Last week, Matt added a voice input feature for each of the search fields in DOT Placards Plus and we published an update, Version 1.3.0. Now you can simply SAY the number of a placard you are looking at, hit the Search button, and find out what material is in the tanker.
It’s a cool feature and fun to use but comes with a caveat. Voice input for any Android app requires a round-trip to a Google server out in the cloud for the sounds to be translated into text. The voice recognition code does not reside on the phone itself. So, in an emergency, if you lose cell service, this feature will not be available and you’ll have to go back to typing in the numbers.
Frankly, the requires-cell-service issue held us back from adding this feature for a while. We think the main advantage of having an ERG app instead of a bookmark to the DOT’s version of the ERG on the web is the app’s availability when cell service is lost. But we’ve been wanting to try voice input in an app for a while and the voice recognition works really well with numbers, which are the primary search field for DOT Placards Plus. We finally decided that the new feature would be a legitimate enhancement and added it.
The UI of DOT Placards, the free version, was changed at the same time to keep the two apps in sync and to let users of the free version know that the voice input feature is now available in Plus.