Vlingo is a text-to-speech application that is available on Blackberry App World. The software allows you to speak to your Blackberry device, allowing it to compose texts. Not only does Vlingo allow you to speak your texts, but it also allows you to “speak actions”. You can search Google, open applications, and verbally compose text messages and emails with Vlingo – all with the power of your voice. The program also adapts to your particular speech style and phrasing. It does this through HLM, or Hierarchical Language Models. This allows the software to adapt and recognize a large library of words.
Vlingo 3.0 now allows you to speak commands into your Bluetooth headset or mic-enabled head phones. This upgrade also enables your Blackberry phone to repeat commands in a robotic voice. It’s not the sexiest voice, but it allows for confirmation and feedback.
Vlingo has been a free program ever since it came out in 2008. However, it will charge a fee for premium features. For the price of $17.99, you will be able to install Vlingo Plus. Vlingo Plus allows you to send messages to any contact in your Contacts; reply and forward messages to texts and email messages, and enables the phone to read messages out loud.
I have Vlingo installed on my T-Mobile Blackberry 9700. Vlingo will present less than stellar results if you are not using it in an area with 3G. I live in the metropolitan area of New York, so I am able to consistently connect to 3G speeds. Vlingo had trouble recognizing my speech in a crowded New York street. Actually, it did not recognize one spoken word. However, as soon as I used Vlingo in an enclosed area, it was able to recognize every word.
- You will not be able to transfer Vlingo Plus to a new phone. If you downloaded your phone onto your current Blackberry and purchase a new phone a few weeks later – you will have to reinstall (and repurchase) the application.
- Speak loudly and clearly. Pronunciation is key
Do I recommended this program? I can only recommend Vlingo if you are a power user and live in an area that consistently gets 3G coverage. If you are the occasional texter and seldom send email messages, then Vlingo will most likely be an overkill. However, you can always install the free version of Vlingo and see if it is aligned to your needs.