. Here’s a sampling of what you can do:

Calls and Messaging

  • Phone calls: Dial a contact by saying “Call Charlie mobile,” or manage incoming calls with the commands “Answer”
  • or “Reject.”

  • Text messages: Compose and send a message to a contact. “Text Katie message: Are you free tonight for dinner?”

Personal Organization

  • Memos: Make a note by saying, for example, “Memo: Send Mom a card,” or record a more detailed note.

  • Scheduling: Create and manage events and tasks by saying, for example, “New Event Lunch with James Tuesday at 1 p.m.” or “New task: Finish project.” Reminders are as simple as saying “Remind me tomorrow to pay bills” or “Remind me every Monday at 7 a.m. to do recycling.” You’ll see a confirmation window showing the details of your event.

  • arm clock: Schedule a wake-up by saying “Set alarm for 6am.” When that time rolls around earlier than you hoped, just say “Snooze” to catch a few more minutes’ sleep.

  • Timer: Set and start a timer by saying “Set timer for one minute.” You can also pause or cancel it via voice command.

Search and Settings

  • Navigate: Get directions with a phrase such as “Navigate to Cambridge,” or find nearby businesses with a command like “Take me to the nearest drugstore.”

  • Settings: Control simple phone settings by saying, for example, “Turn Wi-Fi on.”

  • Info search: Ask questions such as “How tall is the Empire State Building?” to access S Voice’s extensive knowledge base.

Creative Convenience

Hands-free calling and messaging are only the beginning. Think outside the box to get even more value out of your phone’s S Voice:

  • Depending on your phone plan*, you can use S Voice on an international trip to quickly convert currency and measurements, and to get translation help in one of S Voice’s many languages (English, French, Spanish, Korean, Italian, and German).
  • Simulate a fancy voice-controlled car stereo by using your phone’s Bluetooth and S Voice to issue commands to skip, go back, play, pause, and control volume.
    Use S Voice to take a remote-controlled self-portrait. You’ll need to be close enough for your phone to clearly “hear” your command, but the freedom to take a hands-free photo means no more awkward arm’s-length self-portraits. Choose from simple commands like “Capture,” “Shoot,” “Smile,” and even “Cheese” to snap your pic.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel when you use S Voice to search for Google Maps directions while you’re driving.
  • Are you known as the social media junkie among your friends? Update Facebook or Twitter without getting razzed for being hunched over your phone. Just use S Voice to compose and post your update.

S Voice may be a relatively new and trendy technology, but it’s no gimmick. With so many practical applications and convenient features, hands-free is here to stay.

* This article does not represent any guarantees or terms of service. Available features and services vary by location and device and are subject to change without notice.