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Vlingo: Control Nokia/Iphone/Blackberry Using Voice Commands

Nokia’s mobile phone’s have had a feature called voice commands for a long time now. But still very few people use it primarily because the voice recognition ability isn’t that great and it’s a waste of time rather than other way around. Vlingo, is a similar app that give the users a voice user interface to work with i.e you speak a word, Vlingo recognizes it (difficult part) and takes action accordingly. Simple!!

Vlingo On Nokia 5230/5800

Looking at all the hype surrounding this application, i too was intimated to use it. Being a lazy bum, i had great expectations from this application and that’s why i gave it a try. The installation is easy, no extra voice synthesizers, etc are installed just the application itself. User Interface of Vlingo is as simple as it can be, very easy to navigate, big buttons (useful of touch users), etc. Vlingo allows you to write an email, sms, search web, dial a number, dictate notes and open applications using simple voice commands. However, the basic edition i.e the free version doesn’t allow you to write an email or compose a sms. Vlingo allows you to set the web search engine (for voice search), set spoken language, adjust profanity filter and other basic stuff like tones, etc.

Vlingo In ActionI tried Vlingo for few days and didn’t find it useful because of the following reasons:

  • User needs to hold the “Hold and Speak” button which defeats the purpose of using voice commands (Why not do “stuff” when you have to tap/press the button).
  • Language set is limited i.e They need to include other language options too viz. for Indian English, etc.
  • Doesn’t work in crowded places (my experience with it in Delhi Metro was horrible) i.e you need to be loud and clear besides being a quite place.
  • Lack of voice trainer. It could have helped a lot.

Vlingo is available for most current BlackBerry smartphones, Apple’s iPhone (iOS) (3G, 3GS, iPod Touch – 2nd Gen) , Nokia phones (Symbian including s60v5) and select Windows Mobile phones. The latest version of Vlingo can be downloaded from Vlingo’s official homepage.


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