Hands-free apps are becoming the latest rage. The Nexus One has admittedly made me quite jealous with the way it integrates voice command with many different programs. I recently reviewed Dragon Dictation, and was less than impressed with its “hands-free” functionality. Fortunately for iPhone users, Vlingo is a new app that allows for many hands free functions.
Email Voice Command
Both Dragon and Vlingo offer hands-free dictation, and both offer a relatively accurate transcription. The difference, however, is in the details. Dragon transcribes your voice command, and then a visual command prompts what to do next. Click “email,” and you still have to select a recipient, paste in the text, and hit send. Doing that while driving would be a major pain.
Vlingo, on the other hand, allows you to dictate: (1) the recipient, (2) the subject, and (3) the message body. Once transcribed, all you need to do is hit send. Yes, you still have to touch your phone, but only once. Hitting send is much easier then searching for a contact, and pasting in your message body.
Texting with Voice Command
Both applications will translate for texting. Dragon, once again, overly complicates the process. You need to pick a recipient, paste in the text, and hit send. Vlingo lets you dictate the recipient, but you still need to paste in the text, and hit send. Not much easier, but still one step less.
If you are still on the fence, Vlingo also lets you update your Facebook and Twitter status with no hands. You can also use Google Maps, and voice search the internet hands free. Unfortunately, the demo video does not demonstrate how the last two functions work.
The big downside to Vlingo is that it costs $9.99 if you want to be able to hands-free transcribe emails and texts (Dragon is free). But if you lead the type of life that requires you to send emails while driving, it is well worth the price.