Dec 14, 2011
With the launch of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, Apple introduced Siri, your own personal assistant fembot. While it isnâ€™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. Vlingoâ€™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; itâ€™s also a hub for text messaging, social networking, web search, maps, and more.
I will come out and say it: Iâ€™ve never been a big fan of Google Voice Commands. I feel that the commands have to be too specific and there arenâ€™t enough options even though it is incredibly accurate. So thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m surprised that I enjoy using Vlingo so much. Itâ€™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 couldnâ€™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 â€œHey Vlingo.â€ 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 youâ€™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 â€œSpeak Itâ€ 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?