Vlingo In Review – Voice To Text On Steroids!
Voice to text is far from new technology. The ability to speak into your phone and tell it to call a specific person has been around for quite sometime. Unfortunately, that’s really been about all you could do till now. With recent improvements to everyone’s favorite iDevice, we found ourselves able to launch/control other features of the phone but even that was just a marginal improvement. Taking the next step in voice-to-text evolution, vlingo corporation offer more than just s sonorous name in their latest update of Vlingo, they offer email and SMS paste, too!
The folks at vlingo know how to design pretty. The app is rich in blues, oranges and grey, is clean, legible and navigation is a breeze. With the main focus of Vlingo being voice, it takes center stage on your screen with all other buttons or functions hugging the edges.
One of the things I really like about it is that because you need to talk to perform functions, buttons visually change to let you know VLingo is recording and what to do to stop it. It’s not rocket science, and I’m no scientist, but it’s nice to see those little things made as obvious as possible.
It’s also worth mentioning that on first launch you are taken through a brief 3 screen tutorial to show you the basics on how to use the app. Nothing overly complicated, just touching on a few of the main points. It’s enough to get you started for sure but if you want more detailed info, just tap the (i) button in the corner and just about all your answers are there along with links to online support if needed.
Function wise it really is simple. You push or hold the button and say what you want to do. Provided you speak clearly enough, the result should be good. For example if you were to clearly say, “Call Jon” the app pops up the contact info for Jon and auto-dials the number a few seconds after unless you stop it.
I find the most use while walking around and rather than having to stop and divert all my attention just to search or call someone all I had to do was launch and speak. For someone like me who is always in the middle of something, being able to intuitively multi-task is important. VLingo’s speech recognition works very well, picking up clearly spoken words with little trouble. You can also change any of the text content before it gets sent to wherever you were sending it though which is a godsend.
In all, there are 6 functions which VLingo can perform: calling, text/email, updating your social network status, search Google maps, and even the web – that is a lot of functionality.
Now before you pop your top you should know that although almost everything I’ve mentioned is included in the app. Email and SMS paste functions are available via in-app purchase for $6.99 each or both for $9.99. What? Personally, I have no problem purchasing additional content after the fact, even if the price tag may seem a bit high in the 99¢ and under app world we live in.
After using VLingo I’m still sort of on the fence about it. On the one hand I find it extremely useful – not having to type up lengthy dialogue or search through my entire address book for that one contact is a great convenience. I just think that they need to lower the price of the in-app purchasing to something more akin to Boxcar levels ($0.99 to $1.99). That done, I could see almost everyone going for the extra functions too.