Friday, March 5, 2010
Fast Speech to Email (and More) for iPhone
If you own an iPhone, you have to try Vlingo. It let's you send email with your voice and it's wonderfully efficient. Sure, you can send Facebook and Twitter updates, plus SMS messages. But the ability to compose unlimited emails with your voice is a minor tech miracle to be savoured.
You can perform some neat voice search work using Google, Yahoo or Bing, too, but where Vlingo really shines is sending messages through its smooth voice-to-text interface.
The voice recognition is not perfect because frankly there's no such thing. But it is startlingly good and lightning fast. Just a couple of seconds of "thinking" time before your text snaps onto the screen. My playing around for two days produced emails with a high degree of accuracy as long as I spoke at a normal pace. If you do spot a glitch, Vlingo makes it easy to clean it up or add more voice transcription before sending.
The app is free and there's no cost for Facebook, Twitter and search functions. Unlimited email and SMS features are modest one-time hits on your iTunes account and are good for the life of your phone. Each will set you back $6.99. Or you can buy both for $9.99.
Vlingo is not the only voice-to-email app in town. I was a heavy two-year user of Jott in its beta stage. It's a class act and I know it's improved far beyond where it was when I left. But Jott also costs real money--$3.95 to $12.95 per month.
So, if you're looking for a clean, simple and economical way to compose email or text using only your voice, Vlingo for the iPhone offers a lot of functionality for a modest one-time price.
If you're a Blackberry user you can smile. Vlingo launched on that platform long before it was available for the iPhone and it includes even more features.
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