Friday, September 16, 2011
Vlingo app review - Virtual Assistant for Android, iPhone and Blackberry - coolest productivity app ever? Potentially.
Since my original posting, I've found that I've used Vlingo much more than originally anticipated. It is very convenient (and pretty accurate) when you command it to text or call someone or locate a business. All with fewer steps than without Vlingo.
Vlingo is a free, ad supported Virtual Assistant app for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and other devices which gives you one screen at which you can access virtually every other app and action on your phone through voice commands. Now, rather than opening your phone directory, finding the contact you want to message, clicking on the message icon, speaking or keying in your message and then hitting send, you simply open Vlingo and say: "Text Jim Jones I'm on my way. See you in a few." And BAM! The screen opens showing Jim and the message, you just hit send. And this simplicity is the same for a lot of voice command options. Very cool if it works as claimed. [END UPDATE]
You can speak commands such as, "Open Stupid Zombies," and it will find and open the app for you.
You can just speak, "Call Geechy Guy" and if you happen to have Geechy Guy's number in your phone, it should call him.
When I first used it, I was pretty impressed. I tried it a couple of times for making calls and texting and it worked flawlessly. Since then, I've experienced some issues making it so that if I'm really in a hurry I do it the slow way because there's a good chance that the Vlingo app is going to not understand what I said and/or Force Close on my HTC Thunderbolt 4G.
The odd thing is, most of the time when I get a message that says: "I think I missed the first part of that, try waiting a bit before speaking" it does eventually get me where I want to go. After getting that "sorry" message and clicking OK the screen often locks up and after a long time (nearly a minute) it either takes you to the command that it claimed not to hear, Force Closes or takes you back to the main Vlingo menu. They have to work on that.
When you tell Vlingo "movie tickets The Help" it directs you to Fandango (obviously a partner) and finds you local times for that movie. You can update your social network status on the fly by saying, "Facebook update I'm in Honolulu" (if you're in Honolulu, otherwise you will get a reputation for being a liar). You can search the web using Vlingo, but I think most of us have the browser-clicking-and-speaking-our-command thing under control using whatever Smartphone browser you prefer. You easily(?) can find hotels, call a taxi or find a hooker (just checking to see if you're paying attention).
Anyway, you get the point. The intent is noble in trying to create a Virtual Assistant which make it simpler to navigate and use your Smartphone and it works okay. Take a look at the video Vlingo has at their web site. I will assure you that it does not work that well, but it's amazing for those cartoon people.
I recommend that you download it and give it a try. I'm sure they are working to get rid of some of the issues with the app and future updates will make Vlingo a very useful tool.