December 6, 2011

Vic Mahfood


Developer Quote: "Tell your phone what to do! Vlingo’s intelligent voice application turns your words into action."

- COST: Free     - APP STORE STARS: 4
- Categories: Communications, E-mail, Lifestyle, Locator, Native, Productivity, Utilities

Almost a year ago, I wrote about Vlingo, an intelligent voice recognition app which lets you speak your texts and emails, make various location or other queries on your phone, or even voice dial your contacts. Additionally, one could update Facebook and Twitter accounts by speaking a new status! I have always loved the usefulness and function of Vlingo, but now I thought I'd bring it to your attention again as it has recently upped its features to allow voice to text SMS and email messages free of charge. Previously there was a chunk of change involved if you wanted these two items although the other features were free.

Right now, Vlingo goes a long way towards imitation of Siri for those iOS users without iPhone 4S. Vlingo allows you to enjoy the following helpful voice recognition app features:

- Email: Speak your message, edit it manually if you wish and email it off
- SMS: Speak your text, and edit it manually if you wish.
- Maps: Speak a business name or address to locate and map it using Google maps.
- Social Networking - Update your Twitter and Facebook status by speaking it.
- Search: Speak a name or any question and be answered with a Google, Yahoo! or Bing listing
- Voice Dial: Speak a contact's name to have it automatically appear on your display to be dialed.
- Bluetooth Input: Allows users to record using Bluetooth headset
- Profanity Filtering: Replaces any explicit content with asterisks.
- End Point Detection: Stops the voice recognition process when speech ends.
- Resume Audio: Resumes background audio when recognition requests finish.
- Auto Listen - Vlingo starts listening as soon as app is opened

Everybody has their favorite app, one that sits on their home screen and gets used daily. More than that, this same app probably resides in the multi-tasking tray because you never want to close it! I have a couple such favorites (no I can't narrow it down to just one)! Vlingo , one of my keeper apps, has evolved and improved over time enough to justify its prime spot on my homepage.

Some of my favorite features of this app are the verbal updates to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. But hats off Vlingo to including spoken email and SMS messages free of charge. I had originally paid to have SMS functionality, but am still glad that there is now no charge for email voice recognition. Just be sure to speak your punctuation marks when dictating such as period at the end of a sentence, and comma or question mark where needed. You can't beat the usefulness of voice recognition messages when you just don't feel like typing or even need to send a quick text while out and about. Vlingo is your very own virtual assistant, and gets the job done quickly and efficiently every time. Simply speak to Vlingo and it will help you get more done, faster and easier than before. Try saying "Text John; What's up?" or "Find italian restaurants" or even "Update Facebook."

Let's look at some of Vlingo's awesome features, and how simple spoken commands bring you answers rapidly:

- Voice Dial: "Call Diana!"
- Maps: "Find children furniture stores in Daytona Beach."
- Social Update: Facebook or Twitter, "Really wish it was Friday already!"
- Web Search: "Jamaica vacations"
- Text: "Text Barry - Hey how was work today? Any disasters?"
- Email: "Email Mom - I really missed you this Christmas. Wish you didn't live so far away..."

These are just small examples of the many things you can do with Vlingo. I have my app set to "listening" the minute it opens. Therefore, I simply speak immediately, tap when I am finished talking and use another tap or two to get my correspondence sent. You may include punctuation marks in your dictation actually saying, "question mark", "period", "comma", etc. Also, as a safety precaution you are given the chance to edit your words if they are not exactly right although I found Vlingo to be very accurate in its speech to text translations. Voice-dial comes in handy if you are not in your car using Bluetooth, or do not have a certain contact listed as a Favorite. Moreover, I have updated my Facebook many times with Vlingo. It sure beats typing on the tiny keyboard of my phone, and takes a second to dictate versus a minute to type! Vlingo is an everyday app that is useful as well as very neat to use, and will definitely impress your friends!

COOL CONCLUSION: "Don't take your eyes off your current task. Let Vlingo speak your message or query and receive a rapid reply!"
--Date/Version: Updated 12/3/11 - Version 2.1.1.
--iOS/Age Rating:  This app requires iOS 4.0 or later. Rated 4+.
--Device: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
--Developer: Vlingo

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