Vlingo Review

Vlingo Review

Dec 14, 2011

With the launch of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, Apple introduced Siri, your own personal assistant fembot. While it isn’t likely that anything as polished and professionally done as Siri will be available to Android users anytime soon, Vlingo makes an impressive alternative for fans of the green robot. Vlingo’s biggest asset, aside from its amazing voice recognition, is knowing when to stop and not try to directly challenge Siri. Vlingo is much more than a voice command app; it’s also a hub for text messaging, social networking, web search, maps, and more.

I will come out and say it: I’ve never been a big fan of Google Voice Commands. I feel that the commands have to be too specific and there aren’t enough options even though it is incredibly accurate. So that’s why I’m surprised that I enjoy using Vlingo so much. It’s quick, accurate, and forgiving. And when writing a text message for example, everything is done within Vlingo, forgoing the need to open more apps and slow down the process. Another surprising thing is how accurate it is in determining the usually unorthodox names of surrounding places. I found it to be rare that it couldn’t understand what I was looking for.

There is also a hands free mode for those who use their phones in the car and this can be activated by simply calling out “Hey Vlingo.” This option is still in beta mode but seems very polished, and the option to read text messages back to you works very well, but I found that if you’re using a messaging app that has pop up notifications they do appear in front of the app, making you look away and close the pop up before having Vlingo read it to you.

Going with a very cool color scheme, the design of Vlingo is very easy on the eyes. The blue, orange, and black color scheme with transparent tiles, custom icons, and the giant blue “Speak It” button make this one attractive app. There are also four widgets that come baked in: your standard search widget, a bar that gives quick access to four voice commands, and two individual voice command and text reading toggles.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this app to heavy users, those who have long commutes, and those who love voice commands. Oh, did I mention that it’s free?

Vlingo Review Rundown

9
User Interface - A very attractive app and the "Speak Now" button is large enough for even the most technologically impaired to find.
8
Usefullness - With some great widgets and awesome integration with navigation and search apps, this app is incredibly useful. Unfortunately, it probably won't be enough to convince someone who is a voice command hater.
8
Performance - Because most of the functions are handled within Vlingo everything is very swift with only a momentary delay. While the voice recognition is very good, as expected it still isn't flawless.
10
Value - Free? You betcha. The fact that Vlingo is on the house removes any reason to not give it a chance.
9
Overall - Vlingo is a superior voice assistant that sets the bar for Android, but for those looking for Android's Siri, sorry, it's not going to happen.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Joseph Bertolini
Joseph is an Mechanical Engineering student at The Ohio State University as well as an amateur photographer.
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