Free App Recap November 13th – Personal Assistants

Free App Recap November 13th – Personal Assistants

Nov 13, 2012

Android devices have a lot built in features controllable by voice. However, these are pretty basic controls. By adding a single application, it’s like adding a personal assistant and superpowering the device. These apps will extend what can be controlled by voice. Some of the apps add cool features while others just add a better interface for controlling the basics.


Vlingo is a great Android for controlling just about everything by voice. With the press of a button Vlingo will listen for phrases spoken plainly. Saying a phrase like “Open Google Maps.” Vlingo also has a really useful car mode. In car mode there is a phrase Vlingo listens for so the controls are totally hands-free. When car mode is activated, Safe Reader is turned on too. Safe Reader will read back incoming text messages.

Download Vlingo

Dragon Go!

The beauty of Dragon Go! is a great search assistant for Android devices. Fire up Dragon Go! and say something to search for like movie times or a search term and the site to search on. Dragon Go! will show the results for the search really fast. Certain searches need preintalled apps. When going through the tutorial the first time the app is opened, see the list of supported apps and sites.

Download Dragon Go!


Maluuba is one of the newest hottest Android assistant on the Google Play Store. It responds to plainly spoken commands like Vlingo and Dragon Go!, but there are some additional features here. Some of them are making a reservation at a restaurant or asking general knowledge questions like “What is the capital city of North Dakota?”. Use Maluuba to check into social networking sites using voice.
Download Maluuba

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?