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How to use Jelly (mostly) hands free

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Posted at 2017-9-29 01:39:04 | All floors |Read mode
The Jelly is a great little device. Emphasis on the "little" -- and this is probably why most of us would purchase one. The keyboard options out there are acceptable, especially with the swiping options and a little bit of work to teach Android how you usually type.

With just a couple quick tweaks, you can make your Jelly a bit more accessible with voice features.

First, you need to enable voice typing. To do this, I use Google's gboard app. The keyboard is superior to the AOSP keyboard included with Jelly. After you download gboard, go to Settings -> Languages & Input -> Virtual Keyboard -> Manage keyboards and toggle on the "Google voice typing" feature. It should indicate "automatic" once you do this. Moving forward, any text input that supports google's speech recognition will have a small mic on the top right of the virtual keyboard, next to the auto-correct suggestions. Tap that and start talking. You can tweak the google voice typing feature by clicking on it under "Virtual Keyboard" -- but be aware that apparently Jelly does not support "OK Google" wake up from any screen.

That takes me to the second big thing, which is the "Voice Search" app. It should really be named something quirky like "Bixby" "Siri" or something since it has a lot of that sort of functionality. I put the Voice Search app icon front and center on my Jelly home screen, and a lot of simple tasks can be done via this app...

I can tap that icon, wait for the haptic or audible feedback that indicates the voice recognition is ready, say "Text Jennifer I'm going to be home late" (I don't text anyone named Jennifer, but if I did) and it'll show the message and ask if I want to send it. I can set reminders, add calendar events "Add an event to my calender, 9am tomorrow doctor's appointment" and it populates onto my calendar after if confirms the date/time/title.

This keeps me from having to use the keyboard, for the most part and it's where the Jelly really shines for me. I assume the pro would be even better, but I'm happy with the basic.

The only other additions I would recommend for folks are two apps: Allo (google text messaging app similar to WhatsApp), Duo and Zello.

Allo is Google's answer to WhatsApp. It works fine for texting, but that's not the important bit. The app includes a pre-loaded "Contact" named "Google Assistant" -- this is the not-so-secret ingredient. Think of it as a connection to the google hive mind. You can ask questions, get directions, recommendations, etc. I have not used this as much as I thought I would, since the Voice Search does mostly what I need. The chat features in Allo are nice, especially if you have just one or two main contacts whose icons you can place on your home screen (like my fictitious Jennifer). The app's ability to snap an animated GIF selfie for your profile is a nice quirk -- as is the ability to turn your selfie into a cartoon avatar (a little weird, but okay).

Duo is google's video chat. I've found myself using this on the Jelly more than I did with my old smart phones. It's lighter, so easier to hold up for a while. Usually this is just for quick chats, but I use it more than phone calls. It requires, like Allo, an initial set up with cell phone verification, but once it's verified both apps work on mobile networks or wifi-only. Great if you travel a lot and want to use hotel wifi to make calls.

Zello is a great little PTT (push to talk) walkie talkie type app. You might have heard about it's use in areas impacted by recent hurricanes in the continental United States. This app also works on wifi or mobile network. The Jelly works well with this app as long as you either disable the battery saving app that comes preloaded on Jelly, or add the app to your "white list" of apps that will not be disabled by the battery saver app. I know of a few commercial uses of this app for management teams, folks working light industrial and other contexts where people tend to carry small walkie talkies. Set up your zello group channel (you can password protect it) and you've got access to everybody. On the Jelly, the Zello notification stays up on your lock screen and you can set your availability by tapping the availability icon without having to unlock the phone.

That's all I've got so far. Note that anything you do that works against battery saving features will surely run your battery down faster. I've noticed that the Jelly eats up battery when constantly talking to the network, so keep this in mind when you're streaming music or whatever. The flip side is it charges quick. Wish I'd ordered a couple spare batteries!

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Posted at 2017-9-30 00:52:56 | All floors
Last edited by tatpat In 2017-9-30 00:56 Editor

Btw, 'Ok Google' wake up from any screen - works for me on my Jelly Pro. 'Ok Google' unlocks the device too for me.

If it's not working on your Jelly, then follow these steps -
1) Go to Play Store, uninstall Google app to remove all the updates, so that it is back to factory installed version, and then, tap on 'update' to reinstall the updates for Google app.
2) Open 'Google' app. You may want to follow the next 2 steps, if opening 'Google' app doesn't automatically prompt you to do the same.
3) Then, Go to Google App's Settings->voice->'Ok Google' detection, enable 'From any screen'. Also, retrain voice model.
4) And, to let 'Ok Google' unlock your device, go to system's Settings->Security->Smart Lock->Trusted Voice, enable 'Trusted Voice'.

Earlier, it wasn't working, but after following these steps, I got 'Ok Google' working on my device. Hope this helps...

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 Author| Posted at 2017-10-1 11:00:09 | All floors
Thanks I'll try that!
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Posted at 2017-10-4 14:15:03 | All floors
Does this procedure work on jelly (not - PRO)? I doesn't seem to me...
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Posted at 2017-10-4 20:41:52 | All floors
OK Google and speech to text working for me on the Jelly Pro.
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Posted at 2017-10-6 08:37:13 | All floors
Last edited by calebrus44 In 2017-10-6 20:52 Editor

I've been considering using a Voice Search app for a while now.  Which do you prefer?  There are quite a few of them.  Are there any good ones that are also ad free?  

edit: Nevermind. I assume you're talking about the one it comes with. I hadn't noticed it before.

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Posted at 2017-10-13 04:24:59 | All floors
I just hand on Jelly since yesterday. I do discover quite some bugs.. i'm doing upgrade today, and we will see.
as experience, I have used a Posh 240 phone before as well (google it ), so I have some idea how such tiny phone supposed to work.

-in Display setting quite limited as config options.
-even we upgrade font size etc, the whole phone UI still quite small
-No way to set a contact to be Favo
-the whole text input layout too small.
-the notification top bar change color and never can be changed again (in SIM card setting part there is color option on the Sim)
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Posted at 2017-10-20 06:40:30 | All floors
Last edited by allen In 2017-10-21 00:56 Editor
Phil Posted at 2017-10-4 20:41
OK Google and speech to text working for me on the Jelly Pro. Not sending voice text, message could not be sent.

I seem to be having a hard time to get the voice to text working. I have tried downloading the Gboard app with no luck. OK Google works on my jelly pro with voice working for calls. The phone goes through all the motions fine but fails to send the texts. Any suggestions
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Posted at 2017-10-21 00:58:25 | All floors
I have tried all your suggestions and it still will not send a voice text. Having a hard time.
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Posted at 2017-10-22 03:46:56 | All floors
Excellent write-up!  Please post more.  You're the best and most informative writer on this forum, in my opinion.
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