Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

The TalkSocket Has Arrived!

18 Jan 2023

Quite a while ago, I ordered a TalkSocket. I can’t even remember when at this point. It’s been two years maybe? Today it finally arrived.

A TalkSocket is a little PopSocket type device that’s supposed to attach to your phone. I guess theoretically a PopSocket is supposed to make it harder to drop your phone by giving you something extra to hold on to, but other than something to fiddle with I’ve never found them particularly useful. One of the selling points for me was a setup kind of like this one.

The TalkSocket goes a step further than a standard PopSocket by adding technology to allow you to access a “nonsanctioned” smart assistant with just your voice on your phone. This is handy if you’re a fan of smart assistants but not so much what the phone feeds you. If you have an iPhone, you get Siri. If you have an Android, you get Google Assistant. You can install other assistants on your phone, but they don’t get the benefits Siri and Google Assistant do. You can’t voice activate a different smart assistant on an Android phone other than the Google Assistant, and this has had a chilling effect on what assistants are available on the platform.

The biggest reason I bought this device is specifically this. The people at Mycroft AI brought this device to my attention as a device that would support Mycroft.

Now it’s here.

It doesn’t support Mycroft.

It works well if you want to use Alexa.

Which I don’t.

I took it out of the box, and I fired it up. I ran it through it’s paces and let Amazon spy on my every move for an hour or so. It’s fine. If I was a user of the Amazon Echo ecosystem this would be a great little device to give me access to Alexa on my phone without having to go through mess Google/Apple put in my way to block 3rd party assistants. I don’t know when/if Mycroft support is going to arrive. So far TalkGo has been pretty noncommittal.

That’s frustrating.

Day 1 of the #100DaysToOffload Series.

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